The Johns Hopkins football team has won nine straight games in the regular season, dating back to last year. But the Blue Jays remember their last regular season loss.
Johns Hopkins (8-0 overall and 7-0 in the Centennial Conference), which moved from No. 10 to No. 8 in the latest American Football Coaches Association poll, suffered a 14-12 loss to Franklin & Marshall on Nov. 3, 2012. The Diplomats (5-3, 5-2) come to Homewood Field on Saturday at 12 p.m. to play the Blue Jays.
Is last year's loss motivation for the players?
“I don’t think they’ve talked about it, but I think it certainly has their attention,” Blue Jays coach Jim Margraff said Wednesday morning. “I think it’s almost impossible for them to look by anyone right now.”
The Blue Jays will win outright their third straight conference title with one win in their last two games -- either against Franklin & Marshall or McDaniel (1-7, 1-6) on Nov. 16. But that is not the approach that Margraff is endorsing.
“To me, that’s a problem when you start to think, ‘We only need to win one of two to still go to the playoffs,’ and all that type of stuff,” he said. “You’re just setting yourself up for some sort of failure somewhere along the line. That’s why it’s almost a positive that F&M was our last regular-season loss because our guys are very focused and they want to clinch this thing now.”
Johns Hopkins has won eight Centennial Conference championships, including at least a share of the last five. It is a trend that has become a point of pride for the program.
“We’re really proud of our guys,” Margraff said. “But each week, it’s been pretty business-like getting ready for the next team. We were 8-0 last year and lost to F&M. So there’s nothing that needs to be said. Our guys are very focused right now.”