MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2012
JU starts home season with streak in mind
One thousand ninety-two days. One hundred fifty six weeks. One day shy of three years.
That’s how long it has been since the JU football team has lost one on the turf at D. B. Milne Field. Fourteen games and running, the Dolphins (1-1) currently own the longest home win streak in the Football Championship Subdivision and start the home season Saturday against Webber International (0-2) looking for number 15.
The last time JU tasted defeat at home was Sept. 19, 2009, when Old Dominion went back to Virginia with a 28-27 win and because of a 5-0 home mark in 2008, it is the only home game the Dolphins have lost in the last four years.
The streak is a reflection of the philosophy of coach Kerwin Bell who has a list of items that go into making a championship program. Prominent on that list is winning at home and Bell’s teams have lost only four times in his first five season.
“Winning at home is critical to having a successful program,’’ Bell said. “We’ve been able to have a good history of winning at home and now we have the longest streak in the country and that’s one of the reason we’ve been able to win championships.’’
During the time of the 14 wins, the Dolphins are averaging 40.28 points a game to the opposition’s 18.2 having outscored the invaders 564-255.
JU has tossed two shutouts, 39-0 over Morehead State on Oct. 17, 2009, and 41-0 against today’s opponent, Webber International, on Sept. 18, 2010, the last shutout the good guys have. There times the Dolphins have scored 50 or more and have hit 56 points twice.
The most lopsided win was last season against Davidson, 56-13, which barely edged out the 56-14 win over Marist in 2010. The Dolphins play Marist again at home Sept. 29.
The streak is a source of pride, and pressure, for this year’s team.
“It’s a pride thing for sure,’’ senior defensive lineman Mike Mayoral said. “We want to protect it. It’s been going on so long we don’t want to be the ones to end the streak. You don’t realize how long it has been then you look back and it’s been a long time.’’
The Dolphins are coming off a 31-10 win at Charleston Southern Saturday in which the team scored 28 second half points on four touchdowns, two by special teams, one by offense and one by defense. JU escaped any major injuries, according to head trainer Doug Frye.
The Warriors lost to Mississippi College, 34-27, their second consecutive defeat after finishing last season on a three-game win streak.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. and the game will be televised on CW17 with Cole Pepper doing play-by-play and former JU coach Steve Gilbert doing color analysis. On the radio side, the game can be heard on 92.5 FM with Terry Norvelle on the call and former JU quarterback Josh McGregor doing color. The radio pregame show begins at 12:30 p.m.
The game also will feature the unveiling of the new JU marching band, a first for the school. The band will perform in pregame and halftime.