James Madison and Weber State are set to square off in the FCS semifinals on Saturday. Kickoff is 6:30 p.m. ET and is broadcasted on ESPNU.
Get ready for the matchup with some key numbers to know.
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Stuffing The Run
JMU is No. 1 in the FCS with 60.4 rushing yards allowed per game while the Wildcats are No. 14 with 113.5. Last week against Montana in the quarterfinals, the Wildcats allowed 17 rushing yards on 27 carries for 0.6 yards per attempt. JMU completely shut down Northern Iowa last week, allowing zero yards on 19 carries.
The Weber State and JMU defenses both have 17 interceptions. Eight different JMU players have a pick with Adam Smith's six leading the way. Nine Wildcats have had their hand in the interceptions total. Eddie Heckard and Ja'Kobe Harris both have three.
The two quarterbacks are in their second year with the programs after transferring in and winning the starting job. JMU's Ben DiNucci transferred from Pitt and is now a senior. Weber State junior QB Jake Constantine began his career at Boise State before playing at Ventura College in 2017 and transferring to Weber in 2018.
Time Of Possession
Points will be at a premium in what looks to be a defensive battle. But both teams play solid ball-control offense with the Dukes ranking No. 8 in the FCS with a 32:57 time of possession and Weber ranking No. 12 with 32:14.
Defensive Line Star Power
The two teams have four All-American defensive ends – JMU's Ron’Dell Carter and John Daka and Weber State's Jonah Williams and Adam Rodriguez.
Living In The Backfield
Weber has 101 tackles for loss this season (tied for 12th in the FCS) along with 44 sacks (tied for third in the FCS). The Dukes have 127 TFLs (second in the FCS) and 46 sacks (second in the FCS).
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Both teams are tremendous at their home stadiums with 8-0 records. Weber State is 3-3 on the road this season, although two of those losses came against FBS opponents (6-0 at San Diego State and 19-13 at Nevada).
In the 2019 FCS playoffs, home teams are 15-5 (6-2 in the first round, 5-3 in the second round and 4-0 in the quarterfinals).
The one common opponent is UNI. Weber State defeated the Panthers 29-17 in late September and JMU beat UNI 17-0 in the quarterfinals.
These two teams met in the 2017 quarterfinals, with the Dukes getting a home win off of an Ethan Ratke 46-yard field goal as time expired for a 31-28 win. Ratke is still a member of the JMU team.
Other listed starters from that 2017 game that are still on the roster:
JMU — WR Riley Stapleton, OL Jahee Jackson, OL Zaire Bethea, OL Mac Patrick, LB Bryce Maginley
Weber — WR Rashid Shaheed, OL Ty Whitworth, RB Kevin Smith, OL Ben Bos, LB Auston Tesch, DE Jonah Williams, DB Preston Smith,
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