Sep 9 / Rob

The Dukes Head to Blacksburg

Our beloved JMU Dukes will make the 2 hour trip down Interstate 81 to play the Virginia Tech Hokies this weekend. The Dukes will be looking to knock off a FCS opponent for the first time in their last 10 attempts. The Hokies will simply be looking to pick up a win and remove the bad taste from their mouth after Monday’s loss to Boise State.

What the Hell’s a Hokie?

Many JMU fans don’t know anything about some of the schools on JMU’s schedule. That’s not the case with Virginia Tech.  Chances are if you went to high school in Northern Virginia like we did, about 1/3 of your graduating class went there. In all likelihood many of us would have gone there ourselves if our high school grades were bad enough, or if we graduated high school in the early 90’s and we were too lazy to fill out a real college application with essays. They have a “big time” football program though, recognized for having the stones to play tough out of conference opponents. They’re also known for losing to said opponents.

What Does This Game Mean?

To hard-core fans like us, this game means everything, yet this game means nothing at all. A victory this weekend would bring more notoriety to the program than any other regular season win this year could. At the same time, a loss doesn’t do anything to the Dukes chances of winning the CAA.  For the casual JMU fan, this is a big rivalry game and a true measuring stick for how far the program has come. The casual fans are wrong. JMU is a top flight FCS program. Tech is a big time BCS program. Apples and oranges. A JMU victory would be amazing and would make the season for some. A loss won’t break it.

Why do Tech People Put So Many Damn Stickers on Their Cars?

I honestly have no idea. I’ve spent many more hours than I’d like to admit, trying to figure out why every Tech alum feels the need to cover their car with so many friggin stickers. 17 turkey feet, a Hokie Bird logo, a big maroon VT, and a Virginia Tech Alumni decal on the back windshield of a Camry? Sure, that sounds logical. If I won the Nobel Peace Prize I wouldn’t feel the need to put that many damn stickers on my car to let people know. You graduated from Virginia Tech. We get it. So did tens of thousands of other exceedingly average people.

What Scares Us About the Hokies?

Those uniforms. Seriously. They look like someone ate too much candy corn and then projectile vomited on a GI Joe figure.

On the field, Tyrod Taylor is scary. If you watched Mike Vick when he was at Tech, he had moments that just seemed unreal. Taylor has those moments also. The other night against Boise, Taylor was almost sacked but he held himself up with his ball hand, keeping his knee just above the ground, and then scrambled for about 10 more yards. It was amazing. The only way he could have reminded me more of Vick would have been if he finished the play by spiking the ball. flicking off the crowd, and killing a puppy.

The Series History

Virginia Tech has a 6-0 lead in the series with JMU. In the last two games between the teams, JMU has been outscored 90-0. After extensive research (Googling it) I can’t find a single instance of a team defeating an opponent for a seventh time in a row, after beating them by a cumulative 90 points the previous two games. So, history is clearly on JMU’s side in this one.

How the Dukes Can Win

By Drew Dudzik hitting enough passes downfield to open up the option. It looks the the Dukes will pass more this year, but their best chance against the Hokies might be to keep them off-balance with the option rushing attack. It could frustrate the hell out the defense.

How the Hokies Can Win

By putting the loss to Boise behind them and eliminating stupid mistakes. It’s not rocket science. On paper, the Hokies should run away with this one. They just need to execute and make sure the Dukes don’t hang around.

What Should We Drink This Weekend?

Ah, we finally get to the part of the post where I’m not just making stuff up. I would have recommended everyone drink plenty of their favorite Bell’s brew in honor of the brewery’s 25th anniversary this weekend, but Bell’s Oberon was one of last week’s selections. Therefore, the official JMUSB Beer of the Week is Victory Golden Monkey. This tasty little Belgian-style ale is deceptively smooth and surprisingly drinkable for such a big beer. At a whopping 9.5% ABV, it’s the perfect beer to get sneaky drunk on the couch while watching the Dukes in the middle of the day. Or a great way to numb the pain if the game gets out of hand.

Completely Objective, Well Reasoned, and Not Wishful Thinking JMUSB Prediction

27-24. JMU finally gets an FBS win under Matthews.


leave a comment
  1. Todd / Sep 9 2010

    Game’s on ESPN3 so you can hook it up online and through your tv if you’re crafty, but we also know of the following Duke Club viewings (sure to be combined with CHokie fans):
    DC/NoVa: Bailey’s Ballston
    Richmond: Big Al’s Innsbrook
    San Diego: Bub’s Pacific Beach
    NYC: Manny’s on 2nd Ave. b/t 92nd and 93rd

    Also, I’ll be rocking some heavy duty DukeDog magnets, a shirt, and as always, a visor, for the better part of the next 48 hours so as funny as the 17 turkey feet comment was, I can’t really say anything. Let’s Go Dukes!

  2. Jamie Mottram / Sep 9 2010

    Nice work, Rob. So it’s known, I was drinking a Victory Hop Devil Ale while reading this.

  3. Rob / Sep 10 2010

    Another strong choice Jamie, especially for a hop-head like yourself. I’d also recommend Saison du Buff, which is a collaboration between Dogfish Head, Stone Brewing, and Victory.

  4. Uncle Ron / Sep 10 2010

    I was at the last JMU-Tech game, which coincidentally was Mike Vick’s debut. The first play or two were actually positive yardage for the Dukes (and bear in mind this was in the pre-Matthews era of suckiness). After that, I think we started piling up negative yardage on offense the rest of the day. Regardless, I continued to beat my chest like a buffoon.

    Also, there was a hush over the crowd after Vick was injured trying to helicopter over two of our diminuative LBs. He obviously recovered, but it would have been amazing if he’d gotten up, flicked off the crowd, and killed a puppy!

  5. Mike K / Sep 10 2010

    @Uncle Ron…actually the last time VT-JMU played was 2003 (VT 43-0). Michael Vick was long gone by then, his last year was 2000.

    @Rob…fun write-up, especially the beer selection. Of course, I’m sure all Hokies could do without the UVA-like academic card being played, but one of the reasons Tech and JMU folks get along is because we know it’s in good fun, unlike our friends from Charlottesville.

    Now on the game…it would be a shame to not mention that the primary factor in this game being played is money. The Hokies make roughly 3.5 million per home game in gate revenue, of which JMU will get a cut in the range of $400-500k. Win-win for both teams in the $ arena. It is a good thing for the Hokies to keep that money in-state, rather than paying out of state I-AA teams to trek to Blacksburg.

    I’m not sure how it’s a win for either in the football arena. I’m quite sure that the primary focus of both teams is not to sustain a major injury that will hamper the teams in games that really matter down the line. While a shot at immortality (Appy St) is there for the Dukes, is the very small chance of that happening worth the potential risk of having key players knocked out? Sure the Hokies likely pick up a W, but it doesn’t help them preparation wise for their conference schedule.

    Normally playing a team that just played the previous Monday night would be seen as a positive. With the outcome of the game on Monday night, I’m not sure that will be the case. The Hokies will look to establish the running game that they never got going against Boise St. The only way I see the Dukes holding Ryan Williams under a 100 yards rushing is if he is removed from the game early due to a big VT lead. Stacking the box to try and stop the VT trio of Williams, Evans, & Wilson will open up the pass for the athletic Tech receivers.

    The Dukes can look to try and establish a consistent offensive effort against the fastest, most athletic defense they will see all if year. If they can move the ball with some consistency against the Tech D, maybe even put up a couple scores, it will help develop the rhythm and confidence that will help them immensely in their conference schedule.

    Hopefully the weather will be nice and provide a great day of tailgating and college football atmosphere to all going to the game. Let’s hope for no injuries on either side and a well played game.

    Go Hokies!

    VT 42 JMU 7

  6. Rob / Sep 10 2010

    @Mike, glad you understood that this was all in very tongue in cheek. One of the things that makes this game fun, is that realistically 90% of each school’s student body could have ended up at the other school and nearly everyone has friends that attended the other school (and loved it).

    If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were actually Mickey Matthews with your comments about the risk of injuries possibly being too high a price to pay for a shot at the upset. I agree it’s a huge risk. I also don’t like the fact that scheduling a game JMU is supposed to lose on paper, just makes the margin for error that much smaller for the Dukes playoff chances.

    Go Dukes!

  7. Mike K / Sep 10 2010

    I’m not very familiar with how the FCS playoff teams are they hold losses to 1-A schools against you? That would seem to lower the motivation of the coaching staff to play these games.

    The gap has been closing a bit between 1A and 1AA though. The Dukes should have upset Maryland last year, and Ole Miss just lost to Jacksonville St last week. That’s why they play the games!

  8. Rob / Sep 10 2010

    In years past, 16 teams made the playoffs and the CAA got one autobid. With the strength of the conference, a CAA team would usually get in at 8-3. Now there are 20 playoff invites, so there is a slight chance that a 4 loss team from a great conference could get a bid. I wouldn’t want to count on it though, and I’d hate for JMU to head into the CAA slate with a loss.

    3 losses doesn’t sound too tough when comparing it to making it to the BCS championship, but it’s actually pretty tough in the CAA.

  9. Swayze / Sep 11 2010

    Hell f**k yes! 21-16 Dukes!

  10. Bob Saget 2000 / Sep 11 2010

    GO CHOKIES! I love Beamer Ball!

  11. chad / Sep 11 2010

    hilarious post, and thats from a tech fan

  12. Uncle Ron / Sep 12 2010

    Ah yes….the game I was at was in 1999. I wasn’t there at the 2003 game, which had been completely wiped from my memory.

    Still at a loss for words from yesterday. Anyone driving down to Ham’s for the Mickey Matthews presser this week?

  13. Kate / Sep 12 2010

    I absolutely loved this post, but please fix the “their” to “there” when you’re making fun of Tech, saying that we would go there if our grades were worse… It looks pretty bad if you’re making fun of them for having worse grades (totally true) but use the wrong form of “there”.

    Loved the post…

  14. JMU Rugby / Sep 13 2010

    Oh my god, greatest day ever. So happy I went…and everyone called me crazy…..

  15. Rob / Sep 13 2010

    @Kate Thanks for the catch. I hate careless errors like that.

  16. Davey (you tailgated with us at Morehead St) / Sep 13 2010

    Have read this AFTER the win, which makes it even better. The description of Tech as highly average people who didn’t want to write an essay is so nice, and has been forwarded to my Hokie younger brother who needs to remember said circumstance.

  17. Rob / Sep 13 2010

    @Davey glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for the great hospitality at the Morehead St tailgate.

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