The 2018 FCS Playoffs are here and we've got game-by-game wrap ups.
Time/Date: December 1, 1:00 p.m. EST | TV: ESPN3
COMPARE: JMU vs. Colgate
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Jimmy Moreland, DB, JMU — JMU's defense won the day, but nobody had quite the impact as newly crowned CAA Defensive Player of the Year Jimmy Moreland. Delaware quarterback Pat Kehoe repeatedly tried to push the ball downfield, but Moreland's skill as a pass defender put too much defensive pressure on one side of the field. He finished with a team-high ten tackles, two of which were tackles for loss.
OTHER STAT STANDOUTS:
Troy Reeder (UD), 16 tackles, 1 TFL
Ben DiNucci (JMU), 23-of-31 for 223 passing yards, 1 TD
Dimitri Holloway (JMU), 8 tackles, 1.5 TFL
Landan Word (JMU), 8 tackles, 1.5 TFL
Caleb Ashworth (UD), 11 tackles
THE TURNING POINT
Jake Brown's eight-yard touchdown reception as the third quarter was winding down pretty much erased any chance of Delaware winning. Madison's defense was just too powerful for Delaware's offense, and when the Dukes pushed it to a two-touchdown game, the game was officially out of reach.
In a game where most expected JMU to roll, Delaware acquitted itself admirably, mucking up the game and keeping itself within striking distance for the first 45 minutes. In the end, between the injuries and the playoff draw, Delaware got about as unlucky as possible here at the end of the season, but that shouldn't take away from the fact that Danny Rocco has returned the Hens to the postseason in his second year at the helm. UD still has bigger goals ahead of it than a first-round playoff appearance, but for now, the program is trending in the right direction.
As for Madison, the JMU defense looked as lethal as ever, but the offense was limited by a strong defense. Nothing is going to get easier for the Dukes over the next two weeks, with potential matchups with Colgate and North Dakota State. More defensive struggles await.
"I hated we saw each other in the first round because that's a team you'd expect to see later on in the playoffs, a second or third-round kind of game." — JMU head coach Mike Houston
PREVIEW OF NEXT WEEK
Both teams have sick defenses. Both teams have offenses that will struggle against great defensive units. JMU v. Colgate will be a defensive clinic, but it will also be a fascinating referendum on the the strength of the Patriot League. Also, it'll be really, really cold. So there's that.
BRACKET BREAKDOWN: Our Predictions for the Full Bracket