FRIDAY, DECEMBER 05, 2008
GRIDIRON CLASSIC COUNTDOWN: One Day
The JU football team landed in frigid upstate New York on Friday afternoon as they go through their final preparations for the third-annual Gridiron Classic against Albany on Saturday.

The game sets up as a battle of wills – Albany wants to pound the ball with an award-winning running attack while JU wants to put the ball in the air and pick up big chunks of yards.

Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m., with the game being televised on the YES Network (available on DISH Network or Direct TV). The game will also be available on the Internet through Packnetwork.com and fans in Jacksonville can listen to the JU Sports Network broadcast on 1010XL.

“This is an exciting trip for us and a reward for all of the hard work it took to win the championship,” said JU head coach Kerwin Bell. “While it’s a reward, it’s also a business trip and our guys have worked hard and want to finish this season on a high note.”

Both teams enter the game with seven game winning streaks, with Jacksonville capping its regular season with a 19-14 win over Dayton to secure the school’s first conference championship.

The week off between the regular season and the Gridiron Classic has been a blessing for the Dolphins who were banged up and playing through injuries.

Freshman quarterback Josh McGregor was able to use the rest to his advantage, taking a majority of the snaps this week in practice. McGregor’s play the last two games was hindered by a shoulder injury early in the Drake game.

It also worked out well for junior defensive back Jason Wood, who played the final two games of the season with a broken finger. He will play on Saturday, sporting a green cast on his left hand that is signed by his teammates.

“The week off really helped us get some guys healthy,” Bell said. “At the end of any season, there are going to be some small nagging injuries, but our guys were in the training room working hard to get ready for this game.”