FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 03, 2010
Dolphins set to open 2010 campaign on the road
The JU football team is set to open its 2010 season on Saturday at 6 p.m. when they travel to face Old Dominion in front of a sold out crowd at Foreman Field.

Jacksonville has won its last two season opener, both coming on the road, and is looking to pick up where it left off last season – winning its final three games in domination fashion.

“We’ve had a good week of preparation and the guys are ready to go hit somebody else now,” said JU head coach Kerwin Bell, who has a 2-1 record in season openers. “We’ve made a lot of progress since the beginning of camp and now we get to test ourselves against a very good Old Dominion team.”

The game will be broadcast on 1010XL with Barry Milligan calling the play-by-play. The Bono’s Barbecue Pregame Show will kick off the coverage at 5:30 p.m. Fans can also listen to the game on the Internet at www.1010xl.com or can watch it live through ODUSports.com. There will also be a live in-game blog on JUDolphins.com with editor Joel Lamp.

The offense has stolen the headlines entering the season, but it’s the improvement of the young defense that is the story entering the season.

JU has just five starters returning from last year’s defense, with players getting new positions in the scheme brought in by first-year defensive coordinator Jerry Odom. Two of the most notable transitions are Colby Walden from wide receiver to defensive back and Jordan Dewhirst from linebacker to safety.

“The guys on defense have had a great camp,” Bell said. “That is a young and hungry group that has come to practice every day ready to work. The coaches on the defensive side have done a great job of getting that group ready to go.”

Meanwhile, the offense is expected to be able to put up points regularly. Jacksonville will showcase the running game led by Rudell Small that is balanced by the aerial theatrics by Josh McGregor to a talented group of wide receivers – headlined by the trio of Elliott Finkley, Josh Philpart and Larry Thompson.

McGregor has broken the school record for most passing yards in a season in each of his first two seasons and has the goal of breaking it again this season.

“We feel really confident with the veteran group of guys we have on offense,” Bell said. “There is so much big-play potential out there that any play can turn into a touchdown.”

The two teams enter the season ranked in the top 10 nationally in longest active winning streaks. The Monarchs won their final six games last season while the Dolphins won their final three.