Harrisonburg, Va. — The James Madison Dukes host the Phoenix of Elon Saturday for Homecoming and Parents Weekend. JMU, 4-1 overall, 2-0 in the Colonial Athletic Association, is coming off a 53-point win in Richmond and look to continue their hot streak in front of a sold-out home crowd.
[divider]RANKINGS: Who's No. 1 Now?
COMPARE: Any Players | Any Teams [divider]
The Dukes have an advantage in scoring, both offensively and defensively, ranking No. 1 in both categories in the conference. The only statistical edge for Elon is that they are ranked No. 1 in time of possession (33:46 per game) in the CAA compared to the Dukes (24:10 per game).
Time of possession could prove beneficial for the Phoenix, optimally limiting the opportunities for the Dukes offense. Through five weeks, JMU is scoring more than 43 points per contest .
The QB Comparison
Ben DiNucci, SR — JMU vs. Davis Cheek, SO. — Elon
This is a key matchup in this game. Pittsburgh transfer Ben DiNucci has made himself a known name in the Shenandoah Valley, completing an impressive 74 of 99 passes for 801 yards with 12 TDs and just two interceptions. He's also added three touchdowns on the ground.
Davis Cheek has completed 60 of 83 pass attempts for 696 yards and just three touchdowns. Last season in a 31-3 loss, Cheeks completed just eight of 18 pass attempts versus JMU.
Another key player to watch, JMU Cornerback Jimmy Moreland, is engraving his name into the school history book. He's now the all-time leader in interceptions with 16 and interceptions returned for a touchdown with five. With three pick-sixes on the season already, the outstanding senior will line up across scrimmage from Elon’s No. 1 WR, sophomore Kortez Weeks.
Weeks has yet to register a touchdown on the season, but leads all Phoenix receivers with 371 receiving yards on 28 receptions, leading the CAA in receptions per game. Weeks, however, seems to struggle on the road, with only 92 receiving yards on seven catches compared to 279 receiving yards on 21 catches at home.
Coming off his best game with the Phoenix (14 receptions for 165 yards), Weeks will look to break his scoring drought
Moreland, on the other hand, will look to prove his case for best defender ever to don the purple and gold.
COMPARE: Moreland vs. Weeks
DPOY POLL: Moreland Leads
More Key Players
- Phoenix RB Malcolm Summers is having an impressive start to the season rushing for 406 yards on 77 attempts with two touchdowns. Summers averages 19 touches per game and has had two contests with 120 plus rushing yards. Safe to say he has taken the primary role in the backfield for the Phoenix.
- Dukes junior Defensive Lineman John Daka leads the team in tackles for a loss (7) and has added 19 total tackles on the season (tied for second best on JMU). On one of the best pass and rush defenses in the CAA, Daka will look to get into the backfield early in hopes of limiting Summer’s production.
- The Dukes of JMU have shown an impressive amount of depth in their roster in this short season; with many athletes displaying tremendous efforts and succeeding.
- JMU (2-0 in CAA) has won all divisional matchups by 17 points or more this season. Even in a one quarter game shortened by inclement weather versus Norfolk State, JMU was leading by 17 points before the winds and rain proved too powerful to continue the play clock. Expect JMU to impress in front of the home crowd.
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