Open week comes at a good time for JU

Sept. 11, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The open week couldn't have come at a better time for the JU football team.

The Dolphins (0-2) are off this weekend, but it's far from a free week. JU will be hitting the practice field several times this week, looking to work some of the kinks out of the system.

JU will also use the week to get some injured players back healthy, among those are defensive end Mirco Zanella and running back Tommie Rogers.

"This is a great week for us to get rested and healthy for our first home game," said JU head coach Kerwin Bell. "We're going to work on a lot of things this week to get these guys back on track."

The Dolphins defense gave JU a chance on Saturday, forcing two turnovers and racking up seven sacks - two by Joey Rumph. The one point of improvement for the defense was Gardner-Webb's ability to convert third downs, especially in the first half as the Bulldogs converted 5-of-9 third down attempts.

The defense's "bend but don't break" approach worked well throughout the evening as Gardner-Webb was only able to have one long touchdown drive - its first. The two other touchdowns were scored on big plays.

"The defense gave us a chance to win the game," Bell said. "They gave up a few big plays, but they also made some too."

Michael Jenner was the highlight of the offense that struggled to finish drives throughout the game. Jenner caught 10 passes for 103 yards, tying career highs in both categories.

The senior wide receiver also closed in on becoming the sixth player in JU history to record more than 1,000 yards receiving in their career. He now has 929 receiving yards in his career and needs just 96 yards to pass Rico Tillman for fifth on the school's all-time receiving yards list.

"We're just not clicking on offense right now," Bell said. "We're thinking more than we're playing. We're going to get a lot of reps this week to become more consistent on each play. We just need a little confidence and once we get that, I think this group will take off."