FRIDAY, JULY 26, 2002
Dolphins Announce 2002 Football Schedule
July 26, 2002
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville University football will face its toughest schedule ever in 2002 with five scholarship opponents, three of four Pioneer Football League games away from home, and a road schedule which includes a stretch of four consecutive away games in the middle of the season and more than 8,200 miles of travel.
JU, which is entering its fifth season of football at the NCAA Division I-AA non-scholarship level, will face five scholarship opponents (Lenoir-Rhyne, Presbyterian, Charleston Southern, Florida International and Edward Waters) in addition to a four-game league schedule (Davidson, Austin Peay, Morehead St. and San Diego), which includes only one home game.
"Our PFL schedule will be a real challenge this year," said head coach Steve Gilbert, who has directed the Dolphin program since its inception in 1997. "The PFL South is much improved and everyone is going to be gunning for us after winning the division last season."
For the second straight season, the Dolphins will face a first-year scholarship program when they travel to Miami on Nov. 2 to face Florida International as the Golden Panthers begin their first season of football at the Division I-AA scholarship level under the direction of former Miami Dolphins standout Don Strock. After opening with three of four games at home, including Division II scholarship opponents Lenoir-Rhyne and Presbyterian, JU will take to the road for four straight away games. Following the Dolphins' lone home PFL game against Austin Peay on Sept. 28, JU does not play at home again until Nov. 9 against Edward Waters, before finishing the regular season with a homecoming contest against Wagner on Nov. 16.
All totaled, the Dolphins will travel 8,204 miles on their five away games in 2002, including the longest trip in the five-year history of the program (2,346 miles one way) when JU heads to San Diego to take on the Toreros from the PFL North Division on Oct. 5. Following an open week, the Dolphins will then play at Morehead State (763 miles) on Oct. 19, at Charleston Southern (243 miles) on Oct. 26 and at Florida International (345 miles) on Nov. 2.
The Dolphins' home schedule features two of its biggest rivals in Lenoir-Rhyne and Austin Peay, as well as the inaugural meeting between JU and Edward Waters, a NAIA program from Jacksonville. All JU home games are played at D.B. Milne Field on the JU Campus and will begin at 12:30 p.m. JU, which posted its first winning season in 2001 (6-5) and captured the PFL Southern Division Championship with a perfect 3-0 mark in league play in its first season in the league, has posted a 16-24 record overall in its first four seasons, but the Dolphins are 11-10 against non-scholarship programs and 3-3 vs. schools with partial scholarships (Wagner). The Dolphins also recorded their first two wins against scholarship programs last year when they defeated Lenoir-Rhyne (20-16) and Virginia-Wise (20-13).
The winner of the North and South Divisions of the PFL will meet in second annual league championship game on Nov. 23 at the home field of the South champion. JU fell to No. 2 Dayton, 46-14, in the inaugural PFL Championship Game last year in Dayton, Ohio. The Dolphins open summer camp on August 17 at the Ashley Sports Complex on the JU campus.