Sept. 2, 2009
The Game: Johns Hopkins hits the road for the 2009 season-opener at Delaware Valley. Both teams posted 8-3 records a year ago and will be meeting for the first time.
Johns Hopkins Quickly: The Blue Jays posted an 8-3 record last season and advanced to the ECAC Southeast Championship game, where they fell to Catholic, 18-17. The Blue Jays also tied for second in the Centennial Conference.
Delaware Valley Quickly: The Aggies posted an 8-3 record and won the ECAC South Atlantic Championship. Delaware Valley also shared the Middle Atlantic Conference Championship with Lycoming and Albright.
The Coaches: Johns Hopkins is coached by Jim Margraff `82, who enters his 20th season as the head coach at Homewood. Margraff is JHU's all-time leader in games won (119) and coached (194) and enters the season with a career record of 119-72-3 (.621). His first victory of the 2009 season will give him exactly twice as many wins as any other coach in school history.
Delaware Valley is coached by Jim Clements, who is entering his fourth season in Doylestown. Clements boasts a 21-11 record since taking over and guided the Aggies to a share of the MAC Championship and an ECAC South Atlantic title a year ago.
Captain, My Captain: In a vote of the returning players on the 2009 team, seniors Andrew Kase, Tim Miller, Glenn Rocca and Colin Wixted were selected as captains for the season. Kase is in his second season as a captain, while this is the first year as a captain for Miller, Rocca and Wixted.
On This Date: Surprisingly, this will be the first game Johns Hopkins has ever played on September 5. The Blue Jays have played four games in their history prior to September 5, but have never actually played on this date.
For Openers: Johns Hopkins has won seven of its last eight and 10 of its last 12 season-openers and the Blue Jays are 11-7-1 in season-openers under head coach Jim Margraff.
Road Openers: Johns Hopkins has won its first road game of the season eight straight times, including a 39-31 triple overtime win at Randolph-Macon in the first road tilt of the 2008 season.
Road Warriors: The Blue Jays posted a 4-1 record on the road last season and JHU is 8-2 since the start of the 2007 season on the road. JHU is 30-11 on the road since the start of the 2001 season.
September Reign: Johns Hopkins is 24-10 in the month of Septmeber since the start of the 2000 season and 35-15 since the start of the 1995 season.
Blue Jays Reach Eight Wins for Fifth Time in Seven Years: Johns Hopkins played football from 1882 until 2001 and never won more than seven games in a season. Since then, the Blue Jays have one 10-win season (2003), two nine-win seasons (2002, 2004) and two eight-win seasons (2005, 2008) to their credit. Need more perspective? JHU never won more than seven games in a season prior to 2002; since then the Blue Jays have averaged 7.1 wins per season.
Post-Season History: Johns Hopkins had never played a post-season game prior to 2002, but made the three straight ECAC appearances and topped off the greatest four-year run in school history with a trip to the 2005 NCAA Playoffs. The Blue Jays dropped a first round game at Thiel in the NCAAs that year and now stand at 3-2 all-time in the post-season, including last season's 18-17 loss to Catholic in the ECAC Southeast Championship game.
Streaking: Since the start of the 2002 season the Blue Jays sport a 53-22 (.707) record. Taking it back farther the Blue Jays are 59-25 (.702) since the start of the 2001 season and 64-30 (.681) since the beginning of the 2000 season. The 64 wins the Blue Jays have amassed this decade are already the most wins in a decade in school history. The previous record of 55 wins came in the 1990s.
A Star-Studded Group: Johns Hopkins placed eight players on the 2008 All-Centennial Football Team, including three first team selections, four second team selections and one honorable mention pick. Six of the eight players who earned All-CC honors are back this season season.
Below is a list of JHU's six returning All-Centennial selections:
Andrew Kase (Sr. RB) - 1st Team
Mike Stoffel (Sr. OL) - 1st Team
Steve Levinson (Sr. DL) - 2nd Team
Tim Miller (Sr. OL) - 2nd Team
Colin Wixted (Sr. LB) - 2nd Team
Tucker Michels (Jr. WR) - 2nd Team
It's All Academic: Johns Hopkins had three players named to the 2008 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Team. Current senior Steve Levinson (DL) was named to the first team, while classmates Mike Stoffel (OL) and Anthony Catanzano (OL) garnered second team honors.
Johns Hopkins has earned 29 CoSIDA Academic All-District selections since 2003. JHU's 29 selections in that time are the same number the other CC football-playing schools have combined for (29). Taking it back even farther, Johns Hopkins has earned 55 CoSIDA Academic All-District selections since 1991. During that time the other CC football-playing schools have combined for 59 selections. Johns Hopkins has had at least three players earn CoSIDA Academic All-District honors every year since 2001.
Preseason Rankings: On the strength of last season's 8-3 record and trip to the ECAC Southeast Championship game, and armed with a strong nucleus of returning starters, the Blue Jays gained national rankings in a pair of preseason publications. The Blue Jays were ranked 18th by The Sporting News and 24th by Lindy's. Delaware Valley is ranked fifth by The Sporting News and fourth by Lindy's.
A Brutal Start: The schedule-makers didn't do the Blue Jays any favors this season as the cumulative record of JHU's first six opponents was 42-22 (.656) last season. The Blue Jays' two non-conference opponents, Delaware Valley and Randolph-Macon, both won their conference championship last season and JHU's first four league games (Gettysburg, Moravian, Muhlenberg and Dickinson) are against the teams that finished second through fifth in the 2009 Centennial Preseason Poll.
Against the MAC: Johns Hopkins has not played a team that currently plays in the Middle Atlantic Conference since 2003, when the Blue Jays defeated King's, 41-13, in the ECAC South Atlantic Championship Game. Under head coach Jim Margraff, the Blue Jays are 7-6-1 against teams that currently compete in the MAC (3-4 vs. FDU-Florham, 3-0 vs. King's, 1-2-1 vs. Lebanon Valley). Margraffs first career coaching victory came against FDU on September 21, 1990 as the Blue Jays picked up a 16-13 victory.
An Offensive Group: Johns Hopkins improved its offensive production in all four major categories last season as the Blue Jays averaged 26.1 points and 378 yards of total offense (compared to 21.2 points and 309.3 yards in 2007). In addition, Hopkins bettered its season averages in rushing offense (184.8 to 145.1) and passing offense (193.2 to 164.2), scored 17 or more points eight times in 11 games and topped 400 yards of total offense four times. Amazingly, in just one more game played in 2008, the Blue Jays had exactly 1,000 more all-purpose yards than they did in 2007 (5,125 to 4,125).
In the Zone: Johns Hopkins converted on 29-of-37 (.784) chances in the red zone last season to finish second in the Centennial Conference in red zone offense. The success in the red zone for the Blue Jays extends back to 2007, when Hopkins finished the year 25-of-27 (92.6%) on the year with 17 touchdowns and eight field goals to its credit. Since the start of the 2007 season Johns Hopkins has 41 touchdowns and 13 field goals on 64 trips to the `zone.
Not to be Outdone: With much of the focus on JHU's offensive production in the red zone it was easy to miss the fact that Hopkins led the Centennial Conference in red zone defense. The Blue Jays allowed just 22 scores on 37 opponent trips to the red zone (.595) and also produced a league-high seven turnovers (4 FR/3 INTs) in the red zone.
Must be the Speech: Johns Hopkins played some of its best football in the third quarter of its games lastseason as the Blue Jays outscored the opposition 72-24 in the third period. In the last 14 games dating back to the 2007 season, the Blue Jays have outscored the opposition 103-24 in the third quarter.
Working Overtime: The 39-31 triple overtime win at Randolph-Macon early last season was JHU's first overtime game since a 21-14 win at Washington & Lee in the 2002 season-opener (one overtime period). The Blue Jays are now 2-2 all-time in overtime and all four extra-session games the Blue Jays have played in their history have been on the road.
Seven's Heaven: Since the beginning of the 2003 season the Blue Jays are 44-15 when scoring more than seven points and 0-5 when they have been held to seven points or less.
Statistical Youth: The Blue Jays rushed the ball 456 times this season (does not include kneel-downs) and had 178 completed passes. Of the 634 offensive touches, exactly three (a three-yard reception in the season-opener, a 27-yard completion on a fake punt vs. McDaniel and a six-yard reception against Catholic in the ECAC Southeast Champoinship game) were by seniors. In other words, 99.1% of JHUs total offense (4,122 of 4,158 yards) was accumulated by players who are back this season.
More Statistial Youth: Johns Hopkins scored a total of 39 touchdowns last season - 34 on offense and five on defense. Players who scored 35 of the 39 return this season, including individuals who accounted for all 34 on offense.
Additional Information and Player Notes of Interest Included in PDF Version