JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Saturday's atmosphere will be unlike any other in Jacksonville football history, because the game itself will be unlike any other. The 6 p.m. kickoff against Stetson (1-3, 0-2) is set to be the first night contest played under the lights at D.B. Milne Field.
Head Coach Kerwin Bell has no concerns about his team lacking emotion come kickoff.
"In a game like this I don't think that you say too much. You start talking about simple things like starting fast. Our guys are going to be jacked and play hard. They'll play extremely hard, we just have to make sure that they play smart along with that," said Bell.
Last week, the head coach wanted his team to increase its focus and cut down on penalties. The Dolphins (4-0, 2-0) did cut down on penalties, from 20 to seven, and had their best half of football with a 27-7 halftime lead. This week, he is looker for something more out of the Dolphins.
"We need to start trying to separate ourselves a little bit in some of these games and have that killer instinct in the second half. If we can continue to develop that I feel good about our football team and the way that we've worked," said Bell.
The matchup will feature two of the best defensive backs in the Pioneer Football League. Safety and punt returner Terrance Bryant leads JU with 37 tackles, 22 of which have been solo, and is tied for the team-lead with two interceptions. Stetson is led by Donald Payne Jr. The junior was selected to multiple preseason All-America teams including The Sporting News, Lindy's, Athlon's and the All-American Football Network. Payne Jr. leads the Hatters with 38 solo tackles and 45 total along with six tackles-for-a-loss.
"We want to stop the run and make them (Stetson) pass. It should be fun with Homecoming weekend and the night game," said Bryant on this week's game.
Homecoming has treated the Dolphins well for quite some time. Jacksonville has emerged victorious in its last 11 Homecoming games. Saturday's matchup will be the third in the series after Stetson revitalized its football program a handful of years ago. A win for Jacksonville will assure the Dolphins of the best start in school history.
Fans can follow the action in multiple ways. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 with Scott Manze, David Lamm, and Patrick Wilkins. The radio broadcast will again be on http://mixlr.com/judolphins/ with Nolan Alexander and former JU standout Jordan Dewhirst providing color commentary. The pregame show is set for 5:30 p.m. Fans can also follow the action with live stats on www.judolphins.com.
For more information on tickets, visit www.judolphins.com. Fans in attendance tomorrow should note that there will be a $5 charge for parking at each home game this season.
Once parked, fans may choose to shuttle to the football field via one of the six-seat golf carts being supplied by EZ eventride this season. Fans with appropriate parking passes, such as at The Grove or other designated parking lots, will be directed to those areas. Parking lots this week will open at 9 a.m. and stadium gates will open at 4 p.m.