FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2011
Senior Day must win proposition
The sentimentality of Senior Day notwithstanding, the Jacksonville University football team would do itself well to take last week’s loss to Drake as motivation for this week’s final home game against Butler Saturday.
What’s at stake, of course, is at least a share of the Pioneer Football League title should the Dolphins (6-3, 5-1) win out. They face San Diego on the road next week.
“I haven’t slept well this week and I hope the players haven’t,’’ coach Kerwin Bell said. “I hope they have a chip on their shoulder.’’
That wouldn’t be that hard to have after JU saw its record 16-game PFL winning streak come to an end, 31-24, in Iowa. At the same time, Bell has been telling the team it’s time to move on.
“We know what’s at stake and we still control our situation,’’ he said.
Defensive back Maurice Manning, from Atlanta, Ga., got the coaching staff’s message and says the PFL chase combined with Senior Day will make this game ultra-significant.
“It’s the end of the road for college football and that will make it a memorable game,’’ Manning said. “All the families will be there but we have got to get this win.’’
Manning lauded coaching efforts for putting perspective on the game.
“They’ve tried to keep our focus on it,’’ he said. “We go through Senior Day every year but hey have reminded us all week there is a lot at stake. We have to make sure we know we are playing Butler.’’
Butler (5-4, 3-3) won its Senior Day game last week against Davidson and comes into today’s game with a murky quarterback situation. Andrew Huck, one of the league’s premier signal callers, is out with a bad shoulder and Tom Judge, who has thrown eight passes this season, apparently will start.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins will, of course, be led by quarterback Josh McGregor who is playing his last home game. McGregor is 6 yards away from cracking the 10,600 yard passing mark and is 61 yards away from propelling himself to 23rd on the all-time FCS passing list. He has thrown 12 touchdown passes his last three games.
Wide receiver Larry Thompson, who moved into fifth on the all-time JU receiving list last week with 1,514 yards, will try to keep his streak of consecutive games with a catch going. He has caught a pass in 29 straight games.
The game is scheduled for a noon kickoff and will be televised on CW17 with Barry Milligan and Maurice Williams calling the action.
1010XL and 1010XL.com will carry the radio broadcast with Terry Norvelle and Jim Nasella broadcasting. The Bono’s Barbeque Pregame Show will begin at 11:30 a.m.