October 31, 2013

Johns Hopkins-Ursinus Football Notes

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Oct. 31, 2013

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The Game: 10th-ranked Johns Hopkins (7-0, 6-0) opens a two-game homestand by welcoming Ursinus (6-1, 5-1 CC) to Homewood Field.

A Look Back: Johns Hopkins ran its winning streak to seven games with a 34-16 victory at Gettysburg last Saturday. Ursinus bounced back from its first loss of the season with an impressive 30-10 victory at Susquehanna.

Poll Position: Johns Hopkins is ranked 10th in this week's AFCA Division III Coaches Poll and 12th in this week's D3football.com Poll. The Blue Jays also check in at number two in this week's Lambert Poll. The Johns Hopkins Athletic Communications Office uses the AFCA Poll to reflect the team's official national ranking at the time of a game. All three polls and JHU's week-by-week rankings can be found on page five.

Countdown to 500: Johns Hopkins moved to within two wins of victory number 500 as the Blue Jays improved their all-time record to 498-476-58 (.511) with the win at Gettysburg. JHU is bidding to become the fourth Centennial Conference team to reach the 500-win mark (F&M-594, Gettysburg-550, McDaniel-515).

Series History: This week's game will be the 56th all-time meeting between Johns Hopkins and Ursinus with the Blue Jays holding a 31-20-4 advantage in the series. The complete series history can be found on page 2.

On a Roll: Johns Hopkins is 30-1 in its last 31 regular season games dating back to late in the 2010 season.

At Home at Homewood: Johns Hopkins picked up its 16th straight regular season home victory with the 42-17 win against Dickinson on October 18. The Blue Jays last lost a regular season home game on October 2, 2010 against Muhlenberg (30-27). That remains the only regular season home loss for the seniors on the 2013 team. Overall, the current seniors are 19-2 in the home blacks.

Road Warriors: Johns Hopkins has been nearly as strong on the road in recent years as it has been at home. Dating back to late in the 2010 season, the Blue Jays are 15-1 in their last 16 regular season road games. Taking it back farther, JHU is 27-6 (.818) on the road since the start of the 2008 season (regular season and post season games included).

November Reign: Entering this week's game against Ursinus, Johns Hopkins is 10-1 in its last 11 regular season games in the month of November dating back to 2008. Including the post-season, the Blue Jays are 13-4 in their last 17 games in November (also dating to 2008).

More November: Johns Hopkins is 13-1 in its last 14 regular season home games in the month of November. Since the start of the 2001 season, JHU's only loss at home in the regular season in November came in 2007, when F&M took a 19-11 decision.

Bidding for 8-0: Johns Hopkins improved to 7-0 for the third straight year with the win at Gettysburg. A win this week against Ursinus would give the Blue Jays an 8-0 start for the third straight year. The 8-0 starts in 2011 and 2012 are the only two times JHU has won its first eight games of a season.

Move Those Chains-I: Johns Hopkins has amassed 201 first downs through seven games. JHU has rolled up at least 26 first downs in six of its first seven games and you really can't get more balance; of the 201, 102 have come by rushing, 94 have come by passing and five were on penalties.

Move Those Chains-II: JHU punched up 34 first downs against Gettysburg, the fourth-highest single-game total in school history. The 35 first downs JHU accumulated vs. Randolph-Macon in the season opener are the third-highest total in school history with the top four totals coming in JHU's last 24 games dating back to 2011. The school-record of 40 first downs came last season against Moravian. The 40 first downs vs. the Greyhounds last season are one shy of the NCAA Division III record.

The Race for the Boot: With the calendar flipping to November, discussion turns to the race for the Centennial Conference title and the coveted bronze boot, which goes to the league champion. Below is a quick summary of the top four teams in the current Centennial standings and the path to at least a share of the title:

Johns Hopkins (6-0 CC): JHU is the last remaining unbeaten team in league play. A win this week against Ursinus assures JHU of no worse than a share of the title for a fifth consecutive season. JHU can grab the CC's automatic bid to the NCAA Playoffs with a win this week against Ursinus and a loss by F&M to Susquehanna.

Ursinus (5-1 CC): The Bears are the only team besides Johns Hopkins that controls its own fate. Wins in the final three games will give UC no worse than a share of the title and will give the Bears the automatic bid to the NCAA Playoffs.

Muhlenberg (4-2 CC): Muhlenberg can get a share of the CC title with three wins and some help. With losses already to F&M and Johns Hopkins, the path to the league's automatic bid is much more difficult. First things first; the Mules need Ursinus to beat Johns Hopkins and then MC must beat UC.

Franklin & Marshall (4-2 CC): Like Muhlenberg, F&M likely needs three wins and some help to get a share of the title. The Diplomats do have a win over Muhlenberg and still come to Homewood Field. A win against JHU and at least one more loss by JHU and F&M could land the automatic bid in a tie-breaker situation.

Under Pressure: The Johns Hopkins defense has been dialing up the pressure this season as the Blue Jays have racked up a Centennial-high 30 sacks and 61 tackles for losses through seven games. JHU ranks third in the nation in sacks per game (4.29) and 14th in tackles for losses per game (8.7).
Junior Michael Longo leads the team in sacks (5.5) and ranks second in tackles for losses (8.0), while classmate Matthew Connery counts a team-high 9.0 tackles for losses and 4.0 sacks to his credit.
In all, 17 different players have been in on at least one sack and 23 different players have at least one tackle for a loss.

Defense Boasts Impressive Numbers on the Field: While much of the attention is focused on Johns Hopkins' prolific offense, the Blue Jays also feature one of the top defenses in the nation. Entering this week's game, the Blue Jays rank 13th in scoring defense (13.0), 24th in total defense (276.6), 22nd in rushing defense (103.7) and 53rd in passing defense (172.9).

Defense Boasts Impressive Numbers in the Classroom: In addtion to posting some impressive numbers on the field, the starting defense for the Blue Jays has been equally impressive in the classroom. JHU's primary starting 11 on defense boasts a combined cumulative GPA of 3.33. Five of the 11 starters have over a 3.6 cumulative GPA, including senior SS John Arena, who will graduate in December with a degree in Neuroscience and boasts a 4.0.

Double Your Pleasure-I: Johns Hopkins rushed and passed for more than 200 yards in each of its first four games - the first time a JHU team has ever done that - and then turned the trick against Gettysburg as well. JHU now ranks third in the nation in total offense (543.6).

That's a First: Johns Hopkins has punched up more than 500 yards of total offense in each of its last five games. This is the first time in school history that the Blue Jays have topped the 500-yard mark in five consecutive games. In addition, JHU's six 500-yard games tie the school single-season record (2012). Johns Hopkins is 32-1 all-time when punching up 500+ yards.

Wodicka Sets Centennial Record: Senior wide receiver Dan Wodicka enjoyed his finest game of the season last week at Gettysburg as he had eight receptions for 76 yards to push his season totals to 26 receptions for 301 yards and one TD.
In the process, Wodicka became the Centennial Conference's all-time leader in career receptions as his eighth and final catch last week was the 242nd of his career, moving him past former F&M standout Justin Salton (1999-2003), who had 241 receptions in his career.
Wodicka boosted his career totals to 242 receptions for 2,943 yards and 12 TDs with his effort last week at Gettysburg. He needs 17 receptions to break Bill Stromberg's school record (258) and 57 receiving yards to become the third player in school history to reach 3,000.

Double Your Pleasure-II: Sophomore Brandon Cherry rushed for 154 yards and freshman Stuart Walters added 124 yards and two touchdowns to lead a 360-yard rushing attack for the Blue Jays in the 42-17 win against Dickinson. It didn't take long for the duo to turn the trick again as Cherry went for a career-high 176 yards and one TD and Walters punched up a personal-best 130 yards and a TD of his own at Gettysburg. This marked the 17th & 18th time in school history that JHU has had two players rush for 100+ plus yards in one game (JHU is 18-0 in such games).

For the Record: With Brandon Cherry and Stuart Walters both topping the 100-yard rushing mark in the last two games, JHU has now had three different players turn that trick this season as senior JD Abbott totaled 125 against Susquehanna earlier this season. This is the first time Johns Hopkins has had three different players rush for 100+ yards in a game in one season since 2003 (Adam Cook, T.J. Lyons, Mark Nesbitt).

Matey Tied for Second in Career Wins: Senior quarterback Robbie Matey may not end his career as JHU's all-time leader in any single-season or career statistical category. However, with a 19-2 all-time record as JHU's starting quarterback, he's done one thing at a higher rate than any other QB in school history; win. His 19 wins as JHU's starting quarterback are tied for second in school history, but his career winning percentage (.905) is by far the highest.
Matey enjoyed one of the best games of his career in the recent win at Juniata as he was 23-of-26 for 408 yards and six touchdowns. The 408 yards and six TDs are both career highs. His completion percentage against the Eagles (.885) is the highest in JHU and Centennial Conference history by a quarterback with 25 or more attempts.
In the last four games - wins against Muhlenberg, Juniata, Dickinson & Gettysburg - he is 85-for-110 (.773) for 1,029 yards with 10 TDs against just one interception. Matey enters this week's game against Ursinus ranked third in the nation in completion percentage (.755) and 13th in pass efficiency (166.86) as he is 151-of-200 for 1,736 yards with 13 TDs against just three INTs on the year. He has also rushed for 222 yards and four TDs.
With his 425th career completion last week at Gettysburg, Matey also qualifies for the NCAA career completion percentage rankings, which he currently tops among quarterbacks in all divisions. Sitting just behind him is reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M.

Abbott & D'Orazio Reach 1,000: Senior JD Abbott became the 23rd player in school history to reach 1,000 career rushing yards with his 86 yards against Muhlenberg. Abbott's career rushing total is now 1,086 yards and he ranks 21st on JHU's career rushing list. In addition, he is now tied for 11th on JHU's career rushing touchdowns list with 18.
Classmate Bob D'Orazio joined the 1,000-yard receiving club one game after Abbott joined the 1,000-yard rushing fraternity. D'Orazio had four receptions for 108 yards and three TDs at Juniata and, in the process, became the 21st player in school history to reach 1,000 career receiving yards. He now has career totals of 80 receptions for 1,070 yards and eight TDs. He ranks 20th in school history in receiving yards and 19th in receptions.

Many Happy Returns: The Johns Hopkins return game has gotten a boost with the arrival of freshmen Bradley Munday and Adrian Trammell. Munday is averaging 9.4 yards on his 16 punt returns this season, which ranks him third in the Centennial Conference, while Trammell is averaging 25.7 yards on his 10 kickoff returns through seven games to rank second in the Centennial as well.

For Starters: Freshman place-kicker Nick Campbell has enjoyed a productive beginning to his career through seven games as he has been good on 38-of-39 extra point attempts and all seven of his field goal attempts. His streak of consective successful XPs was stopped at 25 at Juniata when his sixth attempt was blocked. He made one field goal in each of JHU's first five games this season and nailed two (21, 28) in the win at Gettysburg.

Carbone Enjoying Solid Season: Senior Richie Carbone has been forced to punt just 21 times through seven games, but he has again shown improvement in his average this season. After averaging 34.5 yards as a sophomore, he bumped that up more than two yards per attempt last season to 36.6 yards on 34 punts. Through seven games this season he is averaging a career-high 37.0 yards per punt.
Carbone is also a member of the Blue Jay baseball team and helped JHU to the Centennial Conference title and a berth in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional last spring. He played in 26 games with 19 starts in the outfield and also had four relief appearances on the mound as well.

Wearing Them Down: Johns Hopkins holds solid scoring advantages in the first (49-27) and third quarters (68-28) through seven games, but it's the second and fourth quarters where the Blue Jays have really excelled. JHU holds a 104-16 scoring advantage in the second quarter and an equally impressive 79-20 buldge in the fourth.

JHU Ties Victory Record: Johns Hopkins posted a 10-2 record in 2012 and tied the school record for victories in a season. Only three times previously - 2003, 2009 & 2011 - had Hopkins won 10 games in a season. Johns Hopkins had never won more than seven games in a season prior to 2002, but the Blue Jays have posted eight or more wins nine times in the last 11 years.

Margraff Ranks Second on State Victory Chart: Johns Hopkins head coach Jim Margraff sports a career record of 164-81-3 (.667) entering this week's game vs. Ursinus. He is just the second college football coach in Maryland state history to win 160 career games. Only Morgan State's Eddie Hurt, who won 174 games from 1929-59, has won more games as the head football coach at a college or university in the state of Maryland than Margraff.

Sustained Success: Since the start of the 2002 season the Blue Jays sport a 98-31 (.760) record. Taking it back farther the Blue Jays are 104-34 (.754) since the start of the 2001 season and 109-39 (.736) since the beginning of the 2000 season.

Seven's Heaven: Since the beginning of the 2003 season the Blue Jays are 89-21 (.809) when scoring more than seven points and 0-7 when they have been held to seven points or less.

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