Jan 9 / Rob

FCS Championship Preview: JMU vs. NDSU

The Basics

Matchup: #2 JMU Dukes (14-1, 8-0 CAA) vs. #1 NDSU Biso (15-0, 8-0 MVC)

Kickoff: 12 noon ET. Saturday 11 January 2020. Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX

Weather: High of 44 with rain overnight, expected to clear by kickoff.

Broadcast: Nationally televised on ABC and streaming via ESPN.

Boys in the Desert: JMU -1.5, O/U 51

We Know It’s Not Right to Judge

The term “North Dakota Nice” gets thrown around a lot. And with good reason. It’s definitely not fair to call the NDSU fanbase’s reputation into question based on the online actions of a select group of fans. So we won’t do that. But if we were to do that, we’d probably point out that the collective online Bison fanbase seems to be obsessed with two things, “breastaurants,” and seeking out fictitious instances of “East coast elites” conspiring to under-appreciate their favorite team.

It’s 2020 and a significant portion of the population is dedicated to shifting perspectives and moving toward a world where woman are no longer objectified. But not the Bison faithful. Nope. Instead, they endlessly post online about how excited they are to return en masse to Uncle Kenny’s Cleavage Cantina, or some other such establishment, to ogle women and drink over-priced pitchers of Lonestar. And they do it because “the waitresses love Bison fans.” Sure. They’re working for tips you over-served troglodytes. Keep flying those creep flags though fellas.

Every knowledgeable college football fan respects NDSU’s success. The Bison have won 7 of the last 8 titles. Fans of any other program on God’s green earth would walk around in a constant state of bliss in NDSU’s situation. Not the the Bison Twitter mob and message board lunatics though. Nope. No time to enjoy life when there are conspiracy theories to cook up about “East Coast elites” disrespecting their team.

It’s lunacy. We defy you to find another group of fans who so fervently believe in (and seek out) the utterly fictitious content known as “bulletin board material.” We have it on good record that there are children in Fargo who haven’t been tucked in in weeks because dear old mom and dad are too busy scouring the internet for perceived slights against their favorite football team. Any opinion that dares to dance with the mere notion that the Dukes can compete with the Bison is immediately met with ALL CAPS fury from the NDSU halfwit militia. These people are the QAnon of college football fans.

At least that’s what we would say, if we were to judge NDSU fans based on the actions of a select group of people online. But we’re not gonna do that.

Here’s the Duh Part

NDSU is a good team. A really good team. The Bison haven’t lost a football game since 20017. They’ve won 36 straight. Head Coach Matt Entz is in his first year at the helm. And they’re starting Trey Lance, a freshman, at QB. But NDSU hasn’t missed a beat. Lance has been terrific, running for over 900 yards and 13 TDs while throwing for nearly 3,000 yards and 23 scores. The Bison have an awesome defense and the nation’s fourth best rushing attack. Much like JMU, they’ve got multiple guys who can carry the rock who would probably be clear cut #1 running backs on most teams. And they’ve got a winning pedigree and expectations for greatness. You’d be hard pressed to find an obvious weakness on this squad.

Dukes Ain’t Scared Though

We’re not saying this to be tough or try to pump people up. Or because we’re homers (we are). It’s just a fact. Yes, NDSU is a great team. So is JMU. The Dukes have the nation’s top defense and an offense with more weapons than any team NDSU has faced all season.

The Nooch made quite a leap forward this year. He’s always had talent, but now he’s playing with as much poise and command of an offense as any JMU QB we’ve ever seen play. Percy and Juwon not only have found a way to complement each other in the running game, they seem to have more fun doing it than any other players on the field. And Latrele Palmer has settled into a nice little niche being the fresh legs back that rips teams’ souls out in the fourth quarter. Brandon Polk has done the impossible and made Riley Stapleton the best #2 receiving option in FCS football. And the offense line has played so well that the individual members have crossed the fourth wall of football fans and actually managed to make themselves household names for most JMU fans. The offense is just sick.

Then there’s the defense. You’ve seen John Daka and Ron’Dell Carter. Nothing we can write can do their play justice. Keep in mind though, they’ve been so outstanding that a guy like Mike Greene can rack up 7.5 sacks and still fly under the radar. Dimitri Holloway has been playing like a man possessed. And the secondary that has always been dripping with talent, is finally starting to play like the dominant unit we thought they’d be.

NDSU is very good. Nobody disputes this. But JMU has no reason to fear. The Dukes might be even better.

JMUSB Beer of the Week

It’s a big week (the biggest), so we’ve got to go with a beer from our pals at Pale Fire Brewing in Harrisonburg, VA. The JMUSB BOTW is Salad Days. It’s an award winning American Saison. Pleasant citrus notes and a very clean finish. It’s a good beer for a Texas tailgate, sipping at a watch party, or enjoying from the comfort of one’s couch while rootin for Dukes. And if you’re in the ‘burg on Saturday, swing on over to the tap room for a Championship Watch Party. Plus, tell them JMU Sports Blog sent you and they’ll give you a pint glass to take home.

Official JMUSB Prediction

The Raptors beat Golden State. Brady and the Pats are sitting at home. Rome was conquered. All dynasties must end. Nooch is gonna have a day. Polk and Riley will give NDSU fits. Ron’Dell Carter will become the most hated man in North Dakota. The Bison will cough up a few turnovers and the Dukes will be crowned champs. JMU 31 – NDSU 17.


leave a comment
  1. Rob K / Jan 10 2020

    Go Dukes! Really hoping to avoid turnovers and the few mistakes (really, only three) that was the difference in the game last time. Also, I am cautiously optimistic that the weather is somewhat in our favor. Playing in 43 degrees and damp? Sounds like your average late October / November day in the burg.

    Also, Riley didn’t fumble.

  2. Chris / Jan 10 2020

    This should win a Pulitzer.

  3. Salerno / Jan 10 2020

    You missed your calling….”you over-served troglodytes” – beautiful

  4. Joe / Jan 12 2020

    Whoops. That prediction was as bad Cignetti coaching

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