TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2008
Bye week allows Dolphins to focus on fixing mistakes
After watching double-digit leads slip away late the past two weeks, the JU football team finds the open week on its schedule coming at a good time.

“We’ve made a lot of late mistakes in the past two games,” said JU head coach Kerwin Bell. “I’m glad we’ve got our bye week here so we can focus on correcting those errors as we enter the heart of our schedule.”

Last week, Davidson scored 24 unanswered points to overcome a 35-14 deficit. The week prior, UNC-Pembroke scored 19 unanswered to pull out a 22-21 victory.

“We haven’t done the little things late in games that championship teams do,” Bell said. “We’ve committed a lot of turnovers in crucial situations that have turned these last two games against us. We can not continue to make those kind of mistakes.”

While the results have been disappointing, there have been some highlights as JU is ranked in the top 10 nationally in several statistical categories.

The Dolphins are ranked 10th in the country in pass efficiency defense as well as punt return average. The JU defense has a 97.71 rating in pass defense and ranked 18th in pass defense, allowing just 149 yards per game.

Elliott Finkley is the big reason for JU’s high rank in punt returns, averaging 17.5 yards per return which ranks 10th in the country as well.

Rudell Small also ranks in the top 10 in rushing yards, averaging 125.6 per game for the seventh best average in the country and is the leader in the Pioneer Football League. Small’s average was greatly enhanced by his 217 yard rushing against Davidson, the third highest total in school history and just the fifth 200-yard rushing effort in the history of the program.

Small has already surpassed his total from last season in the first five games, racking up 628 yards and six touchdowns. He needs just 98 yards to move into fifth place on the school’s all-time rushing yards list.

The Dolphins will turn their focus out of conference for the final time this season as they host Webber International at the Bolles School for Homecoming on Oct. 9. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.