James Madison hung 50 plus on East Tennessee State and 34 in a win over an FBS school (East Carolina). Norfolk State lost to a Division II school (Virginia State) in comparison. This will be a tuneup for JMU's next three weeks of more challenging Colonial Athletic Association games against Maine, on the road at Delaware and at home against Villanova. Look for a tuneup win this weekend with a ton of backups getting ample P.T.
Norfolk State: 7
FCS Podcast: NDSU, JMU Dominate Weekend Preview, Can Austin Peay End the Streak?[divider]
A lot was made last week of how ETSU tried to contain JMU by loading the box and forcing Bryan Schor to throw the ball. Shouts to ETSU for having a reasonable plan of attack. Unfortunately, Schor is way too talented of a passer for that to actually work.
I do not believe Norfolk State will try the same thing. And since ETSU only managed three points on offense last week, and the Spartans aren't necessarily a better team than the Bucs…
Norfolk State: 3
Doomed Dukes: Why JMU Football Will Totally Lose to Norfolk State [divider]
Norfolk State has yet to score an offensive touchdown this season. When concocting a formula to beat JMU in Bridgeforth Stadium, one of the first ingredients needed is the ability to score offensive touchdowns.
Unfortunately for the Spartans, the Dukes' defense is much better than Virginia State's and William & Mary's defensive units. Dukes roll in the final contest before conference play.
Norfolk State: 3
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Norfolk State enters the weekend at 0-2 with losses to Virginia State and William & Mary. The Spartans have not scored an offensive touchdown yet this season — their only trip into the end zone came on a fumble recovery. They are averaging eight points a game and that probably doesn’t bode well for them against the Dukes’ defense that has played pretty well through the first two weeks.
I’m predicting JMU rolls big in its final non-conference game before it rolls into CAA play. It should be a chance for a lot of JMU players to get some playing time and for the Dukes to iron out what few wrinkles they have shown thus far.
Norfolk State: 3[divider]
This week’s matchup does not bode well for the Norfolk State Spartans.
JMU’s biggest strength as an offense is running the ball, and the Spartans have struggled mightily defending the run so far this season, surrendering 198 yards per game through the first two weeks. I like the JMU stable of running backs to gain heavy yardage thanks to dominant play from the offensive line.
This will help JMU dominate time of possession and should open up the play action and big passing plays for Bryan Schor as well. I like JMU winning big here.