Nov. 21, 2013
The Game: Eighth-ranked Johns Hopkins (10-0, 9-0 Centennial) opens play in the 2013 NCAA Division III Football Playoffs by hosting 14th-ranked Wesley (8-2). Kickoff at Homewood Field is set for noon on Saturday, November 23.
A Look Back: Johns Hopkins ran its winning streak to 10 games with a 52-21 victory at McDaniel last Saturday. Wesley secured its bid to the playoffs with a 47-0 home victory against Alfred State.
A Look Ahead: The winner of the Johns Hopkins-Wesley first round game will play the winner of the Ithaca-Framingham St. game on Saturday, November 30. The time and location of that second round game will be announced on Sunday, November 24.
Poll Position: Johns Hopkins is ranked eighth in this week's AFCA Division III Coaches Poll and 10th in this week's D3football.com Poll. The Blue Jays also check in at number two in this week's Lambert Poll. The Johns Hopkins Athletic Communications Office uses the AFCA Poll to reflect the team's official national ranking at the time of a game. All three polls and JHU's week-by-week rankings can be found on page five.
Series History: This week's game will be just the second all-time meeting between Johns Hopkins and Wesley. The Wolverines won the only other previous meeting, 12-0, in the 2009 NCAA Quarterfinals.
A Return to the NCAAs: Johns Hopkins is making its third straight and fifth overall appearance in the NCAA Playoffs. The Blue Jays are 3-4 all-time in NCAA action with a trip to the 2009 NCAA Quarterfinals and an appearance in the second round last season highlighting their playoff history.
Centennial Conference Champions: Johns Hopkins earned its third straight and fifth outright Centennial Conference title this season (2005, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013). The Blue Jays also count four shared titles (2002, 2003, 2004, 2010) to their credit. All nine of Johns Hopkins' Centennial titles have come since 2002.
JHU Earns Victory 500: Johns Hopkins earned the 500th victory in program history when it topped Franklin & Marshall on November 9. Including last week's win at McDaniel, JHU now stands at 501-476-58 (.512). JHU became the fourth Centennial Conference team to reach the 500-win mark (F&M-596, Gettysburg-551, McDaniel-516).
On a Roll: Johns Hopkins is 33-1 in its last 34 regular season games dating back to late in the 2010 season. The only team to top the Blue Jays duirng that run? Franklin & Marshall, which topped the Blue Jays, 14-12, last November.
On A Roll, Part II: Johns Hopkins is 35-3 in its last 38 games overall since late in the 2010 season. Two of the Blue Jays' three losses during that time have come in the NCAA Playoffs.
At Home at Homewood: Johns Hopkins has parlayed its homefield advantage into victories in recent years. In fact, the Blue Jays are 20-2 in the home blacks in the careers of the current seniors and have currently won a school-record 11 consecutive games at Homewood Field.
Road Warriors: Johns Hopkins has been nearly as strong on the road in recent years as it has been at home. Dating back to late in the 2010 season, the Blue Jays are 16-1 in their last 17 regular season road games and 18-4 on the road during the careers of the current seniors.
Taking it back farther, JHU is 28-6 (.824) on the road since the start of the 2008 season (regular season and post season games included).
Balanced Success: Since the start of the 2001 season, Johns Hopkins is 54-17 on the road and 53-17 at home.
November Reign: Including the post-season, the Blue Jays are 16-4 in their last 20 games in November (dating to 2008) and stand at 14-3 in November since the current senior class arrived in 2010.
Undefeated Regular Season: Johns Hopkins posted just the second undefeated regular season in school history this year. JHU's only other undefeated regular season came in 2011, when the Blue Jays also finished 10-0.
JHU Ties Victory Record: With its victory last week at McDaniel, Johns Hopkins tied the school record for victories in a season. Only four times previously - 2003, 2009, 2011 & 2012 - had Hopkins won 10 games in a season. Johns Hopkins had never won more than seven games in a season prior to 2002, but the Blue Jays have posted eight or more wins 10 times in the last 12 years (including this season).
Seniors Tie Record: The current seniors on the Johns Hopkins football team tied the school record for most wins by one class in school history with the 52-21 win at McDaniel in the regular season finale. Including that victory, this year's seniors are 38-6 since arriving at JHU - this matches the record of 38 wins set by the seniors on the 2012 season.
In addition, the current seniors rank as the second-winningest class in Centennial Conference history. Only the 2000 seniors at McDaniel, who compiled a 41-5 record during their career, have won more games than JHU's current seniors.
Move Those Chains-I: Johns Hopkins has amassed 276 first downs through 10 games - the third-highest total in the nation. JHU has rolled up at least 26 first downs in eight of its first 10 games and the Blue Jays have done it with balance; of the 276, 145 have come by rushing, 112 have come by passing and nine were on penalties. JHU's 276 first downs are just 10 shy of the school single-season record (286 • 2011).
Move Those Chains-II: JHU punched up 34 first downs against Gettysburg, the fourth-highest single-game total in school history. The 35 first downs JHU accumulated vs. Randolph-Macon in the season opener are the third-highest total in school history with the top four totals coming in JHU's last 27 games dating back to 2011. The school-record of 40 first downs came last season against Moravian. The 40 first downs vs. the Greyhounds last season are one shy of the NCAA Division III record.
Under Pressure: The Johns Hopkins defense has been dialing up the pressure this season as the Blue Jays racked up a Centennial-high 35 sacks and 77 tackles for losses through 10 games. JHU ranks seventh in the nation in sacks per game (3.5) and ranks 38th in tackles for losses per game (7.7).
Junior Matthew Connery leads the way with 6.5 sacks on the year, while Michael Longo (6.0), John Arena (5.0) and Andy Laychur (4.0) have all gotten to the quarterback at least four times.
In all, 17 different players have been in on at least one sack and 24 different players have at least one tackle for a loss.
Holding Them Down: The Johns Hopkins defense held nine of its 10 regular season opponents this season under its season scoring average for the year and eight of 10 were held below their average total offense mark for the year.
Defense Boasts Impressive Numbers on the Field: While much of the attention is focused on Johns Hopkins' prolific offense, the Blue Jays also feature one of the top defenses in the nation. Entering this week's game, the Blue Jays rank 5th in third-down percentage against (.255), 29th in scoring defense (16.0), 39th in total defense (301.9) and 22nd in rushing defense (103.5).
Defense Boasts Impressive Numbers in the Classroom: In addtion to posting some impressive numbers on the field, the starting defense for the Blue Jays has been equally impressive in the classroom. JHU's primary starting 11 on defense boasts a combined cumulative GPA of 3.33. Five of the 11 starters have over a 3.6 cumulative GPA, including senior SS John Arena, who will graduate in December with a degree in Neuroscience and boasts a 4.0.
Double Your Pleasure-I: Johns Hopkins rushed and passed for more than 200 yards in each of its first four games - the first time a JHU team has ever done that - and then turned the trick against Gettysburg and McDaniel as well. JHU now ranks sixth in the nation in total offense (512.5).
That's a First: Johns Hopkins punched up more than 500 yards of total offense in five straight games before notching 429 against Ursinus. This was the first time in school history that the Blue Jays topped the 500-yard mark in five consecutive games. In addition, JHU's six 500-yard games tie the school single-season record (2012). Johns Hopkins is 32-1 all-time when punching up 500+ yards.
That's a Record: Johns Hopkins has totaled at least 400 yards of total offense in each of its first 10 games this season. The 10-game run with 400+ yards of total offense breaks the school record set last season.
Matey Ranks Second in Career Wins, Tops 5,000 Yards: Senior quarterback Robbie Matey may not end his career as JHU's all-time leader in any single-season or career statistical category. However, with a 22-2 all-time record as JHU's starting quarterback, he's done one thing at a higher rate than any other QB in school history; win. His 22 wins as JHU's starting quarterback are the second highest total in school history, while his career winning percentage (.917) is by far the highest.
Matey enjoyed one of the best games of his career in the win at Juniata as he was 23-of-26 for 408 yards and six touchdowns. The 408 yards and six TDs are both career highs. His completion percentage against the Eagles (.885) is the highest in JHU and Centennial Conference history by a quarterback with 25 or more attempts. Matey enters this week's game against Wesley ranked fourth in the nation in completion percentage (.733) and 20th in pass efficiency (157.89) as he is 195-of-266 for 2,145 yards with 16 TDs against just four INTs on the year. He has also rushed for 278 yards and five TDs.
For his career, Matey went over 5,000 yards passing in the win against F&M and now has 5,196 yards passing and 588 yards rushing. He is the only player in school history with more than 5,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards and also tied the JHU record for career rushing TDs by a quarterback with his 11th at McDaniel (George Merrell • 2000-03).
With his 425th career completion at Gettysburg, Matey also qualifies for the NCAA career completion percentage rankings, which he currently tops among quarterbacks in all divisions. Sitting just behind him is reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M.
Wodicka Closes on Stromberg: Senior wide receiver Dan Wodicka enters this week's game against Wesley needing just two receptions to become Johns Hopkins' career leader in receptions. He will enter the game with 257 catches - one less than career leader Bill Stromberg, who totaled 258 receptions during his career from 1978-81.
Wodicka, who recently became the Centennial Conference's career leader in receptions, also ranks second in school history in career receiving yards (3,089) and is second among active Division III receivers in receptions and third in yards.
Cherry Closing on 1,000: Sophomore Brandon Cherry leads the team with 962 yards and counts eight TDs to his credit this season. He ranks fourth in the Centennial in rushing yards per game (96.2) and ninth in all-purpose yards (115.7). Cherry, whose 962 yards this season are the seventh-highest single-season total in school history, ranks 19th in school history with 1,214 career rushing yards.
Walters Within Striking Distance: With at least one playoff game remaining, Stuart Walters is within striking distance of the Johns Hopkins record for rushing yards by a freshman. Walters has 566 yards and four touchdowns to his credit. The school record for rushing yards by a freshman is 753 by Hari Lymon in 1992.
In Case You've Lost Track: Johns Hopkins enters this week's game against Wesley with a 5,000-yard passer (Robbie Matey-5,196), two players with more than 1,000 yards receiving (Dan Wodicka-3,089 & Bob D'Orazio-1,070) and two players with more than 1,000 yards rushing (JD Abbott-1,193 & Brandon Cherry-1,214) in their careers.
Many Happy Returns: The Johns Hopkins return game has gotten a boost with the arrival of freshmen Bradley Munday and Adrian Trammell. Munday is averaging 9.1 yards on his 21 punt returns this season, which ranks him third in the Centennial Conference. Trammell is averaging 24.1 yards on his 12 kickoff returns through 10 games to rank fourth in the Centennial, while Munday's 21.5 yards per KOR rank eighth.
For Starters: Freshman place-kicker Nick Campbell has enjoyed a productive beginning to his career as he has been good on 51-of-52 extra point attempts and 9-of-10 field goal attempts. His streak of consective successful XPs was stopped at 25 at Juniata when his sixth attempt was blocked. He made one field goal in each of JHU's first five games this season and nailed two (21, 28) in the win at Gettysburg. His nine field goals are the second-highest total ever by a JHU freshman (Alex Lachman - 11 (2007)).
Carbone Enjoying Solid Season: Senior Richie Carbone has been forced to punt just 29 times, but he has again shown improvement in his average this season. After averaging 34.5 yards as a sophomore, he bumped that up more than two yards per attempt last season to 36.6 yards on 34 punts. Through 10 games this season he is averaging a career-high 37.4 yards per punt. He has dropped 10 of his 29 punts inside the 20-yard line with several of his punts sacrificing distance for field position.
Carbone is also a member of the Blue Jay baseball team and helped JHU to the Centennial Conference title and a berth in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional last spring. He played in 26 games with 19 starts in the outfield and also had four relief appearances on the mound as well.
Wearing Them Down: Johns Hopkins holds solid scoring advantages in the first (94-48) and third quarters (92-45) through 10 games, but it's the second and fourth quarters where the Blue Jays have really excelled. JHU holds a 128-30 scoring advantage in the second quarter and an equally impressive 107-37 buldge in the fourth.
Margraff Ranks Second on State Victory Chart: Johns Hopkins head coach Jim Margraff sports a career record of 167-81-3 (.671) entering this week's game vs. Wesley. He is just the second college football coach in Maryland state history to win 160 career games. Only Morgan State's Eddie Hurt, who won 174 games from 1929-59, has won more games as the head football coach at a college or university in the state of Maryland than Margraff.
Sustained Success: Since the start of the 2002 season the Blue Jays sport a 101-31 (.765) record. Taking it back farther the Blue Jays are 107-34 (.759) since the start of the 2001 season and 112-39 (.742) since the beginning of the 2000 season.
Seven's Heaven: Since the beginning of the 2003 season the Blue Jays are 92-21 (.814) when scoring more than seven points and 0-7 when they have been held to seven points or less.
Additional Notes of Interest Included in PDF Version Above