And even though Davidson (0-5, 0-2 in the Pioneer football League) has had a tough go of it thus far, don’t look for the Dolphins (5-1, 3-0) to back off this week.
“We want to be peaking through the last half of our schedule, defensive coordinator Jerry Odom said. “To do that, we have to come out and prepare Tuesday through Thursday every single week. As a team we need to improve. We are team that is young, we only have four senior through our rotation, so I don’t think we can be a team that says ‘we’ve got this thing whipped’. We’re trying to get better each week.’’
One thing the Dolphins can plan on getting some exercise in during practice will be tackling which Odom didn’t think was so great in the 38-7 win at Morehead State.
“Our tackling was awful last week so we’re going to work like crazy this week on our tackling, especially in space,’’ he said. “They’ll put you in space and the second thing is to continue to accomplish is keep getting off the field on third down. We’ve done a good job and we can’t sit on our laurels and think we’ve got that whipped.’’
Odom said he sees a trend in teams using the run game against the Fin defense.
“People look at us and think they can run the ball,’’ he said. “That’s probably because of that first game.’’
That first game was against Georgia Southern and the Eagles rushed for 537 yards. Since, the JU defense has given up only 562 rushing yards in five games combined.
“We’ve got to make them one dimensional, we’ve got to take the run away,’’ Odom said. “They are morphing into more of what I saw two years ago, pro-style, two tight ends and I think they are trying to gain some balance.’’
Should the Wildcats maintain their balance, quarterback Jonathan Carkhuff could make things interesting. Last year, he threw for 290 yards against the Dolphins.
“They have a good system and he is a good quarterback,’’ Odom said. “We’re not taking anything for granted.’’
Redshirt senior linebacker Layne McCombs concurs as he has felt a Wildcat bite before.
“In my freshman year we were supposed to beat them and we went up there and they beat us,’’ he said. “I don’t want that to happen again.’’
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on radio on 92.5FM and 1010XL.com.
- Jim Nasella