THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 04, 2003
Football Prepares For Season Opener At Lenoir-Rhyne
Sept. 4, 2003
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -
Last Game: Lenoir-Rhyne lost, 58-0, at East Stroudsburg on Aug. 30. JU did not play.
Last Meeting: JU defeated Lenoir-Rhyne in the 2002 season opener, 37-27, in Jacksonville. It was the second-straight win for the Dolphins over the Bears.
Series Record: The series is tied at 2-2
Today's Game: Today's game marks the beginning of the sixth season of NCAA Division I-AA non-scholarship football at Jacksonville University. JU is 19-31 in its first five seasons.
Up Next: The Dolphins return home to face Wingate in the first of three-straight home games. LRC hosts West Virginia Wesleyan in its final home game until Oct. 18.
* JU is 3-2 all-time in season openers, including two straight wins over Lenoir-Rhyne in 2001 and 2002. The Dolphins' last season-opening loss was against Lenoir-Rhyne, 24-14, on Sept. 2, 2000 in Jacksonville. JU has played Lenoir-Rhyne in four straight season openers dating back to 1999. The Dolphins' beat Davidson, 19-14, in their inaugural football game on Sept. 12, 1998.
* JU is 2-5 all-time against teams from the South Atlantic Conference (Division II scholarship). The Dolphins are 2-2 against Lenoir-Rhyne, 0-2 vs. Tusculum and 0-1 vs. Presbyterian.
* The Dolphins and the Bears both had 3-7 campaigns in 2002. JU recorded all three of its wins against scholarship opponents, including the Dolphins' first win over a Division I-AA team (24-21 at Charleston Southern). LRC won three of its first four games, but lost six-straight conference games to end the season.
Dolphins Open With Tough Slate ... Once again, JU will play one of the toughest schedules among the Division I-AA non-scholarship ranks. In addition to five PFL opponents, the Dolphins play six scholarship programs, inlcuding three-straight to open the season. JU has five wins all-time against scholarship opponents, including three last season: Lenoir-Rhyne (D-II), Charleston Southern (I-AA) and Edward Waters (NAIA).
Davis To Miss Opener ... Redshirt sophomore running back Chad Davis, who is the Dolphins' top all-purpose threat, will miss the season opener against Lenoir-Rhyne with an injured hamstring. The 5-foot-6, 171-pound back missed most of training camp with the nagging hamstring, but practiced the first three days this past week before re-injuring the leg. Davis accounted for 116.4 all-purpose yards per game in eight contests last season, including a team-best 56.5 rushing yards per game. He also caught 17 passes for 178 yards and scored a team-best seven touchdowns.
Youth Movement ... The Dolphins are once again extremely young this year. After starting last season with more than 50 freshman on the roster, JU finished the 2002 campaign with 19 first-year players on the two-deep depth chart. The Dolphins enter 2003 with just 12 seniors on the roster and 74 players (65 freshman) with no college experience. The Dolphins' opening two-deep sports 29 first or second-year players amd just 21 upperclassmen.