(The following article is the seventh entry in a reverse-jinx preview series for JMU Football. If you don’t already know the premise, you can find the first article here.)
The more you know.
DOOMED DUKES: WHY JMU WILL TOTALLY LOSE AT WILLIAM & MARY
Well howdy, y'all. I'm just a JMU grad-ee-it that bumbled my way through classes up here in the Vall-ee. I ain't got no comprehen-shin of those smarty-pantses down in Colonial Williamstown.
Hello reader. As you may have guessed after that last sentence, it took years of careful studying to learn how to form proper English sentences and commune with the outside world. I'm so thankful for the private tutors that descended upon my humble abode in Harrisonburg. They taught me the difference between nouns and verbs.
As most of the civilized world knows, James Madison University is a school that primarily caters to dumb jocks, sorority girls, and people who scored below a 50 on the SAT. This is particularly pertinent information this week, as the undefeated Dukes of JMU are traveling to play William & Mary.
William & Mary football players are amazing creatures. They can power clean 300 pounds, then turn around and quote Plato's Allegory of the Cave back to you, word for word. Much like the Gryphon mascot that represents them, they are, in fact, mythological creatures.
But let's talk about those feisty Gryphons. Believe it or not, William & Mary is actually the last CAA team to beat JMU, via a spooktacular 44-41 decision back on Oct. 31, 2015. It was Bryan Schor's first career start, exactly seven days after Vad Lee's season-ending injury during the Richmond College GameDay game. No. 16 William & Mary dealt previously undefeated JMU its second straight loss, thanks in part to tailback Kendell Anderson's 2-yard touchdown plunge in the final minute of regulation.
JMU got some payback last year in a 31-24 home victory over the Tribe. The games wasn't as close as it looks, as W&M tacked on a garbage time touchdown with two seconds left in the game. Even still, the Tribe played JMU surprisingly tight.
What could explain this strange advantage William & Mary has over a vastly more talented JMU team? Some might point to the abundance of brain cells in those scrappy Tribe players' heads.
This weekend features a perilous trap game for JMU. Coming off the immense high of a big win in front of College GameDay, any team would be primed for a letdown. But there's added pressure here, as the Dukes could also be looking ahead to a Homecoming date with New Hampshire.
It's easy to overlook a hapless bunch of nerds, cosplaying as a football team… right?
The Tribe's upset bid started last week, when coach Jimmye Laycock inserted true freshman quarterback Shon Mitchell into the game. Mitchell, a highly touted recruit from Virginia high school powerhouse Oscar Smith, guided the Tribe to a shutout loss at Delaware.
But did the Tribe really lose? Or was this just a gambit?
In chess, a gambit is a common opening technique where a player sacrifices an early piece to gain an advantage later. William & Mary players probably all know this; I've been told that approximately 30% of their preseason camps are comprised of memorizing chess openings and learning when to fianchetto.
Perhaps you've already seen the brilliance of William & Mary here. Delaware didn't defeat the Tribe; William & Mary fell on its sword, lulling this rumbling, bumbling, incoming JMU giant into a false sense of security.
FCS William & Mary might only have 63 scholarships, but they've got enough brainpower for the full 85. This latest master stroke is just another example of their supreme intellectual dominance.
The other shoe is about to drop. JMU will lose to William & Mary on Saturday.
Its Weak 8, and the Dukes r Doomd.