Sep 28 / Rob

JMUSB Game Preview #5 – JMU at Delaware

JMU has its first CAA road game of the season this weekend. It involves a lovely trip up to the most nondescript state in the union, Delaware. Yes, Delaware, the First State (as the license plates clearly tell us). That’s the only thing that anyone knows about Delaware. Proof positive that the most significant thing that’s ever happened in the state, was the simply fact that it became a state in the first place. Before 49 other states did the exact same thing. Very impressive. Anyway, the Dukes are facing off against the Blue Hens from the University of Delaware on Saturday. Let’s get to it.

The Basics

Match-up: #1 JMU Dukes 4-0 (1-0) vs. Delaware Blue Hens 2-1 (0-0)
Kick-off: 3:300 PM on Saturday, September 30 at Delaware Stadium in Newark, DE
Weather: Partly cloudy with highs in the mid 60s
Broadcast: Televised on CSN+, CSN-P, and SNY. Streaming via UD’s Madizone equivalent (which really should be called U-Delivision.)

How We Got Here

JMU is coming off a hard earned 28-10 victory over Maine in the Dukes’ CAA opener last weekend. In the win, Bryan Schor passed for 4 TDs and the defense racked up 4 sacks and 3 interceptions. It was JMU’s 16th straight win, the longest current streak in FBS or FCS football. In short, the Dukes are pretty hot.

Delaware had a bye last week, but blew out Cornell 41-14 in its last game. The Blue Hen D completely shut down Cornell’s running game, holding the Big Red to 1.8 yards per carry. Delaware had no such problems running the ball, paced by Kareem Williams 121 yard effort. The win moved UD to 2-1, after a more respectable than it looked 27 point loss to VA Tech, and a 22-3 defeat of Delaware State. It’s hard to read too much into two wins over teams they should have beaten, and a loss to an FBS team they shouldn’t have, but UD is likely a tougher out than in years past.

Fun Fact 1

The first football game played in Delaware Stadium was on November 15, 1952 when UD defeated Lafayette 13-12. A full 97% of Delaware’s current season ticket holders were reportedly there to witness it.

How UD Can Win

Play slowly and keep the JMU offense on the sidelines. Nothing we’ve seen from the Blue Chickens leads us to believe that they’re prepared to win in a track meet. They’re a run-first team, but average fewer than 4 yards/carry. The passing attack isn’t bad, but it would be fair to say it’s a work in progress. QB Joe Walker has completed 56% of his passes for 3 TDs and 3 picks. Can we call it meh? Let’s call it meh.

The defense is solid, if not excellent against the run. Therefore, UD’s best chance to pull off the upset is to slowly grind it out on the ground, and then try to catch the Dukes sleeping with a couple big plays. The goal will to be to eat clock and limit the possessions for Schor and the boys. Then try to win a low scoring affair.

Fun Fact 2

Delaware Head Coach Danny Rocco once game himself the game ball when he was coach at Richmond. (ed. note – Yeah, we know we’re repeating ourselves. It deserves repeating. Repeatedly.)

How JMU Can Win

By sharing the wealth. Through the first 4 games of the season, 13 different Dukes have caught at least one pass. And Terrance Als finally returns from suspension Saturday, adding another weapon to an already dangerous aerial attack. JMU also has 3 healthy running backs (Marcus Marshall, Trai Sharp, and Percy Agyei Obese) averaging over 6 yards a carry on the ground, and a fourth in Taylor Woods who’s averaging 4.8 yards. In short, JMU has plenty of playmakers on offense.

JMU doesn’t need Marcus Marshall, David Eldridge, or anyone else to go beast mode to win. They just to find the right match-ups and exploit them. Last week they did this with Ezra Archie. This week it could be someone else. If they spread the ball around and keep the Delaware D on its heels, the points will follow.

Defensively, JMU needs to control the run and then get after quarterback on passing downs. Save one long TD run, it’s exactly what the Dukes did against Maine. Well, the Black Bears and Blue Chickens are quite similar. The formula worked last weekend. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

JMUSB Beer of the Week

Readers have pointed out that our BOTW selections tend to tilt heavily in the IPA direction. That’s a completely accurate assessment. There are a lot of good IPAs out there though. I went to this little bodega type shop in my neighborhood with a sneaky good beer selection tonight specifically searching for a non-IPA to feature. I swear 90% of the beers were IPAs and the majority of the rest were crimes against humanity known as pumpkin beers. So I’m going back to a beer I drank a few weeks ago for our BOTW.

This week it’s Founders DKML. A beer with a profane name (Google it kids), but a great taste.   It’s a barrel edged malt liquor. Old English it is not. Think of it as a classy, beer geek malt liquor. First off, don’t drink this one if you’re driving, because it’s 14.2% ABV. And don’t drink it if you don’t like barrel edged beers. It’s a big beer and there’s no hiding the bourbon barrel flavors. Honestly, it might be more of a post game victory night cap, than a gameday beer. It’s definitely worth trying it you can get your hands on it though.

Official JMUSB Prediction

The D dominates the line of scrimmage, creates a few turnovers, and generally creates havoc all game. Schor throws for 300 yards, Als finds the end zone in his return, and then the running backs pound away in the second half. Dukes roll 35-7.

5 Comments

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  1. Tripp / Sep 29 2017

    Barrel edged beers?! Must be that talk-to-text…

    Personally, I don’t mind drinking some Colorado Koolaids or Bud Soda’s to wash don’t my blue chicken, but I do prefer the craft beers! GO DUKES!

  2. Chris / Sep 29 2017

    Who has the more senior fan base the chickens or the ticks? ‘Cause they both old as s.

  3. Chuck Appel / Sep 29 2017

    Good call on the Founders DKML. Hell, I’ve yet to find a Founders product that isn’t great, though my preference this time of year is their Breakfast Oatmeal Stout. Cheers!!

  4. OBX SCOTT / Sep 29 2017

    Agree with you Chuck Appel…Their beers are so good. Believe it or not, two years ago JMUSB BOTW for Delaware was Backwoods Bastard and my obsession with Founders was born.

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