JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Pioneer Football League leading Jacksonville University football team takes a week off from conference competition this week but don't expect anything but full throttle from the Dolphins.
Jacksonville (6-1, 5-0) heads off to Gaffney, S.C., this week to play Division II newcomer Limestone and coach Kerwin Bell has made it clear he is expecting to see a championship performance out of his team which in on a six-game win streak.
"This is a business week to see what kind of championship team you really are because championship teams understand you haven't done anything yet,'' Bell said. "If you really want to be a championship team at the end of the season, you've got to peak every week.''
Bell said he is paying close attention to how players are focusing in practice this week. The objective is to be better than last week.
"The reason is we don't know anything about this team, we've never played them, so let's not worry about who it is,'' he said. "It doesn't matter if it's the Dallas Cowboys or Limestone Saints. It doesn't matter who they are or if you are playing in a parking lot. It's about our preparation and becoming a better team.''
Jacksonville is coming off a strange 30-7 win over Stetson. Strange in that the team committed an uncharacteristic six turnovers yet gained 536 yards on offense. The team leads the PFL in total offense (455.3 yards per game), passing offense (293 ypg) and scoring defense (21 points per game). The 16 interceptions leads the country and the next pick will break the school record for a season.
"We had one hiccup last week with turnovers, which we never have around here, but we'll get back to taking care of the ball and scoring a lot of points,'' Bell said. "I'm not satisfied with scoring 30 points. We expect to score 50. If we don't score 50 every Saturday we shouldn't be satisfied. With the talent we have and the firepower we have, we ought to expect to score at least 50. If we don't we've come up short.''
The JU defense leads the country in interceptions with 16 and tops the PFL in scoring defense. Linebacker Grady Redding leads the way with 54 tackles.
The Saints (2-5), despite being outgained 414-188 yards, forced three turnovers and gave Fort Valley State a run for its money before falling 24-19 on the road last week. Both of their wins have been at home.
- Place kicker Brandon Behr (Fleming Island, Fla.) became the sixth Dolphin in six weeks to win weekly PFL Player of the Week honors. Behr tied a school record with three field goals against Stetson.
- Punter Ryan Giaratano (Coral Springs, Fla.) has taken the PFL lead in punting at 41.3 yards per kick.
- Stetson had only one drive, its last, go more than six plays. The longest was 14 plays.
- WR Andy Jones (Clermont, Fla.) is leading the team in receiving with 32 catches for 446 yards. WR Andrew Robustelli (Sarasota, Fla.) is next with 25 catches for 430 yards. Eleven different players have caught at least one pass.