Sep 28 / Todd

2018-19 JMUSB Game Preview #5: JMU at Richmond

Well done Ladies! Told you we’d make you famous (or known to our 12 readers at least)

Ah, Tick Week, Spatter Chatter, RU! For some reason, it just doesn’t have the juice/dread we’re used to most years this time around. The excitement seems to be entirely among Dukes fans hoping to flood little Bridgeforth East with purple and do something that is rare in this rivalry – laugh and cheer a blowout.

The Basics

Matchup: #2 James Madison Dukes (3-1, 1-0 CAA) at Richmond Spiders (2-2, 0-1 CAA)

Kickoff: 3:00 p.m. Saturday at Bridgeforth (East) Stadium, Richmond, VA

Weather: Partly Cloudy, 76 degrees

Coverage: NBCSW+, NBCSP+, NBCSC+, SNY (DTV Ch. 642 or nearby),  and CBS Digital Online.

FEPO: JMU -27, O/U 54

About that line, JMU overconfidence(?), and this game.

Richmond got beatdown 36-10 at Stony Brook last week. And they lost their best player, WR Dejon Brissett, for the year. It’s certainly possible that RU is headed for a down year in a rugged CAA. But Stony Brook is good. Their other loss was to UVa. The Ticks have beaten Fordham and St. Francis. St. Francis is underrated and tough. In other words, we’re just saying we aren’t sure if the small sample size of RU’s schedule can really tell us much about them in Week 5. Last year a loaded Dukes team only won 20-13 on a last-minute TD. The year before, the eventual national champs went to the 804 and had to sneak out with a 47-43 win in a thrilling offensive fireworks show on a late TD to former TE Jonathan Kloosterman. In other words, records aside, point spreads aside, fan expectations aside, there is little reason to feel all that cocky about any kind of a laugher.

On the other hand, when our guy Satchmo, the Spatter-legend himself, is picking the Dukes, it really just makes us sad.

How RU Can Win?

They need to make it an ugly game like last season. With Kyle Lauletta on the New York Giants and Brissett’s injury last week, this Spatter team is extremely unlikely to hang in a shootout like the 2016 game down there. JMU’s firepower and depth will eventually overwhelm them. Plus their OC is former Mickey-era JMU OC Jeff Durden, so offensive creativity is often “suboptimal.”  But if they can muck it up and stop JMU from running the ball consistently, control time of possession, and channel the raucous atmosphere that these games in Richmond tend to be, don’t for one second think something strange can’t happen.  Unfortunately, junior DB Daniel Jones is their leading tackler right now and that doesn’t necessarily say anything good about stopping the run. But if junior D-Lineman Maurice Jackson can keep up the reign of terror he’s wrought in opponents backfields this season with a bunch of sacks and tackles for loss, that would go a long way towards keeping the Dukes in check. Also, RU needs to be clean on specials. If they want to win, something like last year’s 20-13 slug-fest is probably necessary and giving up a huge return or botching opportunities in the kicking game are big no-no’s for a scoreline like that.

How JMU Can Win?

Establish the run and stop the run. Every coach says it, and sometimes it’s not exactly the case, but here it certainly is. Last year, JMU held RU to 13 points largely by absolutely wrecking their running game and limiting them to just over a yard per rush. If the D can repeat that type of performance, holding RU from lighting up the scoreboard seems likely, especially with Lauletta gone and Brissett out. But in order to justify the high expectations for the Dukes in this game, the offense also needs to establish the run. We’re basically a broken record from last year to this season about this, but when the Dukes find their groove in the running game, they eat people’s souls. When they are unable to do so consistently, they end up in tight games with scoreline like 20-13 (’17 UR), 13-17 (NDSU), and 13-24 (NCSU) scoreline. Feed Cardon and Marcus.

Beer of the Week

The Veil’s Feel Feelings. A crisp Helles lager to remind you that someday, fall weather will actually arrive in the mid-Atlantic. And yes, The Veil’s hipster-insanity hype machine is out of control. But really, if you’re going to Richmond and you miss this brewery, you really are missing out. They have a bunch of killer higher ABV DIPA’s and TIPA’s on tap most of the time, but if you’re wearing purple out off River Rd. on Saturday, you really should keep your wits about you and stay out of any trouble beyond streamer issues.

Official JMUSB Prediction

All our warnings and respectful talk and don’t-get-ahead-of-ourselves-in-a-rivalry stuff is really just nonsense. The Dukes are better. Maybe not 27 points better, but markedly. JMU 35, RU 13.

5 Comments

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  1. Drake / Sep 28 2018

    I’m at work and the CBS website for the game is blocked. Is that a free service or one of those “cancel the subscription on Saturday night” deals? I remember using it last year, but can’t remember.

  2. M@ / Sep 28 2018

    Looks like a subscribe then cancel setup.

  3. M@ / Sep 28 2018

    Although there may be a free trial type thing; I’m not going to try it until tomorrow just in case.

  4. Rob K / Sep 29 2018

    Ugly so far after a half:

    1) The Ticks over-reliance on AC/DC for music

    2) Putting a microphone on the band. Really?

  5. Rob K / Sep 29 2018

    I take back my second comment. Looks like they have a high school band playing.

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