Sep 19 / Rob

Prediction Contest: Dukes vs. Griffins

The Pantsless Griffins are headed to the ‘burg to face our 2-1 Dukes on Saturday. The game will be the first CAA contest of 2018 for JMU. We’ll have our preview up later this week, but it’s time for your predictions. Leave a comment below letting us know which team you think will win and what the final score will be. The person who comes closest to nailing it (winner & score) will win the right to guest post. That’s it. So let us know who you think is gonna win and Go Dukes!

Sep 18 / Rob

JMUSB Pod: Robert Morris Recap

The latest episode of the JMUSB Podcast is now available for your listening pleasure. We had the good fortune to have an entire 4 quarters of football to discuss, so we walk through our Four Downs on the big 73-7 win over Robert Morris. We also take a look ahead to this weekend’s game against William & Mary and then the rest of the CAA schedule beyond that. And we wrap it up with a chat about old school video games. Give it a listen on your commute.

Once again, the JMUSB Podcast is brought to you by Pale Fire Brewing. Let them know we sent you next time you’re at the tasting room and they’ll give you a free pint glass.

Be sure to subscribe to the JMUSB Pod via Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Sep 14 / Todd

Dukes Roll Over Robert Morris 73-7

I’d like to think that when medieval people used to go watch executions, even though they knew what the outcome was going to be in advance, for at least some of them with an ounce of empathy, the experience itself wasn’t necessarily all that pleasurable to watch. That’s sort of how it felt watching the Dukes destroy the Robert Morris Colonials. With apologies to, we’re not sure there was another player on the entire RMU team that was athletically in the same zip code.Ilnc1ngad0mbtlsyaatc

The Good

Jimmy ‘effin Moreland – Jumping a WR quick-screen for a pick-6 is, of course, the most Jimmy way to break a JMU career record imaginable. We just feel so fortunate that one of our all-time favorite players has gotten to play in this glorious era of JMU football and that we have hopefully 12 more games to enjoy his talents and, more importantly, the joy with which he plays the game.

JMU Nation – Look, we could write a list a mile long of players who did cool things last night, including a bunch of new names, but really when you beat a massively inferior opponent by 67 points particular plays are not all that noteworthy. But when your fanbase makes a decent showing, and your students make a fantastic showing, for a game that was switched to a weeknight kickoff three days before, you take note. We couldn’t help but smile that last night turned out to be a fairly gorgeous night in the Valley and the crowd looked easily as good as we’ve seen for bad weather or early-round playoff games in years past. We’re growing people, enjoy the ride!

The JMU Lacrosse feature at halftime – Superb. Meaningful (might’ve been a little dusty here at JMUSB HQ). And like the team, uncompromising. There was not cute antics or b.s., just a bunch of badass women wrecking things and kicking in the door of what had been a very closed house of champions in that sport. What a fun production from JMU that we couldn’t help but think must’ve played well to recruits and younger players from the lax-mad DMV that might’ve casually been tuned into the game on a relatively slow sports night. For that matter, the MadiZone production overall is so darned good. Adding in some other pros or semi-pros alongside the legend Curt Dudley is also taking this to another level. As always, HUGE thanks to the JMU Alumni Association for keeping this freely available to fans everywhere!

The Bad

Continued lack of a deep passing game – It’s just RMU, but the first true deep ball of the season from DiNucci “towards” Eldridge was underthrown and underwhelming in terms of instilling confidence the Dukes are going to find this element going forward. Next week will be a big test when the Dukes get back to playing a somewhat competitive opponent.

Papa John’s commercial still featuring Papa John – We’re not hating on Papa John’s (it’s garbage pie). And we’re not getting into politics or the Kentucky legislature or wild claims from Rick Pitino (we’ll save that for JMU’s game at Louisville in a couple years!), but this guy resigned in disgrace a couple months back and you’d think we could dig up a commercial without his strung-out face in it.

The Ugly

Not much to say here than that it is an ugly truth that we as fans need to start facing, and the scheduling gurus at JMU need to start addressing, that we still have more of these awful games agains hugely inferior competition to come. In the Mickey days where 5-3 in CAA play and a conceded loss to an FBS team was the norm, JMU needed to pad the schedule with MEAC/NEC opponents to put it in the best position for a playoff bid. But these days, and we don’t say this arrogantly or to be jerks, the simple fact is that most FCS teams from any conference almost fall into cupcake status for the Dukes and these games are not helping anyone. RMU looked beaten and miserable, only Coach and the film will know if JMU actually got better last night which should be the goal of these games, and normal fans probably snoozed through the second half. We’ve been big defenders of JMU’s scheduling in the past, even some questionable road game contracts, but it’s time to switch out one of these scrimmages for at least a SoCon opponent.

Sep 13 / Todd

2018-19 JMUSB Game Preview #3: Robert Morris at JMU

Thursday Night Football! In the NFL context, it kind of makes you gag doesn’t it? But for JMU, this is a rare, maybe singular, opportunity. Here’s hoping the team is a little more prepared than we are. (Safe bet). Needless to say, this will be one of the strangest home openers in Dukes history.

The Basics

Matchup: Robert Morris (1-1, 0-0 NEC) at JMU (1-1, 0-0 CAA). First all-time meeting between the programs. JMU’s seventh game against an NEC opponent and the Dukes are 6-0 so far.

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Thursday at Bridgeforth Stadium, Rocktown

Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 77 degrees, 10% chance of rain and rising later in the game.

Coverage: NBC Sports Washington (formerly Comcast Sports Net) and MadiZone HD. This is a GREAT opportunity. JMU was really fortunate that when the game was moved, the DC affiliate of NBC Sports still had a slot tonight to show the game. It’s not a national network, but fortunately, MadiZone is there for those of us out of market (and DTV Ch. 642 for your watch parties). But really, on a prime TV-night when a whole lot of people in JMU’s home markets are going to be tuning in to peep the weather if nothing else, this is a fantastic opportunity for the Dukes to make a lot of impressions.

FEPO: Who knows but we’re not sure there would be a line high enough.

What, and Who, the Heck is Robert Morris?

Robert Morris University, known as the Colonials, is located in Moon Township in suburban Pittsburgh, PA. As opposed to the RMU in Illinois that has made headlines for being one of the first schools to fully fund and make varsity – with scholarships – an E-sports squad. This RMU started as a for-profit business school and was originally the Pittsburgh School of Accounting. The school changed its name to honor one of the school’s founding fathers. In 1942 the school moved into what had been the William Penn Hotel. One pretty cool fact is that the school’s own students formed the original Steelers cheerleading squad, the Steelerettes, and were the official cheer squad for the NFL team throughout the 1960’s. The football team played games a local high school stadium until the opening of a new facility in 2005. Like JMU, they are currently building a new arena for hoops and other sports.

How Robert Morris Can Win?

Zero clue. Even in one quarter, it was pretty obvious the talent gap between the Dukes and Norfolk St. In NSU’s other game in Week 1, they pretty well handled D2 Virginia St. Well last week Robert Morris had to come from behind to eke out a win over that same VSU team 22-19 in the 4th quarter. Transitive property and all that but come on, watching these highlights makes us think this game is going to require mercy and a lot of humility from JMU (and yes, eyes on you QB1). Oh yeah, and they lost to non-schollie Pioneer League power Dayton 49-28 in their opener.

But we don’t mean to hate on the Colonials. After all, their new head coach, Bernard Clark, Jr. has JMU ties. Clark played at Miami and had a cup of coffee in the pros. Eventually, he served as defensive ends coach way back at the beginning of the Mickey era in the 98-99 season. Good luck Coach Clark!

Also, HUGE props to RMU for agreeing to come down early and play this game. Projecting the matchup, it sure would’ve been easier to make use of the Tidewater Tradition (ODU, NSU) and bail on this game early given the likely score. But the Colonials were happy to accept the challenge and their own opportunity to test themselves against an FCS heavyweight.

How JMU Can Win

Show up prepared to play. Not to sleep on RMU, but the most important thing for the Dukes is to be ready to execute cleanly after a very odd couple of weeks. Putting aside the fan perspective, the on-field silver lining in the Thursday game is that JMU only played a quarter last week, albeit an long one temporally, and if they win this game without major injury, they’ll have a mini-bye and extra time to prepare for William & Mary next weekend and the start of CAA play. JMU is going to win. They’re probably going to win big. But we need to see this young team act like they’ve been there before and take this game for what it is – a chance to improve against live competition – and not muck around trying to add to individual players’ highlight reels.

About the Rescheduling

Leave it alone people. JMU made the best decision they could based on the information they had available at the time. Early this week it looked like parts of Virginia might be in need of an ark. Decisions on big productions like football games can’t be made, or changed, on a dime. UVA, ODU, UR, and VT have all had their plans altered too. And you know the Governor and the Emergency Management folks for the Commonwealth were saying they’d like all their resources available to help where most needed and not worrying about drunk frat bros in the parking lots. Think of all the extra manpower brought in even for a game of JMU’s size – State Troopers and local PD, EMS, electrician-types. You really think they’re better served directing traffic in Harrisonburg if they’re needed elsewhere for real things? Like a lot of fans, we can’t make it to the game this week based on the change, but we’ll be rootin’ all the same. And to be honest, we’re a bit envious of the fans that can make it. These strange games (think Charlotte a few years back or that freezing Friday game against Sam two years ago) sometimes make for the best experiences and a chance to make new friends.

Beer of the Week

No beer, it’s time for a proper Hurricane NOLA style. Legend has it that New Orleans bar owners needed a way to get through the cheaper, and crappier, rum that distributors forced them to buy before they’d give them the good scotches and bourbons. So cheap rum got HEAVILY mixed with fruit punch and grenadine of various kinds, and often even an extra floater of rum is dashed on the top, and served in a “hurricane-lamp” shaped glass. Eventually large plastic cups took over as they should in one of the few bastions of freedom that allow open containers. In other words, it’s a perfect tailgate drink.

Official JMUSB Prediction

Dukes 70, Colonials 15

Sep 12 / Rob

Prediction Contest: JMU vs. Robert Morris

Apologies folks, but with JMU’s game against Norfolk State getting called after only one quarter, last week’s prediction contest tanked. We were planning on just randomly selecting one entrant to write a guest post, but with the condensed schedule this week, we just bagged it. Hopefully everyone understands.

Regardless, we’re back for another round this week. You know the way it works. Leave a comment below with your prediction for Thursday’s game. The person who comes closest to nailing it (winner & score) will get to write a guest post. That’s it. Screw Florence! Go Dukes! Beat Robert Morris!

Sep 11 / Rob

JMUSB Pod: Reviewing the Quarter Game & Favorite Bad Movies

We’re back with another episode of the JMUSB Podcast. In this one, we only had a quarter of football to review, but we went ahead and did a full “Four Downs” anyway. We also talk about things that might not officially rise to the level of concerns, but certainly are question marks at this point. And finally we share some of our favorite bad movies. They are both cringe-worthy and embarrassing.

Once again, the JMUSB Podcast is brought to you by Pale Fire Brewing. Let them know we sent you next time you’re at the tasting room and they’ll give you a free pint glass.

Be sure to subscribe to the JMUSB Pod via Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Sep 9 / Rob

JMU Defeats Norfolk State in Abbreviated Game

We expected the game between JMU and Norfolk State to be figuratively over after a quarter. Due to weather however, it was literally ended after 15 minutes due to lightning with the Dukes up 17-0. Well, due to lightning and the fact that it was blatantly obvious to everyone on earth, save Norfolk State’s announcing duo, that JMU had the game in the bag. Given all that, there’s not really much to say. We could try to pull a “Good, Bad, & Ugly” style recap out of thin air, but let’s just go with three thoughts on the game instead. read more…

Sep 7 / Todd

2018-19 JMUSB Game Preview #2: JMU at Norfolk St.


…a 41 point spread! What, you thought I was going to say “the green and gold?” And a hook, don’t forget the hook to make it -41.5 on the Dukes.

The Basics

Matchup: #2 James Madison Dukes (0-1, 0-0 CAA) at Norfolk State Spartans (1-0, 0-0 MEAC)

Kickoff: 6 p.m. at Dick Price Stadium in downtown Norfolk

Weather: 85 degrees, humid, 50% chance of thunderstorms. In other words, be ready for a long night Dukes fans.

Coverage: ESPN3

FEPO: JMU favored by yes, 41 and a half.

It is larger than BFS. It’s also, well, it’s there. Bring your binoculars if you want to see the halftime show!

How NSU can win?

Play the mistake-free game of their lives and capitalize on any Dukes overconfidence and resulting screw-ups. Something odd, like a long but not-out-of-the-question weather delay, wouldn’t hurt either. The Spartans program has really stabilized the last few years under Coach Latrell Scott, a noted Virginia recruiter who has worked at nearly every school in the Commonwealth over the last decade for stints short and long. We’re really happy to see Coach Scott back on the upswing and he’s clearly made progress with this program. Of course, with what NC A&T is doing in and out of the MEAC recently and Hampton leaving the conference, NSU’s still got a ways to go towards relevance. The Spartans are big on the lines and won’t be pushed around, but they need a miracle to stay with JMU’s athletes on the outside. Most importantly, they have to cut down on the game-breaking mistakes they made so often last year.

How JMU can win?

Play their game and limit mistakes. Despite our jokes, JMU cannot afford to mess around here. The only way they keep Norfolk St. in the game is by making mistakes in the form of turnovers and dumb penalties. The Dukes have better athletes in a more stable program with the best staff in the country. Just facts. They should win this game, but if they start believing the hype-train from fans after last week’s decent showing at NC State instead of the coaches who seem to have been emphasizing that last week was nothing more than a missed opportunity (the second game like that in a row to be honest), JMU will miss the opportunities this week should afford them. This week “should” give them a chance to show just what kind of a Death Star they’re capable of becoming on offense this year. This week “should give them a chance to build on a strong defensive effort and show that all the new faces are ready for primetime. Just as importantly, this week “should” give them the chance to get every jersey on the travel squad dirty by finding valuable minutes of experience and morale-building for freshmen (able to play thanks to the new redshirt rule), backups and walk-ons. But for every turnover and botched play that allows NSU to hang around, not only will the Spartans gain confidence, but the Dukes will be chucking away more chances and that will officially have become a very disturbing trend.

NSU History

I joked about “Behold” at the beginning, which is the start of NSU’s famous “behold the green and gold” but the story behind the green and gold is really incredible. This 2017 Virginian Pilot piece provides a fantastic explanation for the school’s colors, chosen to model the Green Bay Packers believe it or not. It’s also hard to believe that NSU, despite Howard and Hampton folks calling it “a country school,” was once merely a part of Virginia State University, a school it’s seemingly outgrown in every way over the last few decades.

Beer of the Week

A trip to the Tidewater, hopefully the Dukes’ last until a long-awaited shot at redemption against ODUh, makes this week’s pick a no-brainer. Va Beach’s Commonwealth Brewing Company has been doing outstanding things the last couple years and the Big Papi DIPA is simply outstanding. I love IPA’s but the hazy/New England trend has thrown me off a bit as those aren’t my favorite and they hurt the next day. This is hazy. And it’s still fantastic. Juicy as a melon with no bitterness at all. In a beautifully labeled tall-boy can that features purple as it’s most prominent color. And if their brewery’s three-part symbol makes you think of the Deathly Hallows, wait till winter when their equally stunning Marvolo Stout comes out again.

Official JMUSB Prediction

Last year’s 75-14 final in Bridgeforth is the reason for the crazy-high line in this game. NSU didn’t seem to have any drop-off when they went to their backup QB last week. Plus they’re playing at home (though we hope it will be close in terms of which team has more support in the stands). We’ll go with 52 – 14 and Spartans cover late.

Sep 6 / jmusport

Guest Post: Norfolk’n Chance

Jared won last week’s prediction contest and earned the right to guest post. Here he briefly looks back on the season opening loss and then looks ahead to Saturday.

First and foremost, I regret that I won the prediction contest for week 1 against NC State since I took the pack over our beloved Dukes, but hey, here we are. Thank you to the guys behind the blog to allow me to hopefully entertain you, JMU Nation.

Growing up I always loved ESPN Gameday on Saturday mornings, wishing I could one day be an anchor. To be on set with Coach Corso, Herbie and other members over the years giving the details on what to watch for, who to watch for and of course, Coach’s head gear selection would have been a dream of mine. Since ESPN has blessed our campus over the past few years, I still, every now and then wonder what would it be like? To sit down on the set and turn around to see a roaring fan base behind the set, screaming their lungs out, streamers flying (even if they did get onto the cable system for the fly over camera…dukes) and some of the cleverest signs (although provocative occasionally) that young adults have to offer. Well here’s my chance…except I’m on my couch with a beer in hand winging it. read more…

Sep 5 / Rob

Prediction Contest: JMU vs. Norfolk State

After a hard fought loss against NC State, the Dukes are back at this weekend against Norfolk State. As you might recall, JMU defeated the Spartans by the score of 75-14. That’s all we need to say about that. We want to know how you think this year’s match-up will go down though. Leave a comment below with your prediction for Saturday. The person who comes closest to nailing it (winner & score) will get to write a guest post. It’s just that easy. So give us your prediction and Go Dukes!