Apr 19 / Rob

Talking JMU Football Spring Game with Greg Madia


Good gracious people. The latest episode of the JMUSB Podcast was an incredible nuisance to produce. Do us a solid and give it listen to make the effort worth it. Without going into great detail, let’s jus say that the new app we use to record is a hot pile of garbage. But I digress.

In any case, we think the episode is worth your time. Primarily because it features a great conversation with Greg Madia of the Harrisonburg Daily News-Record. Greg has done a tremendous job covering Mike Houston and the Dukes and he was kind enough to join us to talk about the Spring game and what the roster is looking like heading into next year. If y’all enjoy listening to Greg even half as much as we enjoyed chatting with him, it will be a win.

As always the JMUSB Podcast is brought to you by Pale Fire Brewing. Drop in for a beer next time you’re in the ‘burg.

Be sure to subscribe to the JMUSB Pod via iTunes.

Apr 12 / Rob

JMU Spring Football Game Preview

It’s been 96 days since the JMU Dukes last played a football game. And we’ve missed them. A lot. Sure we’ve been able to see some reasons for optimism with hoops and enjoyed some stellar play from lacrosse and softball, but we miss football. Thankfully, our boys are back in action this weekend.

The Basics

Match-up: Some of the JMU Dukes 0-0 (00) vs. Some of the Other JMU Dukes 0-0 (0-0)
Kick-off: 1:00 PM on Saturday, April 14 at Bridgeforth Stadium in Harrisonburg, VA
Weather: Mostly sunny with highs in the upper 70s
Broadcast: Unavailable (program ain’t that big yet)

How We Got Here

Coach Houston and the Dukes began Spring practice on March 13. They’ve had two intrasquad scrimmages, but otherwise we’re just talking about practice. However, reports indicate that Houston has been pleased with what he’s seen from some of the younger players and the newcomers. Not sure if it makes sense to draw too many conclusions (if any) from Spring ball, but Dukes are crushing.

The Top Stories

I’ve tired of even pretending this a real preview, so I’m gonna assume you have too. Or you stopped reading and clicked elsewhere. In any case, here are the top 3 stories (in my opinion at least) heading into Saturday’s “game.”

QB Battle

The Dukes need to replace Bryan Schor, one of the all time great JMU QBs. Spring ball started with an open competition between Gage Maloney, Hunger Etheridge, Cole Johnson, and Pitt transfer Ben DiNucci. While DiNucci and Johnson appear to have made this essentially a two man battle, we’re not expecting a starter to be named until later this summer. Both guys are reportedly playing well and showing pretty good accuracy. And DiNucci has even shown some wheels. We’ve got zero insight and can’t even guess who’ll eventually win the job. Based on what we’re reading though, we’re not concerned about JMU having a drastic drop off at the position. Fortunately, there are plenty of offensive weapons to support whomever becomes QB1.

Percy Agyei-Obese

After a season where he saw action as a true freshman, Percy has been the featured back during the spring. Returning studs Trai Sharp, Marcus Marshall, and Cardon Johnson have all missed Spring ball. In their absence, Percy has stepped up and taken advantage of the increased carries. Based on the limited view we got of him last Fall, he’s clearly got talent. He ran for over 100 yards against Norfolk State and almost hit the century mark again at URI. By all accounts though, he’s taken a step forward since then. We get the feeling JMU will use a running back by committee approach in 2018 and ride the hot hand. Agyei-Obese has the potential to give the Dukes a deadly 4 headed monster in the backfield.

The Defense

JMU had a historically good defense in 2017. The Dukes gave up only 11 points a game and had 51 sacks and 31 interceptions. To call it dominating doesn’t do it justice. But they’re replacing a lot of players next season. They’ve got some younger guys who’ve been waiting for a chance. They’ve also got a number of transfers, including Matt Terrell (UVA via junior college), Paris Black (Wake Forest), and Juwan Moye (UVA) all vying for playing time on the defensive line. Of course they’ve got a linebacking unit anchored by Dimitri Holloway, who has been stellar in some big games. And a defensive backfield lead by Jimmy Effin’ Moreland. We don’t expect the D to shut teams down from day one, but we’re confident that Bob Trott will get the job done. 

JMUSB Beer of the Week

It’s not a real game, but fans can still tailgate. Or they can just read about the game Monday and enjoy a nice beer doing something else on Saturday. No rules people. Since it’s April, we might as well take advantage of the opportunity to pick a Spring beer. Let’s go with Bell’s Oberon Ale. It’s become ubiquitous, but that’s a good thing. If it’s not the G.O.A.T of warm weather beers, it’s in the running.

Official JMUSB Prediction

Fans tailgate, enjoy the weather, and act giddy while we watch a re-loading Dukes squad take a step forward to get ready for a march to Frisco. Then we all make WAY too much of the game, convince ourselves that we know exactly who should win the QB job, and pretty much count the days until the season kicks off. Enjoy the game everyone!

Apr 10 / Rob

JMUSB Pod: Spring Game Preview & Dad Moves

The latest episode of the JMUSB Podcast is available for your listening pleasure commute. In it we briefly chat about lax, baseball, and softball before diving into this weekend’s spring football game. We wrap things up with a discussion of infamous dad moves made by our own fathers.

As always the JMUSB Podcast is brought to you by Pale Fire Brewing. Drop in for a beer next time you’re in the ‘burg.

Be sure to subscribe to the JMUSB Pod via iTunes.

Apr 8 / Rob

JMU Lacrosse Is Pretty Much Crushing Souls

Back before the season started, we were lucky enough to have JMU Lacrosse Head Coach Shelley Klaes-Blawcomb join us on an episode of the JMUSB Podcast. I asked her if the team entered the season with the goal of winning a national championship. The question came from my legitimate curiosity about how high level programs established goals. The intent was not to put Coach Shelley on the spot or raise expectations. Because I’m a hack though, that’s kind of how it came across. Well, I don’t feel as bad about it now, because this JMU team is ranked 4th in the nation absolutely a contender to win the whole damn thing.

The Dukes absolutely dominated Drexel by the score of 15-2 on Sunday afternoon. JMU carried a 10-0 lead into halftime and registered 12 goals before the Dragons found the back of the net a single time. In a word, JMU was dominant. Kristen Gaudian and Elana Romesberg both recorded hat tricks. Oddly enough, that’s a below average game for each of them. Gaudian and Romesberg are the top 2 scorers in the CAA this season, averaging 3.58 and 3.33 goals per game respectively.

The win moved JMU to 11-1 overall and a perfect 2-0 in CAA play. The CAA season opener was actually even more of a blowout than the win over Drexel. JMU got league play started off with a 19-5 win over Delaware. In that contest, Romesberg tallied 5 goals and Gaudian added 3 more. Much like they did against Drexel, the Dukes took control early and never looked back.

JMU is off to the program’s best start in its 50 year history. They’ve won 3 straight games by double digits and have a ridiculous 81 goal scoring differential. They’ve got the top 2 goal scores in the CAA and 4 overall in the top 10. As a team, the Dukes score a league leading 15.75 goals a game and giving up fewer than 9 per contest. The offensive generates a ton of shots and the players are converting at a very good 48.3%. And they’re also winning draw controls and scooping up ground balls, two things that are sure to make Coach Shelley proud. In short, this is a damn good JMU team. They’ve still got to run the rest of the CAA gauntlet and face an outstanding Towson team, but they’ve got what it takes to make a deep tourney run.

Apr 4 / Rob

JMUSB Pod: Favorite JMU Athletes & a Trip to Harry Potter World

We’re back from vacation and back at it. In the this episode of the JMUSB Podcast we talk about our favorite JMU athletes of all time. We also put a wrap on March Madness, discuss Lefty finally making the Hall of Fame, and end the show chatting about some of nerdier interests, which of course devolves into a little rant about spending WAY too much money on wands at Harry Potter world in Universal Studios. The end result is that what we planned to be a quick 20-30 minute episode, somehow ends up much longer.

As always thanks to our friends at Pale Fire Brewing for sponsoring the podcast. Drop in for a beer next time you’re in the ‘burg.

Be sure to subscribe to the JMUSB Pod via iTunes.

Mar 21 / Rob

And Now Some 26 Year Old Footage of Dave Matthews at PC Ballroom

This video is from way back in the day. It’s from so far back that it predates even my time at JMU (by mere months, but technically true). And boy does it send us back. First off, it’s actual footage of a Dave Matthews Band show live from the concert mecca known as the PC Ballroom. If you were at JMU in the 90s, you’ll probably find it rather familiar. The baggy clothes and the “dancing” are perfectly representative of what you’d see if you walked into any JMU party roughly between 1992 and 1996.

Everyone loves to mock the more outlandish styles of the 70s and 80s, but as you can tell from this video, 90s fashion was a special kind of awful. There was nothing too glaring or over the top about things, but more just a general lack of fit. People didn’t really wear clothes, as much as they hung them around in loose proximity to their bodies. And I bet if we were able to zoom in, we’d spot more than a few folks in heavy wool socks and Birkenstocks. Or a pair of just plain ugly, “party shoes,” which were basically the oldest, rattiest shoes folks had, worn specifically to splash in puddles of Beast Lite. Functional, yes. Stylish, no.

And those weird movements that folks in the crowd were making? Those weren’t involuntary spasms, they were carefully crafted dance moves. Seriously. We’d mock everyone in the crowd, save for the fact that there is very likely footage somewhere of us doing the exact same thing. Or worse, of us doing the “pretzel.”

Mar 21 / Rob

JMUSB Pod: Never Too Early for Football Talk


Bumpers shut down weeks ago, but somehow we’re still able to record on it. Maybe someone forgot to turn off the server. Or maybe we’re special. In any case, there’s a brand new episode of the JMUSB Podcast available for your listening pleasure. In this episode, we talk a little spring football. And damn did it feel good to talk football. We chat a bit about position battles and what to expect next season, Then we have a long and rambling discussion about weird grandparent stories, that we fully expect folks to disregard, but we enjoyed thoroughly.

Thanks again to our podcast sponsor Pale Fire Brewing. Drop in for a beer next time you’re in the ‘burg. Or grab one in DC now that you can find it in the Capital.

Be sure to subscribe to the JMUSB Pod via iTunes.

 

Mar 16 / Rob

Happy Friggin Friday, Cardon Johnson is Coming Back

Cardon Johnson is coming back y’all. Yes, the extremely talented running back who has experienced some brutal luck with injuries, will be suiting up for the Dukes in the fall. The NCAA granted him a 6th year of eligibility due to a hardship waiver. There was no word on whether or not Andre Semenov advised Johnson and the Dukes during the waiver request process.

This absolute great news for Johnson, and for Dukes fans. Cardon went done with season ending injuries the past two seasons. It’s exciting that he’s going to get a chance to go out on his own terms. It also makes the Dukes offensive backfield quite dangerous. Johnson turned heads last year in the season opener against ECU. In that game he rushed for 265 yards and 2 scores. The performance had JMU fans drooling and eager to see what he could do as the featured back. But he suffered an achilles injury two games later, which knocked him out for the year.

In his JMU career, Johnson has rushed for over 2,088 yards and 24 touchdowns. He’s an explosive back who also runs with plenty of power. He’ll join a backfield that already includes studs like Marcus Marshall, Trai Sharp, and Percy Agyei-Obese. Marshall and Sharp have both started games and Agyei-Obese gave fans a taste of his tremendous potential as a freshman last year when he averaged 5.7 yards per carry. The crew gives the Dukes plenty of depth at running back and will help make whoever earns the starting QB job breathe a little easier on Saturdays.

Mar 13 / Rob

Giving Day Is Here, So Make a Donation & You Could Be a Guest on the JMUSB Pod

JMU Giving Day sort of snuck up on us this year, so we’re a little behind the 8 ball in terms of getting a promotion together. But we hope you like the one we came up with at the last minute. It’s dead simple. Make a donation to the JMU Duke Club today (ideally above and beyond what you’re planning on giving) and you’ll be eligible to be a guest on a future episode of the JMUSB Podcast. Just make the donation and then leave a comment below, @ us on Twitter, or leave a comment or message on Facebook letting us know that you did. We’ll throw all the names in a hat and choose a lucky winner to be a guest on a future podcast. That’s all you need to do.* It’s really that simple. And don’t worry about logistics, we’ll record via a smartphone or browser, so you won’t need to come to us.

Giving Day is a big deal for JMU and a big deal for us personally. It’s an opportunity to build on JMU’s already tremendous school spirit and support the university that has given us so much. And the Duke Club is a particularly great way to support JMU for sports fans. All the money goes to support student athlete scholarships. So when you donate, you’re hoping to pay for all the athletes who give us so much joy, to get an education. It’s a win-win.

* It would also help if you’re not a complete bore and can deal with 2 incompetent podcast hosts. 

 

Mar 13 / Rob

The Latest Episode of the JMUSB Pod is The Last One on Bumpers


 

We’ve been using Bumpers to record and manage the JMUSB Podcast since it’s inception. Unfortunately, Bumpers is shutting down. Therefore, we’ll be moving the JMUSB Podcast to a new platform. We’re not sure where we’ll land, but all the episodes should continue to be available via iTunes, so it should be seamless for listeners. You just won’t be able to listen in the Bumpers app any longer.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s discuss the latest episode. In it we discuss JMU Giving Day, which is today. So break out your wallets and cut a check to good ol’ JMU everyone. Then we go around the horn with a grab bag of topics, including the state of men’s hoops, women’s NIT, lacrosse, and why it’s ridiculous for JMU to attempt to make basic human kindness a brand.

Thanks again to our podcast sponsor Pale Fire Brewing. Drop in for a beer next time you’re in the ‘burg.

Be sure to subscribe to the JMUSB Pod via iTunes.