Fresh off a win over the Ivy League's Penn, the JU football team gets back to Pioneer Football League action Saturday with a trip to Indianapolis, Ind., to play troublesome Butler.
The Dolphins (2-1, 1-0), on the strength of quarterback Kade Bell's (Fleming Island, Fla.) four touchdown passes including the game winner to wide receiver D'Andre Randle (Miami, Fla.) with 39 seconds to play, took out Penn 34-31 Saturday. Meanwhile, Butler (2-1, 0-0) was winning its second game of the season, 38-3 over Taylor.
The trip has the potential to be filled with treachery.
The Dolphins owned the early part of the nine-game series winning the first seven but the Bulldogs have won the last two outings including two years ago at the Butler Bowl when the home team drove 95 yards in the last 2:55 of the game to win 19-16.
"It's a road game in the PFL and Butler's been a great program,'' JU coach Kerwin Bell said Monday. "They have gotten the best of us the last two times so we are very aware of what they can do.''
If we keep believing and keep fighting with each other we'll have a good season.
Butler's offense is led by quarterback Matt Shiltz, who last year was a safety for the team. In the win over Taylor, Shiltz had a hand in all five Bulldog touchdowns as he passed for three and ran for two. He completed 25 of 31 passes for 341 yards and rushed for another 86 yards before the game was called after three quarters with lightning in the area. He was named this week's PFL co-Offensive Player of the Week.
"He's a darn good player,'' JU defensive coordinator Jerry Odom said. "He can throw the ball really well and isn't afraid to run it and having switched from safety to quarterback you know he's a good athlete.''
Game time is noon and the contest can be heard on 92.5 FM. The game also will be available on a free live stream at http://www.butlersports.com/landing/Live_Video.
- Last week's 34-31 win over Penn was the 50th victory for JU coach Kerwin Bell at the school. Bell is in his eighth year.
- With the win over Penn, the Dolphins are now over .500 for the first time since the last week of the 2012 season (7-4).
- The Dolphins' two-game win streak matches the longest win streak the team recorded in all of 2013.
- JU punter Ryan Giaratano (Coral Springs, Fla.) was named this week's Pioneer Football League Special Teams Player of the Week. Against Penn, he averaged 51.2 yards per punt, kicked one 67 yards and had a pair of touchbacks. He also ran a fake punt 22 yards to keep alive a drive that produced a key field goal.