FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2011
Campbell first PFL test for JU
The quest to repeat as the Pioneer Football League champion begins this weekend for Jacksonville University and the opening road is in Buies Creek, N.C., at Campbell.
JU (1-2), PFl co-champs with Dayton last season, has played three scholarship programs to start and is winless on the road. The Dolphins lost the opener to The Citadel, 31-9, and lost at Western Illinois, 35-21, the following week. They picked up their first win last weekend at home over Charleston Southern, 37-30.
Despite an 11-game PFL winning sreak, the road this week, according to coach Kerwin Bell, is no easier than where the Dolphins have been thus far.
“They (Campbell) are big and they are physical and they are improving,’’ Bell said.
Kickoff is set Saturday for 1 p.m. with the game being broadcast on 1010XL and 1010XL.com with Terry Norvelle doing play by play and Joel Lamp color analysis. The Bono’s Barbeque Pregame Show begins at 12:30 p.m.
The Camels (1-1) were off last weekend after shellacking Apprentice, 76-0, in a game in which running back C.J. Oates rushed for 139 of his team’s 403 yards and scored four touchdowns . He was named PFL Player of the Week after the win.
“We’re going to have to stop the run, it’s as simple as that,’’ JU defensive coordinator Jerry Odom said. “That has been a problem area for us.’’
The Citadel ran for 439 yards in the opener, leaving the Dolphins with giving up 322.6 yards a game on the ground, 120th in the FCS.
The Dolphins’ offense showed spark last week as running back J.J. Laster rushed for 128 yards and quarterback Josh McGregor threw for 208 yards and a pair of touchdowns, one of them to tight end Quintin Davis who had a team season-high 117 receiving yards.
The win over the Bucs was JU’s 10th consecutive home win, a school record.
Laster had a big game against the Camels last season rushing for 93 yards but is downplaying expectations. “I’m going to go out and do my job and try to help the team get a win,’’ Laster said this week.
JU travels again next week to Poughkeepsie, N.Y., to face Marist then has three consecutive home games.