Sept. 10, 2009
The Game: Johns Hopkins welcomes ODAC rival Randolph-Macon to Homewood Field for the 2009 home opener.
Last Week: Johns Hopkins and Randolph-Macon are both coming off season-opening losses. The Blue Jays were tied with nationally-ranked Delaware Valley (7-7) in the third quarter before falling 23-7. The Yellow Jackets led King's 7-0 early before surrendering 16 straight points in a 16-10 loss.
The Coaches: Johns Hopkins is coached by Jim Margraff `82, who is in his 20th season as the head coach at Homewood. Margraff is JHU's all-time leader in games won (119) and coached (195) and enters this week's game with a career record of 119-73-3 (.618). His first victory of the 2009 season will give him exactly twice as many wins as any other coach in school history. Randolph-Macon is coached by Pedro Arruza, who is now in his sixth season at RMC. Arruza guided the Yellow Jackets to the ODAC Championship and a trip to the NCAA Playoffs last season and sports a 21-31 record since taking over in 2004.
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: This week's game against Randolph-Macon will be just the third the Blue Jays have ever played on September 12. JHU is 1-1 all-time in games played on this date. Hopkins last played a game on September 12 in 1998 when the Blue Jays won at Washington & Lee (43-23).
For Openers: The loss last week at Delaware Valley was just the third for Johns Hopkins in its last 11 seasoon-openers. The Blue Jays are now 11-8-1 in season-openers under head coach Jim Margraff.
Home Openers: Johns Hopkins is 13-5-1 in home openers since Jim Margraff took over as the Blue Jays' coach in 1990. JHU had dropped two straight home-openers prior to a 34-3 win against St. Lawrence last season.
Road Warriors: The Blue Jays posted a 4-1 record on the road last season and JHU is 8-3 since the start of the 2007 season on the road. JHU is 30-12 on the road since the start of the 2001 season.
September Reign: Johns Hopkins is 24-11 in the month of September since the start of the 2000 season and 35-16 since the start of the 1995 season.
Streaking: Since the start of the 2002 season the Blue Jays sport a 53-23 (.697) record. Taking it back farther the Blue Jays are 59-26 (.694) since the start of the 2001 season and 64-31 (.674) 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.
Against the ODAC: Since starting a series against Bridgewater in 1996, the Blue Jays have played 24 games against teams from the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. The Blue Jays are 16-8 in those 24 games after splitting games last season against Randolph-Macon (W/39-31 - 3OT) and Catholic (L/17-18). Prior to beginning the series with Bridgewater in 1996, the Blue Jays had not played a game against a school from the ODAC since 1970, when they finished a series with Hampden-Sydney. This does not include a three-game series against Catholic from 1988-1990 (currently a member of the ODAC, but not a member at the time of the three games against JHU).
Johns Hopkins vs. the ODAC (Since 1996) Bridgewater 3-3 Catholic 0-1 Hampden-Sydney 3-1 Randolph-Macon 4-2 Washington & Lee 6-1
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.
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.
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 42 touchdowns and 13 field goals on 66 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 last season as the Blue Jays outscored the opposition 72-24 in the third period. In the last 15 games dating back to the 2007 season, the Blue Jays have outscored the opposition 103-30 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 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. The triple OT affair with the `Jackets last season also tied the school record for the longest game ever played by JHU. The Blue Jays previously dropped a 13-7 triple overtime decision in a cold, heavy rain at Dickinson on November 1, 1997.
Seven's Heaven: Since the beginning of the 2003 season the Blue Jays are 44-15 when scoring more than seven points and 0-6 when they have been held to seven points or less.
Statistical Youth: The Blue Jays rushed the ball 456 times last 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.
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.
Additional Information and Player Notes of Interest Included in PDF Version Above