JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville will conclude its 2015 season at home Saturday at 1 p.m. against Valparaiso and look to finish the year on a high note in honor of its senior class.
The senior class is looking for its 30th win, which would be third-most in Dolphin history, trailing the 33 wins of the '11 fall class. A win Saturday would assure Jacksonville of its second-best record all-time, tied with last season's 9-2 mark. JU's 10-1 finish in 2010 is the program's best.
"This whole team respects our senior class. This is one of the most outstanding senior classes that we have had here. Not only have they done it on the field, but they've done it in the classroom with everyone scheduled to graduate. The leadership, unselfishness, and quality they show as players and persons is unbelievable," said Head Coach Kerwin Bell. "They've also had two of the biggest wins in the history of our school against Penn, our first win against an Ivy League school, and Delaware, a team that's won multiple national championships."
"This class has meant everything to me. I've built relationships with these guys and their families that is going to carry me past football into life," said senior safety Dallas Jackson. "I hope everyone comes out to support us. I'm excited to play at home for one last game and put on the pads one last time for JU."
Valparaiso (1-8, 1-6) has only one official win (an 86-0 domination of College of Faith is counted as an exhibition game), but has given its opponents fits, including a late 36-29 loss to Morehead State last week.
"We haven't played them in a long time, but they are doing a good job of building that program. I gave our team examples of their Morehead State and Dayton games. They've been in a lot of games and you've got to try to put them away early because they will come to play and compete," said Bell.
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. Fans can also follow the action with live stats on www.judolphins.com.
For more information on tickets, visit www.judolphins.com. Saturday is also First Responders Day with free admission to any police, firefighter, or first responder with a badge or ID. Fans in attendance should note that there is a $5 charge for parking at each home game this season.