Three minutes into the second quarter of James Madison's demolition of Morgan State in Week 3, Ben DiNucci connected with Brandon Polk on a 48-yard touchdown to cap a two-play, 59-yard drive that put the Dukes ahead 21-0. It was the first of 10 two-play touchdown drives in their first 10 games. Then, riding an eight-game winning streak by a combined 212 points, JMU got bored.
Through their first 10 games, James Madison had the 10 touchdown drives of two or three plays but hadn't yet found the end zone on the first play of a drive. Seven minutes into the first quarter against Richmond, that changed when DiNucci connected with Polk for an 80-yard touchdown on the first play of the drive. One play, 80 yards, 21 seconds. It was their first of three one-play touchdown drives in four games.
MORE: Dive Into NDSU's Scoring
The Dukes did it again against Rhode Island in their regular-season finale a week later and against Northern Iowa in the playoff quarterfinals. The first two instances covered a total of 132 yards, while the third instance was a one-yard run by Percy Agyei-Obese in the final minutes against UNI after taking over at the 1-yard line following a fourth-down sack.
Before James Madison meets North Dakota State in Frisco on Saturday, we broke down their scoring drives:
In addition to their three one-play offensive touchdown drives, James Madison also scored in one play five other times: Three defensive touchdowns and two special-teams touchdowns. All but the end-zone fumble recovery vs. Elon covered at least 43 yards, including MJ Hampton's tie-breaking 83-yard interception return in the fourth quarter vs. Villanova.
Why Waste Time?
Unsurprisingly, Agyei-Obese's one-yard touchdown vs. UNI was James Madison's shortest drive of the season: Four seconds. It's one of nine touchdowns scored in 50 seconds or less.
They also scored another 18 touchdowns in two minutes or less and 16 touchdowns in three minutes or less.
Wear 'Em Down
About 10 percent of the Dukes' touchdown drives were at least 10 plays, all of which ended with a rushing touchdown but, surprisingly, none of which took more than six minutes, 17 seconds off the clock.
Against Monmouth in the playoffs, James Madison had two long touchdown drives with a combined 27 plays over 12 minutes and 20 seconds.
Average touchdown drive: 6.7 plays.
James Madison scored at least one first-quarter touchdown in all 15 games but scored 44 of their 73 offensive touchdowns in the first half. They needed only 14 fourth-quarter (and one overtime) touchdowns to win 14 games.
Of their 21 first-quarter touchdowns, five were scored in the first five minutes of the game, including Ben DiNucci's 20-yard run 78 seconds into their eventual overtime win over Stony Brook.
Goal-Line TDs Galore
Agyei-Obese's one-yard touchdown vs. Northern Iowa was one of 11 one-yard touchdowns this season, by far the most of any distance. Nine-yard touchdowns (seven) were the next most popular. Thirty-nine of their touchdowns came from inside the opponent's 10-yard-line.
James Madison also scored six times from their side of the field, including that 80-yard DiNucci-to-Polk score against Richmond.
Average touchdown distance: 17.3 yards.
In addition to their seven touchdown drives of at least 10 plays, the Dukes capped 13 drives of at least 10 plays with a field goal, including their longest (time) drive of the season, a 12-play, 58-yard march against Weber State that sucked seven minutes, 41 seconds off the fourth-quarter clock.