JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Despite having as tough a five opening games the Jacksonville University football team has had in a while now in the rearview mirror, the Dolphins aren't catching any breaks any time soon.
After taking on then third-ranked Southeastern Louisiana, preseason Pioneer Football League favorite San Diego, the Ivy League's Penn and always tough Butler and Drake, the Dolphins now head out on a significant set of road trips.
Beginning this week, JU begins a stretch of five consecutive road games that will take the team to Morehead, Ky., DeLand, Gaffney, S.C., Poughkeepsie, N.Y. and Davidson, N.C., or on about a 5,258-mile adventure.
First stop: Morehead, Ky., this week where the Dolphins (4-1, 3-0 in Pioneer Football League) try to win their ninth consecutive game against Morehead State (2-3, 1-1) with its high-powered PFL offense.
"Going on the road is always tough and they always play us tough,'' JU coach Kerwin Bell said. "And this year they've got a dynamic offense.''
In fact, the Eagles lead the PFL in passing offense with 266 yards per game and are second only to JU in total offense at 423.4 yards per game (the Dolphins clock in at 424.8). MSU is last in most PFL defensive categories except pass defense.
Although leading in total offense, Bell has seen a lack of consistency when his team has the ball.
He wasn't particularly happy that the offense produced only 12 points off a defensive stretch that stopped four Drake drives with turnovers in last week's 29-14 win and he's not happy with a spate of procedure and formation penalties the past two games.
"We've got to get our offense going,'' he said. "It's not acceptable around here to be as inconsistent as we have been on offense. We've got to help our defense out against Morehead.''