TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 2001
Football Announces 2001 Schedule
March 20, 2001
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Six home games, four scholarship opponents, a trip to Pro Player Stadium in Miami to face Florida Atlantic and the first season in the Pioneer Football League highlight Jacksonville University's 2001 football schedule, announced by head coach Steve Gilbert today.
JU, which is entering its fourth season of football at the NCAA Division I-AA non-scholarship level, will open play in the Pioneer Football League (PFL) for the first time in the fall of 2001, marking the school's first conference affiliation in football against similar non-scholarship programs.
"The players are really looking forward to competing in the PFL against schools of similar philosophy," says Gilbert, who has directed the Dolphin program since its inception in 1997. "This is by far the most competitive and challenging schedule we have put together."
JU will again face four scholarship opponents (Lenoir-Rhyne, Charleston Southern, Virginia-Wise and Florida Atlantic) in addition to a four-game league schedule that features Davidson, Morehead State, Austin Peay and Drake. The Dolphins will also face Florida Atlantic at Pro Player Stadium in Miami as the Owls begin their first season of football at the Division I-AA scholarship level under the direction of legendary coach Howard Schnellenberger.
JU has posted a 10-19 record overall during the past three seasons, but the Dolphins are 8-7 against non-scholarship programs and 2-3 vs. schools with partial scholarships (Stony Brook).
"With 24 seniors on the roster, this is the season we can break through and put together our first winning season," says Gilbert. "But in order to do that, we need to beat a scholarship program. We have competed well against non-scholarship programs, but we need to take that next step."
Highlighting the Dolphins' home schedule is a fourth meeting with Davidson, which went 10-0 last season after beating JU for the first time in three tries, as well as Western Maryland, which has gone 41-5 with four playoff appearances the last four years at the Division III level. Other home games include Morehead State and Drake of the PFL, as well as Charleston Southern and a Homecoming match-up against Virginia-Wise on Oct. 20.
The winner of the Northern and Southern Divisions of the PFL will meet in the first league championship game on Nov. 17 at the home field of the Northern champion.
The Dolphins open spring practice today from 4-6 p.m. at the Ashley Sports Complex on the JU campus.
The Pioneer Football League Southern Division Northern Division Austin Peay (Tenn.) Butler (Ind.) Davidson (N.C.) Dayton (Ohio) Jacksonville (Fla.) Drake (Iowa) Morehead St. (Ky.) San Diego (Calif.) Valparaiso (Ind.)