TUESDAY, MAY 18, 2004
Football To Face Another Challenging Schedule in 2004
May 18, 2004
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville University football team will once again face arguably the toughest schedule among all Division I-AA Mid-Major non-scholarship programs in 2004 with six scholarship opponents, including four Division I-AA teams, five games against teams from the Pioneer Football League and six road contests, which cover more than 6,600 miles. The Dolphins will also play Florida International live on the Sunshine Network for the third straight season on Thursday, Sept. 2 in the season opener, and will host the high-powered offense of Southeastern Louisiana, which is led by former Kentucky head coach Hal Mumme.
JU is 13-17 all-time against similar non-scholarship opponents and has eight wins over scholarship programs, including three in 2003: Wingate (Division II); Coastal Carolina (Division I-AA); and Webber International (NAIA).
The Dolphins, which are entering their seventh season of football at the NCAA Division I-AA non-scholarship level, will face six scholarship opponents, including soon to-be Division I Florida International (70 scholarships), as well as Division I-AA Southeastern Louisiana (65 scholarships), Charleston Southern (65 scholarships) and Coastal Carolina (48 scholarships). Other scholarship programs include Division II Wingate (25 scholarships) from the South Atlantic Conference, as well as Webber International, a second-year NAIA scholarship program, both of which JU beat last season.
JU's league schedule features five games, three of which count toward the PFL South standings. The Dolphins host Drake from the PFL North on Oct. 2 and PFL South rival Austin Peay on Homecoming on Oct. 16, but will have to play road games at defending PFL Champion Valparaiso in Indiana on Sept. 25 and two-time PFL South Champion Morehead State in Kentucky on Oct. 23. JU will also travel to Davidson on Oct. 9 for a PFL South contest.
"Our goal is to reclaim the PFL South title," said head coach Steve Gilbert, who has directed the Dolphin program since its inception in 1997. "The division is once again up for grabs, but we have proven that we can beat anyone on our schedule. We want to be hosting the PFL Championship on Nov. 20.
After opening the season at FIU on Sept. 2, the Dolphins play at Wingate on Sat., Sept. 11. JU returns to host Charleston Southern in the home opener at D.B. Milne Field on Sept. 18 before beginning a stretch of five consecutive PFL games starting with the defending champs, Valparaiso, which the Dolphins beat last year, 34-27, at Milne Field. Following another PFL North contest against Drake on Oct. 2, JU begins its PFL South slate at Davidson as the Dolphins try to snap a two-game losing streak against the Wildcats. JU has played Davidson in each of its six seasons. The Dolphins return for Homecoming against Austin Peay on Oct. 16 before traveling more than 1,500 miles for their final conference game against Morehead State, which has won the last two PFL South titles.
For the second straight season, JU closes the year with three consecutive games against scholarship opponents, beginning with Webber International on Oct. 30. The Dolphins then host the high-powered "Air Raid" offense of Southeastern Louisiana in their final home game on Nov. 6 before closing the regular season at Coastal Carolina on Nov. 13. The Chanticleers went 6-5 in their first season of football, including a 14-9 loss at JU.
All totaled, the Dolphins will travel 6,600 miles on their six away games in 2004, including trips to North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana and Kentucky.
The winner of the North and South Divisions of the PFL will meet in fourth annual league championship game on Nov. 20 at the home field of the South champion. JU fell to No. 1 Dayton, 46-14, in the inaugural PFL Championship Game in 2001 in Dayton, Ohio.
The Dolphins will once again play all of their home games at 12:30 p.m. at D.B. Milne Field on the JU Campus. All 11 games can also be heard live on The Winner AM 970, with Cole Pepper providing play-by-play.
Sept. 2 at Florida International (Sunshine Network) 8:00 p.m. Sept. 11 at Wingate 1:00 p.m. Sept. 18 CHARLESTON SOUTHERN 12:30 p.m. Sept. 25 at Valparaiso 12:00 p.m. Oct. 2 DRAKE 12:30 p.m. Oct. 9 at Davidson* 1:00 p.m. Oct. 16 AUSTIN PEAY* (HC) 12:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at Morehead State* 1:00 p.m. Oct. 30 WEBBER INTERNATIONAL 12:30 p.m. Nov. 6 SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA 12:30 p.m. Nov. 13 at Coastal Carolina 12:30 p.m. Nov. 20 PFL CHAMPIONSHIP TBA