James Madison's remaining four regular season games are all CAA matchups, three of which are top CAA contenders. Towson, Stony Brook and Rhode Island are all looking for a spot in the FCS playoffs and a chance to knock off the reigning CAA Champions, the Dukes of James Madison.
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The last contest of the regular season is at Towson. Compared to JMU, Towson has a slightly better edge in points forced per game (34.9) but clearly has a weaker defense in allowing almost 20 more points per game to opposing offenses.
But, I cannot coin this game as the 'most important' for the Dukes. They still have to beat Stony Brook and Rhode Island, both have solid offenses but will be traveling to Harrisonburg to face the Dukes, which always makes winning for the opposing team that much more difficult.
New Hampshire, one of the four remaining games for JMU, is having a disappointing season at 1-5. Expect JMU to roll through their next three games in preparation for what could be a fight for #1 in the CAA against Towson in the final game of the season for both teams.[divider]
James Madison has a surplus of stars on their team (as always) with a number of their athletes holding the top rank in CAA statistics for the 2018 season. Cornerback Jimmy Moreland has been a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks in the 2018 campaign, he leads all CAA in interceptions (4) and interceptions returned for a touchdown (3). He is the all-time leader for the Dukes in interceptions (16) and interceptions returned for a touchdown (5).
Amos is first in the CAA in punt return yards (391), punt return average (30.1) and punts returned for a touchdown (3). He is coming off a performance in which he was named the CAA Special teams Player of the Week after he miraculously returned two of three punts at Villanova for touchdowns for a total of 183 yards.
Ben DiNucci's number one target has totaled 41 receptions for 482 yards and 5 touchdowns. He is second in the CAA in receptions, third in receptions per game, and tied for second in receiving touchdowns. The Redshirt Junior is performing at an impressive level alongside quarterback Ben DiNucci who has made a living off of finding Riley on quick slants and post routes.
The Dukes quarterback has found himself right at home after transferring from Pitt. First in the CAA in passing completions percentage (69.6), he has quickly proven that he is a great replacement of QB Bryan Schor, who is currently undrafted after finishing his impressive tenure with the Dukes. Below is a comparison of DiNucci and Schor.
Of course Schor was the number 1 QB for the Dukes for almost three seasons, totaling 35 total starts and 1 FCS Championship compared to DiNucci who has started only 7 in his first season with the Dukes. But if I was to give an educated guess since I have been covering JMU football for a decent amount of time now, DiNucci has put up comparable numbers in his short sample size.
Wrap it up
JMU has four games left in the season to climb to ranks they have seen all too much of in recent years. Coming off of a bye week, the Dukes will be ready and fired up to start the home stretch of the season versus Stony Brook. In their last home contest, the dukes fell short to Elon in the final seconds.
Do not expect JMU to lose again at home for the remainder of the season. The extra week of practice has given them the time to study and learn from tape and apply what they learned on the field in practice. I will look forward to the final game of season versus Towson in a match that might be winner take all.