THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2011
JU trying to forget two year old taste
Some games just stick in your craw and for several Jacksonville University coaches and players one of those games was two years ago at Marist.
They have a chance to get that sour taste – think lemon drops, if you will – out of their collective mouths Saturday when the Dolphins take their 12-game Pioneer Football League winning streak to Poughkeepsie, N.Y., to meet the Red Foxes at noon.
The game will be broadcast on 1010XL and 1010XL.com with Terry Norvelle and Joel Lamp on the call. The Bono’s Barbeque Pregame Show will begin at 11:30 a.m.
The last time JU visited, Marist was happy to put a 31-27 loss on the Dolphins via a last minute Hail Mary pass which ended a tumultuous week for the Dolphins. It also ended a tumultuous game in which JU had a 576 to 179 offensive yard advantage.
Offensive line coach Andy McLeod can’t forget.
“Losses usually take a day or two to get over, that one still bothers us,’’ he said. “Two years later and it wasn’t erased by what we did to them last year (a 56-14 win at home).’’
McLeod believes several factors were involved in the lemon drop game.
“We were a dysfunctional team when we went to that game. There was a bunch of things going on with our team,’’ he said. “We were dealing with the adversity of success. We had come from out of nowhere and won the conference championship the year before and a lot of our kids didn’t know how to deal with that success. It was mainly the upper classmen didn’t know how to handle it and got a little big headed about it.’’
McLeod also thinks the sophomores of that year, now the team’s seniors, have something to prove.
“They were part of it but they weren’t in the leadership role,’’ he said. “Wins and losses are part of the game but the feeling of knowing everybody is pulling together is the goal of your team and we didn’t have that up there. This group that are now our leaders recognized what the issues were and now it’s there time to show they know the right way to do it.’’
Head coach Kerwin Bell can’t forget, either.
“It was one of the longest bus rides I’ve had as a coach,’’ he said. “It was disappointing and heartbreaking hour and a half back to New York City after that game. You thought you should have won and to lose it like we did on the last play really hurt.’’
Bell, too, is itching to get back to the scene.
“We played them here last year and played pretty well but we need to go back to where it happened two years ago, their home field, and try to see how much better we can play this time around than what we did last time. If it’s redeeming, it’s redeeming but our big thing is this is a new year and a new team and we feel like we’re practicing better, we’re approaching things a lot better than the ’09 team did, now let’s go prove that on Saturday.’’
-- Jim Nasella