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.

9 Comments

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  1. Rachel / Sep 15 2018

    Agree on the scheduling. Fan base momentum is so exciting! Would hate to see people “tire” of it due to these boring games that make me feel terrible for the opposing team.

  2. Hoping to be wrong / Sep 15 2018

    Totally agree, tailgating again was awesome but that game doesn’t seem to make us better … like a dunk contest on a 9 foot rim.

    I get that Kirkpatrick is probably holding some stuff back from the playbook thus far … but I can’t see that scheme beating the ‘Nova, Richmond or NDSU. DiNucci won’t be able to scramble like that against good fcs defenses. I would have liked to see some better down field vision.

  3. Drake / Sep 15 2018

    Madizone is either broadcasting from an open air booth this year or they finally put a mic outside. It’s so great to actually hear the crowd get loud in between snaps and hear the band. We are so lucky to have such a great production.

  4. down south / Sep 16 2018

    Good: Madizone video broadcast — good quality, angles and didn’t freeze up like that fledgling four-letter sports network that broadcasted the NSU game. Maybe they’ll figure it out someday and make it big!

    Bad: Madizone audio broadcast — announcers are aweful and have for years, Dudley Doright included. Thankfully the video is good and you can mute the drabble.

    Ugly: Dukes’ helmets. Robert Morris lost the game, but won the uni battle by a lot. The Colonial lids were cool however, JMU should return the ugly white helmets to the pee-wee team they borrowed them from.

  5. M@ / Sep 17 2018

    I am actually starting to come around to the scheduling thing as well. I really liked that the Big Sky and Valley conferences have had a face-off in the early part of the year. Sure, it’ll make it a bit harder to get that top 4 seed if we lose the game; but if we win it a loss to a CAA team may not hurt the seeding quite as much.

  6. ShadyP / Sep 17 2018

    I am not sure what exactly folks want from JMU with regard to scheduling. JMU has a pretty simple, successful scheduling formula – FBS/FCS/FCS for out of conference scheduling. JMU plays in the #1 or #2 FCS league where they will get 4-5 ranked games during conference play year in and year out. College football does not have a pre-season so the OOC portion of the schedule (not the FBS game) is where you get to evaluate your team prior to conference play, work timing kinks out on offense, etc.

    I see absolutely zero issue when an OOC game is scheduled versus a conference that gets an auto-bid to the playoffs. When a game is booked versus an NEC opponent for example (several years prior) you could be booking a playoff team, you never know. I would however, NOT schedule MEAC teams in the future and never as a road game b/c the conference opts out of the FCS playoffs. Having said that OOC games versus Big South, SoCon, NEC, Patriot, OVC are all fair game (I think JMU plays UT-Chattanooga next season OOC).

    JMU’s scheduling philosophy is geared toward giving JMU the best chance to garner home playoff games which enhances deep runs in the playoffs. Unless someone wants to put up a bunch of money on a neutral field there is zero incentive for teams like JMU/NDSU to play in the regular season…..it just doesn’t make sense.

    Based on season ticket sales JMU’s scheduling philosophy is a non-issue.

  7. E-Dub / Sep 17 2018

    Great summary as always. Thanks.

    As for “bad” point number one, none of us should prepare for any meaningful improvement on that front. DiNucci simply does not have the arm strength or accuracy to be a threat in the deep passing game. In my opinion, this is what kept him from succeeding in Pitt’s system. Arm strength was a clear concern when Pitt recruited him and rightfully so as it turned out. On the other hand, we’ve all seen how he can make plays with his legs, which is why I think he will be successful in our system. I’m not as worried about how he will perform against better FCS defenses — he showed last year that he can make plays against FBS defenses, even good FBS defenses. But as a fanbase we need to be clear that as Pitt-to-FCS transfer QBs go, we’re not getting Joe Flacco like Delaware did a few years ago.

  8. ShadyP / Sep 17 2018

    So, Dinucci threw one deep ball the other night and it was underthrown and hung into the wind and now that means he cannot throw a deep ball…..wow. I seem to recall this exact same fear/worry with Schor that he lacked arm strength and could not throw a deep ball and that proved to be an unfounded concern. I saw Dinucci flat rip a 15 yard slant that was harder than anything I ever saw Schor throw…it was a wow throw.

    Oh and for those that would like to alter JMU’s OOC scheduling philosophy, I assume those same folks will supporting that change by being at home or road playoff games on Thanksgiving Saturdays and future road playoff games…..I mean JMU would be adopted your preferred scheduling so my assumption is those same folks will then not be critical of road playoff games and be there to support.

  9. Rob K / Sep 17 2018

    I swear I’m not (that) bitter, but early in this game, JMU had 1st down with about 15-20 yards to go before the end zone. They lined up three receivers to the right and Stapleton to the left. They threw it to Stapleton in the end zone, which of course he caught. I wanted them to run that exact play when it was 1st down and 19 to go against the Bison. All four times if needed (it would have not have been needed, in my opinion).

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