Sept. 28, 2011
The Game: Johns Hopkins (4-0, 3-0 Centennial) makes the trip to central Pennsylvania to take on Juniata (0-4, 0-3 CC). Kickoff at Knox Stadium is set for 1 pm.
The Teams: Johns Hopkins improved to 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the Centennial Conference with a 27-17 victory over Muhlenberg at Homewood Field last Saturday. Juniata slipped to 0-4 overall and 0-3 in the Centennial Conference after a 40-14 loss at Franklin & Marshall last Saturday.
The Coaches: Johns Hopkins is coached by Jim Margraff, who is now in his 22nd year as the head coach at JHU and sports a 141-78-3 (.642) record. He is the all-time winningest coach in school history and also moved into a tie with Gettysburg's Barry Streeter for the top spot on the Centennial Conference's career victories list (95) with the win last week against Muhlenberg.
Juniata is led by Tim Launtz, who is in his 1st season as the head coach of the Eagles. Launtz is a 1980 Juniata graduate and is seeking his first career victory at Juniata.
These are the Facts: Last week's win against Muhlenberg improved JHU's all-time record to 475-473-58 (.501). This is the first time since 1912 that JHU's all-time winning percentage has been above .500.
About the 4-0 Start: Johns Hopkins is 4-0 for the first time since 2005 and the fourth time since 2002. Prior to these four instances, JHU hadn't started 4-0 since turning the trick in 1931 and 1932.
A Win This Week Would ...: A win at Juniata would give JHU a 5-0 start for just the sixth time in school history. Previously, JHU won its first five games in 1892 (started 7-0), 1931 (6-0), 2002 (5-0), 2003 (7-0), 2005 (7-0).
Streaking: Johns Hopkins closed the 2010 season with five straight wins and has run that streak to nine with four straight season-opening wins. JHU has outscored the opposition 368-95 during the winning streak, the longest by JHU since the Blue Jays won 11 straight games from late in the 2004 season through late in the 2005 season. That 11-game run matched the school-record 11-game winning streak JHU had from 2002-03.
More Steaking: JHU's nine-game winning streak is tied for the second-longest active streak in the nation. Two-time defending national champion Wisconsin-Whitewater has currently won 33 straight games, while Johns Hopkins, Williams (MA) and Louisiana College have all won nine straight.
Poll Position: Johns Hopkins is ranked 20th in this week's AFCA Poll, one week after debuting at #23 in the inaugural AFCA Poll of the 2011 season last week. This is the 12th time in school history that Johns Hopkins has been ranked in the AFCA top 20.
Johns Hopkins is also ranked 23rd in this week's d3football.com poll after being listed among the teams receiving votes in the first four polls of the season.
The Johns Hopkins Office of Athletic Communications uses the AFCA Poll to reflect JHU's official ranking at the time of a game.
Offense Rolling: Johns Hopkins' streak of consecutive games scoring 40 or more points (4) and consecutive games with 400 or more yards of total offense (8) both came to an end last week against Muhlenberg as the Blue Jays totaled 388 yards in a 27-17 victory.
Still, the Blue Jays rank either first or second in the Centennial Conference in every major statistical category. Entering this week's game vs. Juniata, JHU ranks 1st in passing offense (288.5) and second in scoring offense (42.2), rushing offense (188.8) and total offense (477.2).
More Offense: In addition to ranking first or second in the Centennial in every major statistical category, the Blue Jays also rank 14th in the nation in total offense (477.2), 15th in scoring offense (42.2) and 23rd in passing offense (288.5).
A Program First: Johns Hopkins rushed for 269 yards and passed for 290 yards in the win against Susquehanna (9-10-11). This marked the first time in school history that JHU has rushed and passed for more than 250 yards in a game. JHU has gone over 200 yards passing and rushing 29 times, but the game against Susquehanna was the first time the Blue Jays went for 250-250 in a game.
Another First: One week after generating 290 yards rushing and 269 passing vs. Susquehanna, the Blue Jays got 269 yards passing and 202 rushing at Moravian. This marks the first time in school history JHU has ever had consecutive games with 200 or more rushing and passing yards.
Six Shooters: Johns Hopkins scored exactly six offensive touchdowns in each of its first three games this seson. JHU got six touchdown passes from senior Hewitt Tomlin in the season-opener against Merchant Marine and came back with six rushing TDs vs. Susquehanna. Against Moravian it was an even split with three TDs via the pass and three more via the run. JHU scored four touchdowns against Muhlenberg with one via the pass and three on the ground.
Rigaud, Fazio Fuel Ground Attack: Junior Jonathan Rigaud and senior Nick Fazio are leading a ground game that is averaging 188.2 yards and three touchdowns per game. Rigaud has rushed for 365 yards on 57 carries (6.4 yards/rush) and ranks fourth in the CC at 91.2 yards per game. He also counts five rushing TDs to his credit and became the 22nd player in school history to top 1,000 career rushing yards (1,040) with his 71 yards last week vs. Muhlenberg. Rigaud became the first player in school history with two 60+ yard rushing touchdowns in a game as he scored on runs of 68 and 69 yards in the third quarter of the game vs. Susquehanna.
Fazio has rushed for 130 yards on 32 carries with four touchdowns. His scoring run against Muhlenberg was the 16th of his career, which ranks him 10th on JHU's career rushing touchdowns list.
Balanced Receiving Tough to Contain: There are currently seven players in the Centennial Conference with 20 or more receptions on the year and three of those seven wear the Columbia Blue and Black.
While 2010 Centennial Conference Offensive Player of the Year Sam Wernick will draw most of the attention from defenses throughout the season, the Blue Jay receiving corps is deep and talented and trying to take away Wernick only leaves more space for others to operate.
Wernick is tied for the team-lead with 25 receptions for 193 yards and two scores, but sophomore Dan Wodicka also counts 25 receptions on the year with his going for 415 yards and four scores. Wernick and Wodicka are tied for second in the Centennial in receptions per game (6.25), while Wodicka's 103.8 yards per game ranks second. The third of JHU's three primary receivers is junior Scott Cremens, who fueled last week's win vs. Muhlenberg with eight receptions for 90 yards. He counts 20 receptions for 267 yards and three TDs to his credit on the year.
In all, 14 different players have at least one reception for the Blue Jays thus far.
Matey Leads JHU Past Muhlenberg: With senior Hewitt Tomlin held out of last week's game against Muhlenberg with an injury, the quarterbacking duties fell to sophomore Robbie Matey, who made the first start of his career one to remember.
Matey was 25-of-31 for 251 yards with one touchdown to lead JHU to the crucial 27-17 victory. His efforts continued his strong play on the year as he is now 37-of-45 for 372 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Tomlin Continues Assault on JHU, Centennial Record Books: Senior Hewitt Tomlin continued to assault the Johns Hopkins and Centennial Conference record books with his performances in the first three games of the 2011 season. He did not play in last week's win vs. Muhlenberg.
In addition to tying the JHU single-game record for touchdown passes (6) against USMMA, he also moved out of a tie with current JHU head coach Jim Margraff for first place on JHU's career touchdown passes list. He also became the first player in school history to top 8,000 career passing yards and 8,000 yards of total offense. His 19 consecutive completions vs. Merchant Marine are also a Johns Hopkins record, as are his 17 completions in one quarter (3rd / 17-of-17) vs. USMMA.
Tomlin did have his school-record streak of consecutive 300-yard passing games snapped at USMMA with his 297-yard effort. He did not play the final 13 minutes of the game after the Blue Jays had taken control in the third quarter.
Tomlin is 65-of-98 for 773 yards with nine TDs against just one INT on the year. For his career, Tomlin is 691-of-1,139 for 8,571 yards and 59 TDs. All of those marks are school records, as are his 26 career 200-yard games, nine career 300-yard games and 8,764 yards of total offense.
Tomlin is already the Centennial Conference's career leader in passing yards and attempts and ranks second in total offense. He needs 311 yards of total offense to pass Gettysburg's Matt Flynn (2006-09) for first place in CC history in career total offense.
Piatek Reaches 200: Senior LB Ryan Piatek was named the Centennial Conference Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in the win over Susquehanna. Piatek had a career-high two interceptions, including one in the first quarter that he returned 34 yards for a touchdown to give JHU a 7-0 lead. He added four tackles vs. the Crusaders, seven at Moravian and four vs. Muhlenberg. He topped the 200-tackle mark vs. Susquehanna and now has 214 to his credit. He is JHU's career active leader in tackles.
Eagleson Among Career Leaders: Senior CB Sam Eagleson's fourth quarter interception last week vs. Muhlenberg moved him into sole possession of fourth place on JHU's career interceptions list with 14. The Johns Hopkins career record for interceptions is held by Brian Hepting (20), while Matt Campbell (16) and Chad Van Den Berg (15) also sit ahead of Eagleson.
Defense Fuels Victories: While the Johns Hopkins offense has grabbed attention with the points and yards it has put up, the Blue Jay defense is also off to a quick start in 2011. Consider:
JHU currently leads the Centennial Conference in scoring defense (9.5), total defense (212.0) and passing defense (113.0) and ranks second in rushing defense (99.0).
In addition to sitting at or near the top of the Centennial Conference in all categories, JHU also ranks ninth in the nation in total defense, 11th in scoring defense, 13th in passing defense and 43rd in rushing defense.
The Blue Jays' first four opponents have had 54 combined possessions against JHU. Only four resulted in touchdowns. One of the five overall TDs JHU has allowed was scored by the Susquehanna defense.
The Blue Jays forced two turnovers vs. USMMA and three vs. Susquehanna, Moravian and Muhlenberg. Hopkins has forced two or more turnovers in 25 of its last 29 games.
JHU has forced at least one turnover in 30 of its last 31 games.
JHU has at least one interception in 27 of the last 30 games.
JHU is allowing an average of 3.4 yards per play. Muhlenberg ranks second in the CC in yards allowed per play (4.4).
Hopkins held Susquehanna to 179 yards of total offense and Moravian to just 194. This is the first time since late in the 2009 season that JHU has held consecutive opponents to less than 200 yards of total offense. The 268 yards Muhlenberg generated last week are the most JHU has allowed this season.
Road Warriors: JHU is 20-6 on the road since the start of the 2007 season and 42-15 on the road since the start of the 2001 season.
Sustained Success: Since the start of the 2002 season the Blue Jays sport a 75-28 (.728) record. Taking it back farther the Blue Jays are 81-31 (.723) since the start of the 2001 season and 86-36 (.705) since the beginning of the 2000 season. The 74 wins the Blue Jays amassed from 2000-09 are the most wins in a decade in school history. Johns Hopkins had never won more than seven games in a season prior to this decade. In the decade completed in 2009, the Blue Jays averaged more than seven wins per season (7.4).
Seven's Heaven: Since the beginning of the 2003 season the Blue Jays are 66-19 (.776) when scoring more than seven points and 0-7 when they have been held to seven points or less.
Centennial Conference Champions: Johns Hopkins earned a share of its sixth Centennial Conference title since 2002 last season as JHU posted a 7-2 CC mark and shared the title with Muhlenberg and Ursinus.
ECAC South Atlantic Champions: The Blue Jays grabbed their fourth ECAC title since 2002 with a 44-14 victory over Lebanon Valley in the 2010 South Atlantic Bowl. JHU has won four of the five ECAC Bowls its has played in since 2002 (these are the only ECAC Bowls JHU has ever played).
A Grand Victory: In addition to keeping themselves alive in the race for a share of the Centennial Conference title, JHU's win at Franklin & Marshall on November 6, 2010 will also go down in the record books as a victory in the 1,000th game in school history. JHU closed the 2010 season with an all-time record of 471-473-58 (.499).