Oct 17 / Todd

JMUSB 2019 Game Preview #8: JMU at William & Mary

The Basics

Matchup: #2 JMU Dukes (6-1, 3-0 CAA) at William & Mary Tribe (2-4, 0-2 CAA)

Kickoff: 3:30 p.m.

Location: Zable Stadium in the older, lesser ‘burg

Weather: Mostly Cloudy, High 69

Broadcast: Flo for most of us, but Cox Yurview for Cox Customers in Fairfax, Hampton Roads, Roanoke, Fredericksburg

Boys in the Desert: JMU -19, O/U 53, ML -1275

A Bit About the Tribe

Go-go offense. Pretty sure Rare Essense ain’t playing homecoming.

Most of us would rather listen to Lebron talk foreign policy than spend a weekend at W&M. Ok, that’s not exactly true. Or not true at all. But really we all know everything about our frenemies down 64 at this point. JMU has played W&M more than any other team. It’s old, it’s part of a huge historical reenactment. They take academics somewhat seriously. And they’ve upgraded their stadium way beyond anything their real rival RU could even dream of. Yadayadayada.

But we can’t yada yada the arrival this year of Head Coach Mike London and Offensive Coordinator Brennan Marion, along with their Go-Go Offense from Howard this year. These fellas are rapidly turning this program around and we certainly don’t expect a repeat of last year’s 51-0 thrashing by the Dukes.

How the Tribe Can Win

Turn the Dukes Over. The Tribe’s offense is good enough to score points, and given how massively different it will likely seem to the JMU defense from anything they’ve seen from past W&M teams or anyone else so far this year, they may score a healthy bit. But if the Tribe turn this into a pure track meet Withers-style, they’ll have a rough time trying to stay with JMU’s talent for 60 minutes.

But defensively they’ve given up 30, 52, 38, 31, and 35 points. The only game they didn’t give up 30 was against one of the worst offensive, and talent-deficient, teams in FBS. And even those ECU Pirates scored 19. The Tribe only seem capable of outscoring JMU if they can force turnovers and put themselves in position for some short-fields.

And we are genuinely looking forward to seeing this creative offense in action. Marion’s mad-scientist setup is most often a rare look in modern college football with two running backs in the backfield. But they’re often in odd alignments (both to the same side of the QB) and one or both is likely to be part of the pattern if it’s a passing play. Hard to explain, but fun to watch. And they might be starting to pick up the concepts after a slow start. In the two CAA games they played they lost 38-31 to an improving Albany team and 35-28 to a Villanova team that gave the Dukes fits. And that was before the bye week they’ve been on to prep for JMU.

How the Dukes Can Win

There’s no such thing as trap games. Who are we kidding, this one does have the markings. W&M off a bye and improving in their new system. The Dukes still two weeks out from a much-needed bye and sandwiching this road trip between big matchups against Nova and Tom Flacco. The absolute biggest thing JMU needs to do to win this game is be 100% present mentally. They have a chance to build off the momentum of last week’s fourth quarter and they can’t slack here. They also need to not get frustrated if it takes a few drives to figure out the Go-Go.

But if they hang in there, talent and experience should take the Dukes to a name-your-score situation in the second half. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to get back to running the ball with the bruising effectiveness we’d gotten used to before last week, thus keeping the Tribe offense on the sidelines as well.

JMUSB Beer of the Week

Cribbage in the Square Pilsner from Billsburg Brewery in Williamsburg. This place looks amazing for a Friday night prep session and word is it’s Dukes-owned. You can find them down the road on the water at the Jamestown Marina, and on Fridays they host the Jamestown Get Down Concert Series with live music and food trucks. And something we really appreciate, a focus on crushable lagers and pilsners. Go check them out!

Official JMUSB Prediction

Dukes 45, Tribe 20

One Comment

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  1. Tidewater Duke / Oct 18 2019

    Defensive backfield has to step up game.
    Everybody on defense must be on the same page on assignments. Only thing we have to worry about is a letdown, and I don’t see this coaching staff letting this happen. Remember, after their Nova game London quoted in VA. Pilot saying Nova was the best team in CAA.

    Dukes 41
    Bill and Marie 21

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