Football Prepares For Tusculum On Saturday

Sept. 12, 2000


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The Dolphins look to bounce back from an 0-2 start Saturday against the Tusculum Pioneers at 1 p.m. at Milne Field. Following a 36-7 loss to Davidson, JU hopes to jump-start the offense against a Pioneer squad that is coming off its first shutout (26-0 at Livingstone) in 60 games dating back to 1994. The JU defense will have its hands full as Tusculum is averaging 20.7 points and more than 200 yards passing per game. JU has been feisty defensively, forcing eight turnovers (4 int., 4 fumbles) and recording four sacks.

JU Football: JU is in its third season of intercollegiate football at the NCAA Division I-AA non-scholarship level and has a 7-13 (.350) record in 20 games. The Dolphins are 3-8 all-time at Milne Field and 4-5 on the road. JU has lost six consecutive games dating back to Oct. 16 of last season, when the Dolphins defeated Greensboro College, 48-41, in double overtime at Milne Field.

All-Time vs. Tusculum: JU is 0-1 all-time against Tusculum after losing the first meeting, 42-36, in overtime on Nov. 13 of last season. It was the first-ever overtime loss for the Dolphins and came after freshman quarterback Greg Kannappel tied the game with 47 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime. Tusculum running back Aaron Clarridy ran for 220 yards on 34 carries to lead the Pioneers, while JU's Jon Underhill scored a career-best three touchdowns.

Scouting Tusculum: The Pioneers enter this week's game 2-1 on the season after a 26-0 win at Livingstone on Saturday for their first shutout in six years, a stretch of 60 games. The Pioneers also broke an eight-game road losing streak. Kicker Paul Czerniak set three single-game school records, including a 52-yard field goal, while accounting for 14 points on the night. TC limited Livingstone to 144 yards of total offense and 5-for-22 passing, while accumulating 317 yards of offense itself, including 240 yards in the air from the quarterback tandem of Caleb Slover and Blake Fowler. Tusculum employs a spread offense that features four wide receivers and allows the Pioneers to average 202 yards passing per contest. Defensively, TC will run an eight-man front.

Head Coach Steve Gilbert: Head coach Steve Gilbert is in his third season at Jacksonville, his fourth year overall. Gilbert was hired in February of 1997 and has literally built the program from the ground up. He has posted a 7-13 (.350) mark at JU, including a surprising 4-5 mark in the inaugural season. Gilbert, who was named the 1996 NCAA Division III Coach of the Year after leading Ursinus College to its first-ever NCAA playoff berth and 9-2 record, has a career record of 48-61 (.440) in 11-plus seasons as a collegiate head coach.

Injury Report: Junior wide receiver Jared Moses is out for at-least 4-6 weeks after dislocating his right thumb in the season opener...Sophomore punter/place kicker Brett Keener missed the bulk of the Davidson game with a strained quad in his kicking leg...Freshman defensive back Josh Katsur is out for the season after fracturing a bone in his right foot against Davidson.

Milne Field: The Dolphins are 3-8 all-time at D.B. Milne Field in two-plus seasons of football. JU has not won at home since Oct. 16 of last season when the Dolphins defeated Greensboro College in double overtime, 48-41, in a rain-soaked affair that was affected by the passing of Hurricane Irene. JU has averaged 2,093 fans in 11 contests at Milne Field at the Ashley Sports Complex.

The Price Is Wright: Junior free safety Tyrone Wright has picked up where he left off last year when he finished 18th in the nation in interceptions (4) with 0.50 per game. Wright tied a school record with two interceptions against Davidson, the first of which set up the Dolphins' lone score on the day in the first quarter to tie the game at 7-7. The 6-foot-1, 198-pound Jacksonville native currently ranks eighth (tie) in Division 1-AA with 1.0 interceptions per game (2 in 2 games). Wright, who is in only his second season of college football after transferring from Georgia Southern, also excelled last season in track and field, when he placed second at the TAAC Outdoor Track & Field Championship in the long jump (22'-11") after only one week of practice.

The Playmaker: Sophomore wide receiver Jonathan Turner has made an immediate impact in his first season of collegiate action after sitting out last year. Turner leads the team with six receptions for 60 yards (10.0 avg.), including a team-best four receptions for 37 yards in the season opener against Lenoir-Rhyne. The Valdosta St. transfer has also made three tackles on special teams, forced a fumble and blocked a punt. In Saturday's loss at Davidson, Turner had two catches for 23 yards and blocked a Wildcat punt in the third quarter, marking the first blocked punt for JU since Sept. 19, 1998, when Jeff Farrah blocked a Chowan punt.

Streaks: The Dolphins have not been shutout in the 20 games of the program's history...JU has also never shutout an opponent in 20 games...The Dolphins have not had a 100-yard rusher in 12 games dating back to Nov. 7, 1998, when Jon Underhill (165 yds.) and Greg Portee (154 yds.) each rushed for 100 yards against La Salle... The Dolphins have made at least one interception in 10 consecutive games...JU has lost six consecutive games dating back to Oct. 16 of last season when the Dolphins defeated Greensboro College, 48-41, in double overtime.

Special Relief Effort: Freshman defensive back John Heaberlin was called upon in relief against Davidson when punter/place kicker Brett Keener left the game in the second quarter with a strained muscle in his quad. Heaberlin averaged 34.0 yards on seven punts with a long of 42 yards.