Oct. 13, 2009
The Game: Johns Hopkins (5-1, 4-0 Centennial) returns home after back-to-back road games at Muhlenberg and Dickinson. The Blue Jays carry a five-game overall winning streak and a nine-game Centennial Conference winning streak into this week's game against Ursinus (2-3, 2-1 CC).
Last Week: Johns Hopkins ran its overall winning streak to five games and its Centennial Conference winning streak to nine games dating back to last season with a 23-12 win at previously unbeaten Dickinson last Saturday. Ursinus had a modest two-game winning streak snapped with a 21-14 loss at home against Franklin & Marshall.
Poll Position: Johns Hopkins is listed as receiving votes in this week's AFCA Division III Coaches' Poll (36 points). This is the fourth straight week JHU has received votes in the poll. Since the formation of the AFCA Poll in 1999, there have been 109 weekly polls. Johns Hopkins has been ranked in the top 25 for a total of 17 weeks and been listed as receiving votes 35 times (including this week) for 52 total appearances in the 109 weekly polls.
Against the Top 25: Johns Hopkins improved to 4-5 all-time against teams ranked in the AFCA Top 25 with the 23-12 win last Saturday at then 25th-ranked Dickinson.
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 (124) and coached (200) and enters this week's game with a career record of 124-73-3 (.628). He has more than twice as many wins as any other coach in school history (Ray Van Orman is second with 60 wins).
Ursinus is coached by Pete Gallagher, who enters this week's game against Johns Hopkins with an all-time record of 36-50 (.419) in nine seasons as the head coach of the Bears.
Margraff's 200th: Last week's game at Dickinson was Jim Margraff's 200th as the head coach at Johns Hopkins.
Gunning For 125 ...: A win against Ursinus would be the 125th victory for Jim Margraff as the head coach at Johns Hopkins. In just 20 seasons, Margraff has accounted for 27% of the all-time victories in school history (124 of 458).
... and 100: A win today against Ursinus would be the 100th all-time victory for the Blue Jays in Centennial Conference play. JHU is currently 99-80-3 (,552). Dickinson (112) is the only school in the league with more conference wins than JHU. F&M also enters this week's game vs. Moravian with 99 all-time CC wins.
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.
Homecoming: Johns Hopkins celebrates Homecoming in the spring as part of festivities surrounding a home men's lacrosse game. That's not to say that the Blue Jay football team doesn't enjoy Homecoming. In fact, last week's game at Dickinson was the second of three straight road games Johns Hopkins will play that is the Homecoming game for its opponent (Muhlenberg - Dickinson - Juniata). The Blue Jays spoiled the festivities for both the Mules and Red Devils.
Home(wood) Field Advantage: Johns Hopkins improved to 7-2 at Homewood Field since the start of the 2008 season with the win over Moravian on September 26.
More Home(wood) Field Advantage: JHU improved its record to 41 games over .500 in home games under Jim Margraff with the win over Moravian. The Blue Jays are now 70-29-1 (.705) at Homewood under Margraff.
Road Warriors: The Blue Jays posted a 4-1 record on the road last season and JHU is 10-3 since the start of the 2007 season on the road. JHU is 32-12 on the road since the start of the 2001 season.
Escape Artists: Johns Hopkins used a one-yard touchdown run by Andrew Kase with 49 seconds remaining to pull out the 35-31 win over Randolph-Macon on September 12. It's the first time Johns Hopkins has won a game in the final minute since October 6, 2007, when Alex Lachman nailed a 40-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Blue Jays past Dickinson, 20-17.
Streaking: Since the start of the 2002 season the Blue Jays sport a 58-23 (.716) record. Taking it back farther the Blue Jays are 64-26 (.711) since the start of the 2001 season and 69-31 (.690) since the beginning of the 2000 season. The 69 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.
200 and 200: Johns Hopkins totaled 216 rushing yards and 243 passing yards in a 41-23 win over Gettysburg on September 18. That effort marked the 24th time since 1955 that JHU has totaled 200 or more yards rushing and passing in the same game. Exactly half of those 24 have come since Jim Margraff took over as the Blue Jays' coach in 1990. JHU is 10-2 when rushing and passing for 200 or more yards under Margraff and 22-2 overall in such games.
Wixted Honored: Senior strong safety Colin Wixted was named the Centennial Conference Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in last week's 23-12 win at Dickinson. Wixted totaled seven tackles, including 1.5 for losses and one sack, one interception, one forced fumble and one pass breakup in the victory. Wixted's interception midway through the fourth quarter killed a Dickinson drive inside the Blue Jay 30-yard line and led to the game-clinching touchdown for the Blue Jays.
Wixted is tied for fourth on the team in tackles (32) and leads the team in tackles for losses (6.5). He is tied for the team-lead in interceptions (2), sacks (2.5) and forced fumbles (2) and is JHU's career active leader in tackles (219), tackles for losses (30) and sacks (12).
Kase Climbing: Senior running back Andrew Kase helped the Blue Jays ice the victory at Dickinson last Saturday as he rushed 29 times for 116 yards and two touchdowns. On what proved to be the decisive drive in the fourth quarter, he carried the ball nine times on a 10-play scoring drive and totaled 54 yards - the last 14 of which resulted in the game-clinching touchdown. It was the second straight week the Blue Jays put a game in the balance in Kase's hands as he rushed 32 times for 149 yards and two touchdowns at Muhlenberg and sealed the game with 82 yards and one touchdown on JHU's final two drives of the game.
Kase has rushed for 712 yards (118.7/game) and 10 touchdowns and has nine receptions for 93 yards and one TD. He ranks first in the Centennial Conference in rushing, tied for second in scoring (11.0 ppg) and fourth in all-purpose yards (134.2). Kase continued his assault on the JHU and Centennial Conference record books last week as he became just the second player in school history and the 12th in league history to reach 4,000 all-purpose yards (4,115) and also became just the sixth player in CC history to rush for 100 or more yards 20 times.
Kase pushed his career rushing total to 3,666, which is a JHU record and ranks eighth in league history. He also jumped from seventh to fourth in career rushing yards by a running back at the collegiate level in the state of Maryland.
Tomlin Rolling: Sophomore quarterback Hewitt Tomlin improved his record as JHU's starting quarterback to 11-3 with the win last week at Dickinson.
Tomlin was 20-of-33 for 270 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the win. In the process, he continued to make a move in the Johns Hopkins and Centennial Conference record books.
The 270-yard effort marked Tomlin's fourth straight 200-yard passing game, which ties the JHU record. He also set a school record by reaching 3,000 career passing yards in fewer games (16) than any quarterback in school history. He now has 3,180 career passing yards, which already ranks seventh in school history.
Tomlin is now 120-of-183 (.656) for 1,333 yards with 10 TDs and four INTs in six games this season.
Choose Your Poison: A big part of the Johns Hopkins offense this season is a deep and talented receiving corps that counts three players with 22 or more receptions and seven different players with nine catches or more. Most impressively, the top five pass-catchers are all due to return next season.
Sophomore Sam Wernick currently leads the team in receptions (27) despite missing the first game of the season. Junior Dan Crowley counts 26 receptions for a team-high 438 yards and three touchdowns to his credit, while classmate Tucker Michels has 22 receptions for 293 yards and three scores. Michels enjoyed one of the finest games of his career last week at Dickinson as he had four receptions for a career-high 141 yards and one touchdown. His 68-yard touchdown reception on JHU's second play from scrimmage was the longest reception of his career.
Leading the Way: Johns Hopkins ranks fourth in the Centennial Conference in scoring offense (28.8), third in rushing offense (158.5), fourth in passing offense (223.7) and fourth in total offense (382.2). While the players who carry, throw and catch the ball get most of the attention, the Blue Jay offense is led in large part by a seasoned offensive line.
Seniors Mike Stoffel, Tim Miller and Anthony Catanzano, junior Ryan Lino and sophomore Ed Rodger are the primary starters on the line, with senior John Fox and sophomore Doug Drummond also seeing action early in the season. The unit has allowed just one sack on 187 pass attempts this season.
Sophomore Sensations: A year ago, the Blue Jay offense was led primarily by players who are back this season. In fact, 4,122 of the Blue Jays' 4,158 yards of total offense and all 34 of JHU's offensive touchdowns last season were accumulated by players who returned this year.
Fast forward to 2009 and it's the defense being led by non-seniors - specifically, the Blue Jays are being led by members of the sophomore class.
A quick glance at the JHU tackle charts reveals that the top four tacklers and five of the top seven are all sophomores.
Sophomore Mike Milano currently leads the Blue Jays in tackles with 49 and is followed closely by classmate Tyler Brown, who ranks second with 40. Ryan Piatek (39) and Kale Sweeney (32) round out the top four tacklers on the team, while Sam Eagleson (26) ranks seventh.
In the Zone: Johns Hopkins has scored on 23-of-26 trips to the red zone this season (.885) and 16 of those 26 scores are touchdowns.
An Opportunistic Bunch: Johns Hopkins has forced 17 turnovers in six games this season and leads the Centennial Conference in turnover margin (+1.83/game). JHU's 12 INTs in six games are just one less than the Blue Jays had all of last season. JHU forced two turnovers (2 INTs) in last week's win at Dickinson.
Seven's Heaven: Since the beginning of the 2003 season the Blue Jays are 49-15 when scoring more than seven points and 0-6 when they have been held to seven points or less.
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.