NEWBERRY, S.C. – Coming off the biggest win in program history, the Jacksonville football team knows that a setback Saturday against Newberry would sour last week's sweet taste of victory against six-time national champion Delaware. A win would be a welcomed next step in Jacksonville's quest for an undefeated season.
"Between week one and week two the great teams improve the most. When we met as a team on Sunday, I said that we ought to be excited. There's two ways that you can go when you win a great game; either we are where we need to be so let's relax and feel good about ourselves, or we can say that we won a game, but look at how much room we have to improve. All we are worried about is to see how much improvement we can make," said Head Coach Kerwin Bell.
The game Saturday at Newberry (1-0), a 1 p.m. kickoff that will be the first contest between the schools, presents opportunities and challenges for the stretch of improvement that Jacksonville is aiming for. One area for improvement in Bell's eyes lies with the Jacksonville offense. The Dolphins amassed 339 total yards in the season opener but saw multiple drives stall.
"I thought we really left a lot of points on the board. We had our way on drives but shot ourselves in the foot with penalties, dropped balls, and miscommunications with our quarterback and receivers," said Bell. "We've got to execute at a higher level but I was proud of the way we hung in there. When we had to make plays we made big ones."
The Dolphins will look to bolster their rushing attack in the second week of the season. With the top two running backs on the depth chart feeling below their maximum capacity, Jacksonville mustered 70 yards on the ground.
"Newberry is a formidable opponent. They've already beat a team here from Florida in Florida Tech and this will be their home opener. They're a really good football team and we need to be more balanced. We've got to get Ulyssess Bryant going in the game and get a rhythm with him, Jamal Adjamah, and Frantz Caudio," said the ninth year head coach.
Bell also noted how important it was for the Dolphins to hang their hat on their defense again.
"Their quarterback (Raleigh Yeldell) can make plays. Against Florida Tech, he made the special plays. We need to hone in on him and make sure that our defense can get off the field. They have a couple of running backs and two solid receivers. They have the skill players to give us problems defensively," he said.
Saturday's game can be heard online at http://mixlr.com/judolphins/ and on-air at 1010 AM. Coverage begins with a 12:30 pregame show with Scott Manze and Nolan Alexander.
"We're going to play the way we play, which is fast, physical, and aggressive. We're going to challenge their offense and try to dictate to the offense what we want to do defensively. On offense, we are striving to execute at a higher level."