Football hosts No. 3 Drake on Saturday in 2006 home finale

Nov. 10, 2006


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After a hard fought contest against No. 1 San Diego, the JU football team will look to finish second in the conference with a win against No. 3 Drake at D.B. Milne Field on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 12:30 p.m. The contest will mark the end of the 2006 regular season and will be Senior Day as seven seniors play in their final home contest.
The game will be broadcast live on ESPN 1460 WZNZ with Barry Milligan returning for a second tour of duty as the "Voice of the Dolphins."
The contest can also be heard live on as part of the JU Sports Network.

Head coach Steve Gilbert
Head coach Steve Gilbert is completing his ninth season at Jacksonville, his 10th year overall. The 49-year-old Freehold, N.J. native, hired in February of 1997, has built the program from the ground up. He has posted a 35-52 (.402) mark at JU, including a 25-23 mark against similar non-scholarship programs and 10 wins against scholarship teams.
Gilbert, who was named the 1996 NCAA Division III Coach of the Year after leading Ursinus College to its first-ever NCAA playoff berth, led the Dolphins to their first winning season in 2001 (6-5) and the PFL South Division Championship with a perfect 3-0 mark in divisional play. Gilbert has a career record of 76-101 (.429) in 17 seasons as a collegiate head coach.

Brant within sight
After a slow start to the 2006 season, senior running back Jerry Brant has caught fire in the second half to make a serious run at the top rushing spot in JU history.
The Jacksonville native currently sits at 2,240 yards and is only 110 yards from overtaking Emmett Hunter, who holds the program record with 2,349 career yards.
The Jacksonville native put himself within striking distance of the record when he tallied 210 yards and two touchdowns against San Diego on Nov. 4. The Toreros, which had not allowed a 100- yard rusher all season, were ranked fourth in the nation in rush defense with 89.5 yards allowed per contest.
Brant surpassed Jon Underhill for third place after rushing for a career-high 224 yards on 35 carries against Dayton. He was one yard shy of the single-game record which was set by Underhill in 1998.
He continued his climb up the charts when he tallied 85 yards at North Greenville to surpass Brent Alexander (1,982) for second place.
Against Valparaiso, he tallied 159 yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns. He also caught a 43- yard touchdown pass to total 201 yards of total offense. Against Butler, he gained 101 yards on 19 carries.
Brant is only the second Dolphin to surpass the 2,000 yard mark and holds the program record with 10 100-yard performances. Thus far in 2006, JU is 3-1 when Brant surpasses the 100-yard mark.

JU in the national rankings
Despite the loss to No. 1 San Diego, the Dolphins are still ranked 10th in the Sports Network Top-10 Poll, Don Hansen's Top-12 Poll and the College Sports Report Top-20 Poll.
On Nov. 4, the Dolphins were ranked 10th by the Sports Network.
On Oct. 23, JU ranked 10th by The Sports Network, Don Hansen's and the College Sports Report.
On Oct. 2, the Dolphins was ranked 10th by The Sports Network and Don Hansen's and were seventh in the College Sports Report Top- 20 poll. This is the second straight week the Dolphins have been recognized in the top 10.
JU had spent 15 consecutive weeks in The Sports Network I-AA Mid-Major Top-10 Poll, reaching as high as No. 2 on Oct. 1, 2001. The Dolphins also entered The Sports Network Top 10 in 2003 with a No. 9 ranking on Sept. 29 following a 3-1 start.
The Division I-AA Mid-Major polls includes the 22 programs of the MAAC, NEC and Pioneer Football League, which play at a non-scholarship or limited scholarship level.

Mr. Show
In his first full season as a staring receiver, sophomore Geavon Tribble has a chance to leave his mark in the JU record book.
Tribble set the tone early by leading the Dolphins with six catches for 89 yards, including a 52- yard reception, against Gardner-Webb on Sept. 2.
He first worked his way into the record book with his five catch, 159 yard and three touchdown performance, including a 53-yard reception, at Morehead State on Oct. 21. His three scores tied a program record for touchdowns in one game (Eldin Ferguson vs. Butler - 2005).
Tribble passed the 100-yard barrier for a second time last week against No. 1 San Diego with a three catch, 109 yard performance. With his performance, he became the fourth Dolphin to accomplish the feat (Brett Palmi - 1999, Jon Turner - 2002, Eldin Ferguson - 2004).
With 503 yards this season, Tribble is 106 yards shy of Brett Palmi (609) for the third highest singles-season total in program history.

Hard knocks
After making the switch from running back to strong safety during the fall, freshman Jason Wood may have found his calling.
A running back and safety at Port Charlotte High School, Wood decided to make the switch to defense after injuries in the secondary and the amount of depth at running back.
After nine games, Wood leads the squad and with 59 tackles and is ninth in the PFL with an average of 6.6 tackles per game. He also has tallied an interception, a sack and has four pass deflection on the year.

Turning it up a notch
On quite a few occasions this season, the Dolphins' defense has strapped their helmets a little tighter and raised the energy level in the second half.
The trend began after allowing 35 points, 147 rushing yards and 292 yards of total offense in the first half against SE Louisiana on Sept. 16. The Dolphins rebounded in the second half by allowing only six points, 81 rushing yards and 131 yards of total offense.
Against Butler on Sept. 23, the Dolphins allowed only 26 yards rushing and 167 yards of total offense as the unit dominated the entire contest. In the second half, JU did not allow a score and the Bulldogs generated only six yards rushing and 67 yards of total offense.
Against Valparaiso on Sept. 30, the defense shut out an opponent in the second half for the second straight weekend. After allowing 84 yards rushing and 248 yards of total offense in the first half, the Dolphins worked their magic again in the second frame with only 68 yards rushing and 101 yards of total offense allowed.
After two weeks, the Dolphins got back on track by allowing only 113 yards of total offense in the second half against Morehead State.
Against San Diego, the Dolphin defense held the Toreros to only 10 points in the second half, including no points in the third quarter. It was only the second time this season in which the Toreros failed to score in a quarter (Azusa Pacific - Sept. 2).

Jacksonville University Dolphins
JU is entering its ninth season of intercollegiate football at the NCAA Division I-AA non- scholarship level and has a 35-52 (.402) record in 85 games. The Dolphins are 20-24 all-time at Milne Field, 13-26 on the road and 1-1 at neutral sites.
After competing as an independent for the first three years of the program, JU is in its sixth season as a member of the Pioneer Football League.
Former Dolphin players who have reached the professional ranks include Micah Ross, a wide receiver and special teams player (Jacksonville Jaguars, San Diego Chargers, and Carolina Panthers) and Linj Shell, a corner with the Cologne Centurions (Philadelphia Eagles) of NFL Europe. Shell is currently a member of the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League.

D.B. Milne Field
The Dolphins are 20-23 (.465) all-time at D.B. Milne Field in six-plus seasons of football. In 2003, JU started 3-0 at home for the first time ever and finished the season with a program-best four home wins. The Dolphins' record was a standing-room- only crowd of 4,890 in the inaugural game against Davidson on Sept. 12, 1998.

JU in the Pioneer Football League
JU went a perfect 3-0 in the South Division en route to the 2001 PFL South championship in its first year in the league. Amongst teams which are still in the PFL, the Dolphins are 10-17 in five seasons.
The Dolphins are 5-10 (.333) against opponents from the former North Division (2-0 vs. Butler, 0-5 vs. Drake, 1-2 vs. Dayton, 0-2 vs. San Diego, 2-1 vs. Valparaiso) and 7-8 (.467) all-time against the former PFL South teams (5-4 vs. Davidson, 2-4 vs. Morehead State).

JU selected fifth in new PFL Poll
JU was selected to finish fifth in the restructured Pioneer Football League in the preseason coaches' poll.
The PFL, which featured a north and south division the past five seasons, will revert back to a single division comprising eight teams in 2006. Due to the loss of a league championship game, the PFL regular-season winner will face the winner of the Northeast Conference in the inaugural Gridiron Classic.
Defending champion San Diego was predicted to finish first with five first-place votes (45 points) and Dayton earned two first-place votes for a total of 43 points. Drake rounded out the top three with 37 points and three-time defending South champion Morehead State was picked fourth with 32 points.
JU, which received one first-place vote, ranked fifth with 26 points ahead of Davidson (17), Valparaiso (15) and Butler (9).

Strength of schedule
The Dolphins' 2006 schedule features one of the toughest schedules in history, including only four games at D.B. Milne Field.
Gardner-Webb, a scholarship program from the Big South, will be the home opener for the Dolphins on Sept. 2. JU will embark on a four- game road trip which begins with another scholarship program, Southeastern Louisiana, on Sept. 24.
The squad will open Pioneer Football League play with three road games against Butler (Sept. 23), Valparaiso (Sept. 30) and Davidson (Oct. 7), before returning home against PFL power Dayton on Oct. 14.
The Dolphins head back to the road for two weeks beginning with three-time PFL South Champion Morehead State (Oct. 21) and North Greenville (Oct. 28).
Jacksonville closes out its home slate on Nov. 4 against defending PFL champion San Diego before ending the year against Drake (Nov. 11).