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

3 Comments

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  1. Devon / Sep 13 2018

    Well said about the rescheduling. They did the best they could with the info at the time and everyone knows Bridgeforth is one of the first things to be under water at JMU if it does flood. Hate that I am missing my first home game in years, and I have to settle for 8 regular season games to go to instead of 9, but I have to agree with the decision at the time it had to be made. Be thankful that the storm has shifted to not be as bad as it was then and move on…

    Also, props to JMU for offering a credit for anyone that had a ticket to the game. They didn’t have to do that, but they did it to limit the impact on fans. Looking forward to a free playoff game in December because of it (or damn near free)!

    Go Dukes!

  2. Jon / Sep 13 2018

    JMU 67
    RMU 10

  3. Drake / Sep 13 2018

    What are the chances that JMU sees that the fans enjoyed the Thursday night atmosphere and do one of these once a year? I know Thursday games in college use to be big matches. The ACC use to have premier games on Thursdays, I seem to remember a big BC-VT game when Matt Ryan led a crazy comeback. When it’s planned beforehand, teams and fans have equal time to prep for the game, and I would think students would be down for pre-gaming on a Thursday night before going out after the game.

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