THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 09, 2004
Football Heads To Wingate For Season Opener Following FIU Cancellation

Sept. 9, 2004

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

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Game #1
Jacksonville Dolphins (0-0) at Wingate Bulldogs (2-0)
Sept. 11, 2004; 1:30 p.m.; Wingate, N.C.
John R. Martin Field at Irwin Belk Stadium (3,000)

GAME DAY QUICK FACTS...

Radio: The Winner, AM 970, WNNR (Cole Pepper, play-by-play; Jamie Zeitz, color analysis)
Last Game: JU's season opener at FIU was cancelled due to Hurricane Frances; Wingate defeated Webber International, 41-7.
Last Meeting: JU defeated Wingate, 42-38; Sept. 13, 2003 in Jacksonville, Fla.
Series Record: JU leads 1-0 dating back to the first meeting last season.
Up Next: JU hosts Division I-AA Charleston Southern in its home opener at D.B. Milne Field. Wingate plays at North Greenville in its last non-conference game.

GAME NOTES...

  • JU is 3-3 all-time in season openers, but has not won a road game to open the season since defeating Lenoir-Rhyne, 20-16 in 2001. The Dolphins were shut out in the 2003 season opener at Lenoir-Rhyne, 24-0, but bounced back to win three straight games. This marks the sixth straight season that JU has played a team from the South Atlantic Conference to open the season dating back to 1999. The Dolphins played Lenoir-Rhyne in five consecutive season openers from 1999-2003. The Dolphins beat Davidson, 19-14, in their inaugural football game on Sept. 12, 1998.

  • Wingate has already played two games this season, while the Dolphins have yet to play. JU's season opener at Florida International was cancelled because of Hurricane Frances.

  • Today's game marks the first of five games for JU against scholarship opponents this season. Dating back to the 2001 season, 6 of the Dolphins' last 8 wins have come against scholarship programs, including three wins last season (Wingate, Coastal Carolina, Webber International). The Dolphins are 9-8 all-time against teams from the state of North Carolina.

    DOLPHIN NOTABLES...

  • JU SEASON OPENER WASHED AWAY ... The Dolphins's original season opener at Florida International, which was scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 2, was cancelled because of Hurricane Frances, which pounded the state of Florida last weekend. JU had already made the 6-hour trip to Miami before FIU officials finally cancelled the game at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday. The game will not be made up because of JU's schedule, which features 10 consecutive games, with the possibility of an 11th game on Nov. 20 in the PFL Championship. JU is no stranger to inclement weather. The Dolphins also had their game vs. Chowan (N.C.) College cancelled in 1999 because of Hurricane Floyd, which flooded and ravaged the North Carolina campus.

  • RECORD START FOR STURGILL ... After just two seasons as the Dolphins' signal caller, junior QB Mike Sturgill is on the verge of rewriting the JU record books. Sturgill threw for a school-record 2,060 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2003. He began his JU career by throwing for a then school-record 1,876 yards and 11 scores, while completing a program-best 56.6 percent of his passes during his freshman campaign. The two-time All-PFL quarterback currently holds JU career records for passing yards per game (187.4) and completion percentage (53.3%). He is also tied with Gary Cooper (1998-2001) for first all-time with 31 career touchdown passes.

  • PRESEASON HONORS ... The Dolphins were once again recognized nationally in the preseason. Senior LB Tim Hasse and senior OL Ed Templeton were tabbed Second-Team I-AA Mid-Major Preseason All-America by Don Hansen's Football Gazette, while Hasse was also honored by I-AA.org as a Second-Team I-AA Mid-Major Preseason All-American in its annual fall preview. I-AA.org also tabbed junior QB Mike Sturgill, junior right guard Josue Sanchez, Hasse and junior return specialist Chad Davis First-Team All-Pioneer Football League for the preseason.