Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Wednesday, September 12, 2001
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Jon Buglione “Gotta stay focused, men. Get ready. Go throw a fit on Dickinson.”

If you dropped by a Muhlenberg football practice this week, you might have heard those words uttered by Head Coach Mike Donnelly. Or you might have heard them coming out of the mouth of Jon Buglione.

Buglione, a senior defensive tackle, has developed a knack for imitating members of the coaching staff, and his impressions help keep the team loose.

“I think he enjoys it ... most of the time,” said Buglione of Donnelly. “I like to mess around, but when it comes down to game time, I’m ready to play.”

When game time rolled around for the Mules’ season-opener, however, Buglione wasn’t ready to play physically. A hamstring injury suffered in the preseason scrimmage against Wilkes kept him on the sidelines as Muhlenberg rolled past Kings Point, 42-17.

“It was the first time I ever missed a game because I was hurt,” he said. “It was kind of rough. I wanted to come back early, but it’s better that I didn’t.”

Buglione unleashed some of that frustration on Cal Lutheran last week. In his season debut, he made five tackles, including a sack late in the first half. It was a rare moment in the statistical spotlight for Buglione, who has been on the line, either offensive or defensive, since he began playing football in seventh grade.

“It doesn’t matter what you do, you get no glory, especially playing the nose” he said. “That’s just the way it is. But I do what I have to do. As long as we win, that’s fine.”

For his career, the man they call “Bugsy” has seven tackles for loss, including three sacks. He’s also blocked a pair of kicks, a field goal against Western Maryland in 1999 and an extra point against Hartwick last year.


Who: Dickinson (1-1) at Muhlenberg (1-1)
What: The Centennial Conference opener for both teams. In the 18-year history of the CC, no team has lost its opener and gone on to win the league championship.
When: Saturday, September 15, 1:00
Where: Scotty Wood Stadium
On the Air: WMUH 91.7 FM will broadcast the game live. To listen in, go to the WMUH Web site and click on Real Audio. The game is also being televised live by Service Electric TV2, with a re-broadcast scheduled for Sunday at 4:00.

Series Record: Muhlenberg holds a 31-23-2 series lead, although Dickinson won 11 straight meetings from to 1988 to 1998. The Mules have taken the last two meetings, passing for 846 yards and nine touchdowns in the two wins. Last year in Carlisle, Alfredo Mercuri scored on two long second-half scoring strikes as Muhlenberg pulled away from a 28-26 lead to win 41-26.

Scouting the Red Devils: The Dickinson defense had a solid performance, but the offense could not put points on the board in a 6-2 loss to Hobart last week. The defense recorded eight sacks and held the Statesmen, who were in the NCAA Tournament last season, to a pair of field goals. The Red Devils’ lone points came on an intentional safety in the final minute. Senior defensive end Keith Fischer led the defense with 16 tackles, including one sack, while junior linebacker Mike Jackowski returned an interception 56 yards. Seniors Ryan MacPhee and Mike Smith combined for 117 rushing yards. Dickinson has been the top rushing team in the CC in 11 of the last 13 years and, through two games in 2001, leads the CC in pass defense. The Red Devils used big plays on special teams in their season-opening 23-14 win at Grove City, forcing a fumble on a kickoff and blocking a punt.

Scouting the Mules: Muhlenberg opened its season by splitting a pair of road games, defeating Kings Point, 42-17, but losing to Cal Lutheran, 44-20. The loss last week snapped a six-game winning streak. Senior Joshua Carter caught three touchdown passes in the opener and racked up 275 all-purpose yards last week. He now has 38 career touchdowns, just two short of the school record, and needs 149 yards on kickoff returns to break the Division III career record. Sophomore Matt Bernardo rushed for a pair of touchdowns in each game and has scored at least two six-pointers in eight of his last nine outings. Junior Justin Jones has thrown for 400 yards — second in the CC — in two games. Senior linebacker Doug Folger made a career-high 15 tackles against Cal Lutheran.

Home Sweet Home: Muhlenberg was a perfect 6-0 at Scotty Wood Stadium last year, its first undefeated home season since 1980. The Mules have won seven home games in a row dating back to the 1999 season.

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Last updated September 12, 2001