Click here for the complete set of Johns Hopkins football notes for the Blue Jays' game vs. Muhlenberg on Saturday.
The Game: Johns Hopkins (3-0, 2-0 Centennial) welcomes Muhlenberg (2-1, 2-0 CC) to Homewood Field for a key early-season Centennial Conference showdown. Kickoff at Homewood Field is set for 2 pm.
The Teams: Johns Hopkins improved to 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the Centennial Conference with a 41-0 victory at Moravian last Saturday. Not far away in Allentown, Muhlenberg improved to 2-1 overall and 2-0 in the Centennial with a stunning 34-26 come-from-behind win against McDaniel. The Mules scored 27 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to secure the win.
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 140-78-3 (.640) record. He is the all-time winningest coach in school history and also ranks second in CC history with 94 league victories to his credit.
Muhlenberg is led by Mike Donnelly, who is now in his 15th season as the head coach of the Mules. Donnelly is the all-time winningest coach in Muhlenberg history with a 93-59 record and has guided the Mules to at least a share of seven Centennial Conference titles since 2001. The Mules have represented the CC in the NCAA Playoffs six times under his guidance.
The Benchmarks: Johns Hopkins and Muhlenberg have been the benchmarks in the Centennial Conference over the last decade. At least one of the two teams has earned a share of all but one CC title since 2001 and one of the two has represented the league in the NCAA Playoffs eight times since 2002. Muhlenberg has seven CC titles to its credit since 2001, while JHU has won six since 2002.
Over .500: Last week's win at Moravian improved JHU's all-time record to 474-473-58 (.500). This is the first time since 1912 that JHU's all-time winning percentage has been above .500.
Streaking: Johns Hopkins closed the 2010 season with five straight wins and ran that streak to eight with season-opening wins against Merchant Marine, Susquehanna and Moravian. JHU has outscored the opposition 341-78 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 eight-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), Louisiana College and Redlands (CA) have all won eight straight.
Poll Position: Johns Hopkins is ranked 23rd in this week's AFCA Poll, which made its 2011 season debut this week. This is the first time JHU has appeared in the top 25 of the AFCA Poll since the final poll of the 2009 season, when Hopkins checked in at a program-best eighth.
Johns Hopkins is also listed among the teams receiving votes in this week's d3football.com poll. The Blue Jays grabbed 52 points in the poll and are the third team listed among those receiving votes (in theory, JHU is 28th in this poll). 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: JHU punched up 41 points last week at Moravian and has scored 40 or more points in four straight games dating back to last season. This is the first time the Blue Jays have ever scored 40 points or more in three straight games in one season or four straight games overall.
Johns Hopkins is currently averaging 47.3 points per game and the Blue Jays rank first in the Centennial Conference and sixth in the nation in scoring offense.
More Offense: In addition to ranking sixth in the nation in scoring offense, JHU ranks sixth in total offense (507.0), 14th in passing offense (298.0) and 40th in rushing offense (209.0).
A Program First: Johns Hopkins rushed for 269 yards and passed for 290 yards in the win against Susquehanna. 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 (including last week's win at Moravina), 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 has scored exactly six offensive touchdowns in each of its 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. Last week vs. Moravian it was an even split with three TDs via the pass and three more via the run.
Rigaud, Fazio Fuel Ground Attack: Junior Jonathan Rigaud and senior Nick Fazio are leading a ground game that is averaging 209.0 yards per game as both rank among the top 10 in the Centennial Conference in rushing.
Rigaud has rushed for 294 yards on just 32 carries (9.2 yards/rush) and ranks second in the CC at 98.0 yards per game. He also counts four rushing TDs to his credit. 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 ranks 10th in the CC in rushing with 40.3 yards per game as he has 121 yards on the year. His three rushing touchdowns this season push his career total to 15 - good for a tie for 10th on JHU's career rushing touchdowns list.
Balanced Receiving Tough to Contain: 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 as displayed in the first three games of the season.
Wernick is tied for the team-lead the team with 19 receptions for 153 yards and two scores, but sophomore Dan Wodicka also counts 19 receptions on the year with his going for 327 yards and three scores.
The third of JHU's three primary receivers is junior Scott Cremens, who fueled last week's win at Moravian with a pair of TD catches. He counts 12 receptions for 177 yards and three TDs to his credit on the year.
In all, 13 different players have at least one reception for the Blue Jays thus far.
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.
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.>br> Tomlin is 65-of-98 for 773 yards with nine TDs against just one INT through three games.
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 and seven more last week at Moravian. He topped the 200-tackle mark vs. Susquehanna and now has 210 to his credit. He is JHU's career active leader in tackles.
Eagleson Among Career Leaders: Senior CB Sam Eagleson's third quarter interception last week at Moravian moved him into a tie for fourth place on JHU's career interceptions list. Eagleson now has 13 career INTs, which ties him with Brian Coulter (1973-76) for fourth place on the list. 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 (7.0), total defense (193.3) and passing defense (81.3) and ranks third in rushing defense (112.0).
• In addition to sitting at or near the top of the Centennial Conference in all categories, JHU also ranks fourth in the nation in passing defense, sixth in scoring defense, eighth in total defense and 68th in rushing defense.
• The Blue Jays' first three opponents have had 41 combined possessions against JHU. Only two resulted in touchdowns (one of the two drives covered 12 yards). One of the three TDs JHU has allowed was scored by the Susquehanna defense.
• The Blue Jays forced two turnovers vs. USMMA and three vs. Susquehanna and Moravian. Hopkins has forced two or more turnovers in 24 of its last 28 games.
• JHU has forced at least one turnover in 29 of its last 30 games.
• JHU has at least one interception in 26 of the last 29 games.
• JHU is allowing an average of 2.9 yards per play. Muhlenberg ranks second in the CC in yards allowed per play (4.5).
• 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.
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 74-28 (.725) record. Taking it back farther the Blue Jays are 80-31 (.721) since the start of the 2001 season and 85-36 (.702) 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 65-19 (.774) 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).