THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2012
Constant contact: Davidson only team JU has played each year
In its 15th year of football, JU has only had one constant on its schedule. That constant is this week’s opponent Davidson College.
The small Liberal Arts School from just north of Charlotte has been a staple on the Dolphins schedule since losing in JU’s inaugural game back on Sept. 12, 1998. The Dolphins won that game 19-14 and since the teams have met 13 more times with JU holding an 8-6 advantage in the rivalry.
The series has been highlighted by many record plays and by numerous personal and team records.
Current Dolphin D’Andre Randle returned a punt 94 yards for a touchdown last season to help lead the Dolphins to a 56-13 win.
One year early, Elliot Finkley found the end zone against the Wildcats on an 84-yard touchdown pass from Josh McGregor for the longest touchdown pass in JU history.
Maybe the most impressive record set against Davidson was on Sept. 8, 2001, when the Dolphins intercepted five passes in a 45-3 rout of the Wildcats.
While the rivalry has had its share of record days and blowout wins, seven of the 14 games have been decided by eight points or less. The Dolphins have won the last three meetings in the series tying the 2006-2008 streak set by the Wildcats for longest in the rivalry.
Perhaps the most memorable game in the series is the 2004 game played at Davidson where the Dolphins ran 91 offensive plays and rushed the ball 61 times in a 29-26 win.
“We were a team that had to run the ball to win,’’ former coach Steve Gilbert said. “We were effective running inside that day and that takes pressure off your defense.”
The 2008 loss at Davidson left JU at 2-3 and seemingly heading to another sub .500 season. However, the Dolphins won their final seven games and captured their first Pioneer Football League Championship. A game that was just seen as just another loss quickly turned to a rallying point and possibly changed the path of the program.
This year, the Dolphins enter the contest at 5-1 overall while Davidson is 0-5. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Richardson Stadium for the 15th game in the series.