Nov 1 / Todd

2018-19 JMUSB Game Preview #9: JMU @ New Hampshire

Settle down Dude, nothing is effed!

The Basics

Matchup: #2 James Madison (6-2, 4-1 CAA) at New Hampshire Wildcasts (2-6, 1-4 CAA) at

Kickoff: 1 p.m. Saturday, Wildcat Stadium, Durham, New Hampshire

Weather: 90% chance of rain, cloudy, high 57, winds 10-20 mph

Coverage: Fox College Sports (Spectrum Carolinas Ch. 372 with sports package), foxsportsgo.com, CAA.tv ($ppv)

How New Hampshire Can Win

Just take out all their frustrations on the Dukes and have all-everything Senior QB Trevor Knight beat JMU over the top the way Elon’s Davis Cheek was able to. First of all, the Wildcats have to be considered angry and dangerous. They were ranked in the preseason Top 5 with a veteran team returning and an unrivaled 14 straight years in the FCS playoffs. Unfortunately, they were heavily dependent on Knight’s dynamic abilities and when he was injured in Week 1, what turned out to be an absolutely brutal schedule parked the UNH car in the garage before the playoff race ever really got interesting. Knight went down in the first half of what turned out to be a loss to what we now know is a legit Maine team. Then they went and lost to a Patriot League team before that team turned into currently undefeated Colgate. A loss to FBS Colorado is no problem before road losses to what we now know is the power of the CAA in a then-healthy Elon, Stony Brook and Delaware. They managed to pound the two bad teams they’ve played in Holy Cross and last week a deflated Villanova team by a very JMU-ish score of 34-0.

In other words, we really can’t read anything at all into UNH’s terrible record. Or…as Parcells always said, at some point “you are what your record says you are.” Who really knows? All we do know is that UNH has a tough D ranked 3rd in the CAA and an offense that, now that their leader is back, is capable of testing JMU as much as anyone has this year. The big key for UNH is to have success early to keep morale up. At 2-6, they’re playing for pride and the playoff streak is over. They’ve played well the last few weeks, but even so, if they fall behind early, it’s tough to see them stepping up the fight in the second half.

Oh yeah, one more thing on UNH. As well all know, JMU NEVER plays UNH without the Wildcats attempting some Boise-level trickeration at some point. At 2-6 against the big-dog Dukes, it’s a lock we’ll see every double-pass, flea-flicker, fake punt, and guy hiding in the end zone paint on a kick return that legendary Coach Sean McDonnell can dream up. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

How JMU Can Win

Bust big plays! It’s going to be rainy and typically dreary on the last pre-time-change day way up in Durham (don’t worry it’ll still already be dark at game’s end and how do you people live up there?!). And Knight and the ‘Cats are capable of beating the Dukes. But 2-6 is 2-6 and as good as Knight is and as consistent as UNH has been over this incredible run, the last few years have shown the Dukes simply have more athletes when you compare the lineups top to bottom. Don’t get us wrong, UNH has a few great players and lots of solid guys, but from Abdullah to Alls to Moreland, they’ve managed to make a few big plays that most teams simply can’t make against the Wildcats and they need to find a way to break those plays open again this year. Unlocking the end zone, instead of the “moved the ball well” zone is the key for the Dukes. Even better, if they can do it in the running game and do it in the first half, they’ve got a shot to crush souls on a nasty day against a team battling through an unusually tough year.

Beer of the Week

Commonwealth Brewery’s Marvolo Imperial Chocolate Stout. Face it, you haven’t broken out of the sugar rut you dug yourself out of your kid’s Halloween candy and the now-overflowing office bowl. Or maybe that’s just us. But either way, this is an insanely drinkable stout. Pretty much everything about this beer is easily an “A.” It’s so full of chocolatey goodness you’ll completely overlook the 8.7% ABV. It’s named Marvolo in a great post-Halloween way (if you know, you know), and even has a dark-markish design on the back of the label. In other words, for a cold, gray, rainy day way up the heck in Durham, New Hampshire, you couldn’t ask for anything better.

Official JMUSB Prediction

Dukes 34, Wildcats 13 – Team is just too good not to bust out at some point and we’re thinking this is the week things click a bit in the running game and the Dukes at least begin to press the gas before dropping the hammer next week.

2 Comments

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  1. qdog / Nov 1 2018

    I hate to be picky, but the game is not “at” JMU ( line one above ) ,,, 🙁

    Next Year ! 🙂

  2. JMU2K1 / Nov 3 2018

    Has this game not started as expected? DiNucci makes a terrible decision, special teams with a big play, trip to the red zone ends in a field goal? It’s perfect. Even better when paired with blowout predictions.

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