THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2007
Football opens conference play on Saturday
Sept. 27, 2007
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville University football team begins a new season this week.
The Dolphins (1-2) face Davidson (2-1) on Saturday in the Pioneer Football League opener for both teams. Kickoff is set for Noon, with the game being broadcast on 1010XL with a tape delay telecast on Comcast-Jacksonville, Channel 14.
JU, picked sixth in the preseason coach's poll, is looking to keep the momentum going after last week's record setting 55-10 win over UNC-Pembroke. The 45-point margin of victory is the largest in school history, surpassing the 44-point victory over LaSalle in the Dolphins' first season - 1998.
"We did a lot of things well last week, but you have to turn it up a notch when you get into conference play," said JU head coach Kerwin Bell. "Davidson is a well-coached team that is going to come ready to play."
The series against the Wildcats is the longest running rivalry in JU history. Davidson is the only school that the Dolphins have played every year since the program began in 1998, with JU picking up a 19-14 win in the school's first-ever game.
In last week's game, freshman running back Rudell Small tied a JU record with five rushing touchdowns while becoming the first Dolphin to record more than 100 yards on the ground this season.
While Small led the ground attack, senior quarterback Chris Horton directed the aerial assault with precision. Horton completed 10-of-16 passes for 166 yards and one touchdown.
Defensively, the Dolphins stymied the UNCP offense in holding them to less than 300 yards.
JU forced two turnovers, had four sacks and finished with eight tackles for a loss. Junior free safety Robson Noel led the team with nine tackles while senior linebacker Joey Rumph had seven tackles. Rumph also recorded his third sack of the season.
The Dolphins have won two of the last three meetings in the series, but lost last year's contest in North Carolina when the Wildcats rolled up 31 unanswered points in a 38-3 win.