MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2011
This week’s mission pretty simple: win
The JU defense has had a pair of sluggish starts the last two games.
The JU defense has had a pair of sluggish starts the last two games.
You don’t have to take a step into the campus’ Davis College of Business to figure out what the JU football team’s mission is this week.

There are no fancy numbers, no fancy statistics, no fancy anything. Just win, baby.

The Dolphins (7-3 overall and 6-1 in the Pioneer Football League) travel to San Diego Saturday for a in which the winner will earn a share of the PFL title with Drake. As simple as that, win and you’re in.

Beating the Toreros (8-2, 6-1) isn’t going to be that easy. They seem very similar to JU and may run the ball a little better and the Dolphins defense can’t afford another sluggish start.

In Saturday’s 34-24 win over Butler, the defense got off to a slow start in the first half which sent defensive coordinator Jerry Odom scrambling.

“We made a few minor adjustments at the half but I think it was mindset as much as anything,’’ Odom said. “We made minor adjustments, simplified what we were trying to do and we played better in the second half.’’

Should JU win it would be the third time in four years it has either won or shared the league crown.

“We’ve got a great opportunity this week to do what a lot of people look forward to and that’s win a championship,” Odom said. “Our destiny is in our own hands, and that’s what you’re looking for.’’

A veteran of many coast-to-coast adventures, Odom said he thinks the idea of a long trip taking its toll is a bit overblown this time of year.

“I think it could be overblown because unless something grandiose happens, this is probably our last game. I think it may be more taxing as far as going out to the west coast and coming back and trying to get ready for another game more than it’s taxing for us right now.’’

And, he’s hoping the team doesn’t come out with its third consecutive slow start.

“I hope they don’t start slow, I’m going to have a heart attack,’’ he said. “If you can’t get up to play in this game something’s wrong with you. This is for the championship. If we can’t’ get up for this one something’s wrong with us.’’

The game is set for a 4 p.m. EST kickoff and will be broadcast on 1010XL-AM and 1010XL.com with Terry Norvelle doing play-by-play. The Bono’s Barbeque Pregame Show will begin at 3:30.