Each member of our JMU football crew still has the same record as the Dukes themselves: undefeated. Each of our experts has picked JMU to win each game this season. Will these concurrent runs of dominance continue? Or will they come to a screeching halt against Villanova on ESPN College GameDay?
Read on to find out.
Also, if you can do a better job predicting the results of the game than our experts, you can win a $50 gift card to the team store of your choice. Fill out your JMU-Villanova predictions here.
JMU and Villanova have two of the top defenses in the CAA. The biggest difference in this game will be at the quarterback position. The Dukes can turn to senior stud Bryan Schor, while the Wildcats are looking at redshirt freshman Jack Schtelich in the huddle. Here's a comparison of the two quarterbacks.
A close game early turns into a comfortable JMU win in the second half.
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If there was one bad thing about ESPN GameDay coming to JMU in 2015, it was that the Dukes lost to Richmond. If there were two bad things about ESPN GameDay coming to JMU in 2015, the second would be the fact that Vad Lee broke his foot. It might not be fair blame that on GameDay (but I’m watching you Herbstreit!). Needless to say, it would be preferable for JMU to win it GameDay game this time.
Villanova caught my attention when they steamrolled Maine last weekend just a couple of weeks after the Black Bears game the Dukes a tough showing in Harrisonburg. It is pretty clear that Madison should expect the best effort of its opponent every week in CAA play now that it is wearing the proverbial target as the defending champions and the nation’s top-ranked team.
With that in mind, I think JMU took advantage of the bye week and will come out firing and ready to put together its best performance of the season in front of the GameDay crowd. I don’t think it’ll be a particularly high-scoring game, but ultimately the Dukes’ experience lifts them over the visiting Wildcats.
FCS PODCAST: Talking JMU-Villanova Ahead of ESPN College GameDay[divider]
It's going to be a defensive slobber knocker folks. Like last year (only 7 points scored) Villanova is going to have a tough time scoring against JMU, but again like last year (20 points) the Dukes will have their hands full with the second-best run defense in the land. Bryan Schor will be the difference through the air and as Raven Greene and Cornell Urquhart told us on our podcast this week — special teams will be a factor. Yep, one of those kinds of games.
Did you know that, during his 20-game tenure at JMU, Mike Houston's squad has outscored opponents 281-64 in games for which he has had more than one week to prepare?
With an ESPN College GameDay crowd, a bye week to prepare, and a defense that has yet to allow more than 14 points, against an offensively challenged team, you'd have to be crazy to pick against JMU here.