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.


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  1. tedward / Sep 7 2018

    Dukes roll. 59-10.

  2. 2004 Duke / Sep 8 2018

    I’ll take the over.

    Did NSU ever get their accreditation back or are they till a pseudo-school?

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