JU coaches not buying ‘homecoming distractions’
JU linebacker Taylor Marsh (43) has 26 tackles this season. Here he gets a hand from JOrdan Dewhirst (25).
JU linebacker Taylor Marsh (43) has 26 tackles this season. Here he gets a hand from JOrdan Dewhirst (25).
With homecoming week firmly entrenched on campus and an off week upcoming, the Jacksonville University is having nothing to do with the “potential distractions’’ issues that crop up about this time each year.

“Our deal is that if you’re a football team that’s really after a championship, you take these three days, understand the process, and that is to get better this week and prepare yourself to go play a great football game,’’ coach Kerwin Bell said. “I think we’ve done that.’’

The Dolphins are going after a championship, the Pioneer Football League title, and this week face Davidson in homecoming at D.B. Milne Field Saturday (1 p.m.).

JU (5-2, 4-0) is locked in a battle with unbeaten San Diego and once-beaten Drake for the conference lead and would look on paper to be a big favorite over the Wildcats (2-5, 0-3).

Bell is having none of that, either.

“Davidson is one of those teams that always plays us tough,’’ he said. “We are 2-2 against them since I got here.’’

The Dolphins have won the last two meetings but Davidson took the previous three.

In Davidson, the Dolphins will find another passing team as they average on 26 yards a game rushing and throw the ball about 82 percent of the time.

Last week, JU shut down the nation’s top-ranked Morehead State passing game allowing no TDs through the air, and solidified their hold as one of the country’s top five passing defenses.

“That’s one area (the secondary) we feel like we’re strong at,’’ Bell said. “We’ve got a lot of depth and talented kids who can run, who can cover and who can come up in run support. We play these passing teams and it truly plays into our hands as a defense. We’ve got to make sure we are stout enough against the run to shut it down and get teams in passing situations.’’ Offensively, the Dolphins have been on a roll the past several games and have scored 162 points in their last four contests including last week’s 50-14 win over MSU.

Quarterback Josh McGregor has thrown eight TD passes the last two games including five last week. He threw for 346 yards against MSU and junior running back Keith Dawson tallied 104 yards rushing on 13 carries, his second 100-yard game of the season.

The game will be broadcast live locally on CW17 with Cole Pepper and former Jacksonville Jaguar lineman Maurice Williams on the call.

On radio, the game can be heard on 1010XL or with Terry Norvelle doing play by play. The Bono’s Barbeque Pregame radio show begins at 12:30 p.m.