THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 06, 2001
Eighth-Ranked Dolphins Prepare For Pioneer Football League Showdown with No. 3 Davidson
Sept. 6, 2001
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -
Game Day Quick Facts
Radio: ESPN 600 "The Ball" (Cole Pepper, play-by-play, Dave Widell, color). The Dolphin Kickoff Show begins at 12:30 p.m.
Jacksonville University Football: JU is in its fourth season of intercollegiate football at the NCAA Division I-AA non-scholarship level and has a 11-19 (.367) record in 30 games. The Dolphins are 6-10 all-time at Milne Field, 5-8 on the road and 0-1 at neutral sites. After competing as an independent for the first three years of the program, JU will begin play in the Pioneer Football League in 2001.
Scouting the Wildcats: Davidson enters the game with the longest win streak in NCAA Division I after recording its 18th straight victory with a 24-7 win over Valparaiso in the season opener. The Wildcats limited the Crusaders to just 17 yards rushing and 73 yards of total offense on the day, while racking up 328 yards on offense. Freshman running back John Leverett rushed for 83 yards and two touchdowns, the most for a rookie running back in 30 years at Davidson, while sophomore wide receiver Randall Hardy had a career-best 10 catches for 94 yards. Junior quarterback Paul Nichols is now 12-0 as a starter after going a perfect 10-0 last season. Wildcat head coach Mike Stoop is in his first season at as a collegiate head coach. Davidson is in its 105th year of football.
The Pioneer Football League: JU begins its first season as a member of the Pioneer Football League, a football-only league of non-scholarship programs that stretches from coast to coast. The PFL, which was formed in 1991, is one of only two football-only conferences in the country (Gateway) and is one of only three NCAA Division I-AA conferences (Ivy League, Patriot League) that provides only need-based financial packages. The Dolphins will be part of the South Division along with fellow newcomers Austin Peay, Davidson and Morehead State. The North Division consists of charter members Butler, Dayton, Drake and Valparaiso, along with San Diego, which joined in 1992. The newly expanded league will host its first conference championship game at the site of the North Division champion on Nov. 17.
Milestone Win: The Dolphins' 20-16 win at Lenoir-Rhyne in the season opener marked the first win for the JU football program over a scholarship opponent. JU is 2-3 against partial-scholarship teams and now stands at 1-9 against scholarship programs. However, the Dolphins are 8-7 against similiar non-scholarship teams. JU played seven non-scholarship games in 1998, five in 1999 and three in 2000. This season, the Dolphins will play five teams with some sort of scholarship funding: Lenoir-Rhyne, Charleston Southern, Florida Atlantic, Virginia-Wise and Stony Brook.
Jon Turner Earns Weekly Honors: Junior wide receiver Jon Turner started the 2001 season with a bang. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound wideout was named Pioneer Football League Offensive Player of the Week on Monday for his record-setting performance in the Dolphins' season-opening 20-16 win at Lenoir-Rhyne. Turner caught five passes for a school-record 206 yards and one touchdown, including the game-winner with 9:27 to play in the game. Turner broke free down the sideline and caught a 62-yard touchdown bomb from Gary Cooper giving JU the lead for good. Big-play Turner averaged 41.2 yard per catch, including receptions for of 64, 62, 40, 32 and nine yards. For his play, Turner was also named Florida Times-Union Offensive Player of the Week and currently ranks second in the Division I-AA in receiving with 206 yards per game.