Oct 16 / Todd

Dukes Down Villanova 30-8, Extend Winning Streak to CAA-Record 18 Games

We are still a bit worn out from an incredible weekend so this is gonna be short and sweet. Such a great time. Hopefully you can listen to the podcast on your morning commute tomorrow where we’ll be able to get a little more in-depth.

The Good

18 games – We’re going to talk “bad” and “ugly” but really people, the Dukes have won 18 games in a row, including a staggering 13 in a row by double digits so while there are some concerns, we’d say they’ve earned the benefit of the doubt.

Talent – This game was a great reminder of how high JMU’s talent level is for FCS. Also a reminder how much a few suspended players were missed. That Alls catch down near the goal line brought back memories of all the special plays he made last year that made us say, “ahh, there’s the FBS transfer.” When Simeyon Robinson, a DT, closes down a QB from 10 yards away in about half a second or when Brandon Hereford or Kyre Hawkins scrape two blocks to make a tackle for no gain we know exactly why opposing coaches always talk about JMU’s talent level across the roster. Plus now we have the staff to maximize that advantage.

Tyler Gray – Yes, they were short ones, but this kid’s confidence and consistency are picking up steam.

Defense – These are the opponent’s total points on offense so far this season: 14, 3, 0, 10, 10, 8. Even with the Dukes’ offense not quite where we want it to be, does anyone really think they’re going to beat JMU with less than two scores from their offense?!

Whiteout – It actually looked solid and is worth continuing to try to build. We’re generally not a big fan of the “outs” because on Saturdays we wear purple, but the fans did a great job and white streamers were a cool touch even if we didn’t get to throw ’em much till late.

Clayton Cheatham – It’s uncanny how much his freshman season is turning into a nearly identical campaign to his older brother’s breakout season a few years back.

The Bad

CAA refs doing CAA ref things – Nothing really to say. Same ole same ole.

Fan criticism – Of the team and of other fans. Let’s all take a deep breath. Defending national champs, haven’t lost an FCS game in almost two seasons, #2 nationally in defense. And a group that’s making us all proud to be Dukes. Nothing is effed Dude, nothing is effed. That particularly goes for those fans that just joined, or rejoined, the bandwagon during last year’s playoff run. FCS is no joke, the CAA is real competition, and just because JMU isn’t crushing people’s souls every week doesn’t mean they aren’t the best team again this year. We keep saying it but this stuff is hard, particularly with a target the size of Everett Withers’ ego on your back every week. Oh yeah, and for those of us die-hards that have been around a while longer, we don’t have to flip out at the new JMU fans. We can welcome them and be polite in our “edumacation” of these folks even when they’re talking nonsense with the zeal of a convert. More fans is good, more engagement is better, more Dukes is best!

The Ugly

The Running Game – JMU just played three straight mean defenses, but yes, this is a concern. It doesn’t seem like they’re getting pushed around up front, but just haven’t gelled or gotten in rhythm yet. We have a feeling it’s going to look a lot different in Williamsburg this week though!

The Tee-Shirt Cannon – Editing this late because Dukie95 correctly noted that I missed the biggest “Ugly” of the week. We bought this thing off some sketchy overseas Amazon company, didn’t we?! Come on cannon, you had one job. That thing is limper than a strung-out Richmond lax bro.

8 Comments

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  1. Dukie95 / Oct 16 2017

    Disappointed the T-Shirt cannon didn’t make ugly.

  2. RT'78 / Oct 16 2017

    Defenses are teeing off on our power run game. Would like to see more misdirection.

  3. Oz / Oct 16 2017

    Great commentary on limited rest, fellas. Keep those insights coming.

    My only concern is that no opponents to date have been able to pass worth a tinker’s dam. Lauletta looms.

  4. JMU8T2 / Oct 16 2017

    Hey Oz….we just can’t let Lauletta have time, got to keep the pressure on. I think our guys can do that! Anyway, this was a very good article. Thanks!

  5. M@ / Oct 16 2017

    I have a hypothesis (partially born out by the way ‘nova played us). Early in the season we ran and ran and ran and ran (etc). Defenses look at our stats and monster of a RB backfield and basically say “We’re not gonna let them run…too scary. Better to make Shor beat us.” So they load the box for the next half of the season. Then the playoffs come and the stats look like a decent run team with an explosive passing game (because we’ve been forced to throw with 8 in the box). The defenses look at that and say “We better cover the pass even if it means leaving the box less full.” And then the running game picks back up. A lot of first and second down on Saturday the Safety(s) were only 7 yards off the ball. And this is a Villanova defense that knows its good against the run.

  6. M@ / Oct 16 2017

    Just to be fair; I’ve long considered the o-line a concern and I’m still worried about the lack of push. But when you have 6 blockers and they have 8 near the line…running ain’t gonna work very well.

  7. Yools / Oct 16 2017

    How about the one “ugly” from last week that no one it talking about? Gene Wojciechowski produces a whole segment – for the ESPN Gameday featuring Natl Champs JMU – on all the great FCS and lesser players that made names for themselves in the NFL, and he somehow forgets to mention Charles Haley? Mind you, I played with Haley back in ’85 and to this day I still can’t stand the guy, but seriously – if you mention Howie Long in your little FCS lovefest you gotta put Haley’s ugly face up there, too.

  8. The Fly / Oct 17 2017

    Time to start mentioning the senior QB in the “good” category on a pretty consistent basis. I will point out that he’s not leading the nation in percentage completion this year, then mention that he’s FOURTH. QBR, he’s 9th. Interception this week notwithstanding, he’s bringing consistency, efficiency, and solid decision making every week. Lauletta is having a hell of a year and, being in Richmond, will get a lot of press love, but this Schor kid ain’t bad.

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