Sep 1 / Todd

JMUSB Game Preview #1 – JMU (-4) at ECU

Once more into the breach…

Hallelujah! We made it. After thawing out from Frisco and suffering through some disappointment with Softball in Waco, we all made it through the long, hot offseason and back to football season! The Dukes open this year tomorrow in ‘Merica’s most underrated bastion of all things redneck – eastern North Carolina. That’s right, “eastern” North Carolina. All you need to know about the academics at East Carolina is that the NAME of the damned school is grammatically incorrect. They’ll try to tell you now that because it’s technically a proper noun that excuses something so ridiculous, but the next time you run into an ECU fan with a mouthful of boiled peanuts you tell us if you believe that was intentional? That said, and with all due respect to Texas after our trip in January, this is the true home of the world’s best barbecue. Any number of places within 30 miles of the stadium can challenge for the best pulled pig in the world and this is not to be missed. We’re probably gonna make it a double by hitting the Skylight Inn in Ayden for brunch before Parker’s at the Duke Club tailgate later on.

The Basics

JMU (0-0) at ECU (0-0), 6:00 p.m., Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, Greenville, NC

TV: ESPN3

Weather: 80 degrees, Isolated Thunderstorms (5-9 p.m. looks like the best weather of the day on the early hourly, but rain expected throughout the day)

What’s Rare About This FBS Matchup?

A few things. First, JMU QB Jon Alger Jr., er, Bryan Schor, is likely to be the best player on the field for either team. Second, and even more important, this game means way, way, way more to EZU’s season than it does for the Dukes. The Pirates go to WVU, then host VT, then travel to AAC favorite USF after this weekend. They went 3-9 in Coach Scottie Montgomery’s first season and could easily be 0-4 when they drop this game to JMU. Needless to say, ECU’s passionate fanbase could turn the heat on that seat, and that of their AD (JMU grad Jeff Compher) all the way up real quick if things go that way. And third, JMU is both a slot ahead of ECU in the preseason Sagarin rankings, but also the Vegas favorite in this game.

How East Cupcake U can win?

Stop the run and stay in the game through the half. ECU was flat-out bad defensively last year, specifically against the run. But if they can find a way to slow down the Dukes four-headed RB monster they could control down and distance. While we all believe in Schor’s ability to throw, with Kloosterman and Alls suspended and Ravenel/Davis/Taylor all graduated, JMU’s receiving corps, while still featuring a good bit of experience in Hyman and Miller, will be challenged to step up right away. Bigger picture, ECU just needs to make sure this doesn’t get away from them early. If they’re in this thing in the second half, the huge size, depth, and scholarship differences could pay off huge for the Pirates. If you recall, the Dukes came out and threw a hell of a punch at UNC last year, but the heat, the athleticism, and most of all the depth caught up to them big-time in the second half.

How JMU can win?

Don’t believe the hype and execute the gameplan. JMU is ranked #1. JMU is favored against an FBS team. JMU Nation and all the idiots like us are talking 10-1, 11-0, back-to-back. The team needs most of all to remember that this is all bullsh*t and they’re facing a big-time program on the road in Week 1 from the one G5 conference with a legit argument to make the P5 a P6 (a dream conference for the Dukes by the way). Simply avoiding complacency and hesitation will go a long way towards showing why we’re all so hyped about this squad and this game. Secondly, having seen one season of ECU under Scottie Montgomery (after a small, possibly enormously misguided, group of Pirate alums ran one of college football’s best people, Ruffin McNeill, out of town) and one season of JMU under Mike Houston, we are very confident the Dukes won’t be outcoached. The players just need to avoid mental mistakes in a big atmosphere and not try to do to much individually. If they execute the plan, JMU will be in great position to score a second win over an AAC team in three years.

Shameless Plug: Did we tell you we’re doing a podcast now? 

Check it out on the Bumpers app or search for it and subscribe in Apple Podcasts at “JMUSB”

We’ve got a much deeper season preview up there from earlier this week and if you need our best source check out Chase For Greatness.

Beer of the Week

So one of our toughest critics, but one with a great sense of humor in @nickphilllips, of course tried to call us out on our IPA-heavy selections today. And I have to admit as I tried different beers throughout the offseason, I was more conscious than ever about looking for other styles for this space. And so we’re of course ready with a curveball out of the gates: a Double IPA ha. We’re always on the lookout for the rare good beer that comes in purple. And the first of the Dukes’ two visits to the Old North State calls for something from this state’s vast stores. In this case, it’s Charlotte’s Triple C Brewing Company’s BabyMaker DIPA. While we occasionally tire of the ever-more-rdiculous names, it’s hard not too smile at the high-ABV BabyMaker. It’s going to be raining, it’s going to be ugly, it’s going to be perfect this weekend and if you’re stuck in your vehicle during a lightning delay, this will get your primed for some serious rootin!

Official JMUSB Prediction

JMU 41, ECU 31

9 Comments

leave a comment
  1. Sean / Sep 1 2017

    This opening paragraph read as a love letter to me.

  2. PirateLager / Sep 1 2017

    You’d have to be “primed” to believe you have a chance to win this game.

  3. Chris / Sep 1 2017

    GO DUKES!!!

  4. M@ / Sep 1 2017

    I can only re-watch games on YouTube for so long. I need football season to start. Thank goodness it is.

  5. L Smith / Sep 1 2017

    @PirateLager, I hate to break it to you, but 90% of everyone outside the ECU program thinks JMU is going to win this game. You guys can pull the “We’ve never lost to an FCS team” and “We need to cancel the season if we lose” BS as much as you want. It still doesn’t change the fact that JMU is the better team here.

  6. paintcan / Sep 1 2017

    Funny stuff. See you Saturday.
    Food tip – Skylight is not even the best BBQ in Ayden !

  7. Roll Dukes / Sep 1 2017
  8. Tripp / Sep 1 2017

    Also, @PirateLager, this is pretty obviously a JMU-biased site, so your coming over here and reading about we are going to beat you is hilarious, like you’re waiting for a JMU fan to say, “oh nah, we can’t win this game.” I think this is going to be a good one but do hope for a JMU victory, as always. ECU did not show us much last year that would make me think their chances to win are all that great!

  9. JMU 17' / Sep 1 2017

    Heading down to Greenville today to witness our first win of the year in person. I’m hoping the absence of Kloosterman and Alls won’t be too large to overcome. Excited to see how much damage our group of Running Backs can inflict on the Pirates D. Go Dukes!

Leave a Comment