Oct 23 / Todd

Dukes Wreck Tribe Homecoming 46-14 for 19th Straight Win

From JMU Sports: What it Means?

  • Extends CAA-record and NCAA Division I-leading win streak to 19 straight games, which is tied for ninth in FCS history (Duquesne – 1995-96).
  • One win shy of CAA record for consecutive conference wins, which now stands at 14 in a row
  • Program-record eighth straight road win
  • 20th straight win over an FCS opponent
  • 15th straight regular-season win
  • First win in Williamsburg since 2011 – first win for any JMU player on the roster at Zable Stadium
  • Secured 28th winning season in 46 years of college football at JMU

And we’d add to that, (“too early” be damned) it also probably clinched a playoff birth for the Dukes. And by the way, the only other team to do so is the only other playoff-eligible undefeated team and a familiar name, the North Dakota St. Bison. (Technically North Carolina A&T could end up in the playoffs like last year if they blow their rivalry game to Central and miss the Celebration Bowl again, but they certainly haven’t clinched anything; congrats to Columbia who also remains unbeaten though the Ivy League does not participate in the playoffs).

Now on his third number change, but still doing his same ole’ thing!

The Good

Every single thing about the defense. We could write and write and write about this group’s performance on Saturday. All you really need to know is that William & Mary’s normally unflappable HC Jimmye Laycock was so shook he was changing QB’s like a rookie high school coach. It never mattered. When the game was in doubt, the Tribe made it past midfield one time, and that didn’t last long as the Dukes D created one of six turnovers. The front seven put so much pressure on that the interceptions made by JMU’s defensive backs were easy pickin’s. Jordan Brown appeared to be running the route. Jimmy effin’ Moreland dis his thing. Up front Ron’Dell Carter was particularly disruptive and appears to really be picking up steam as the season progresses. Ankrah, Robinson, you name the player and they probably had a highlight reel play at some point. This was really just flat-out unfair against the inexperienced and inept Tribe offense.

Marcus Marshall – Look, his stats weren’t gaudy, but the eye test said it’s starting to click for the highly-touted transfer. On another in a long line of games that have been a struggle for the running game, this was a potential bright spot moving forward.

Ethan Ratke – The redshirt freshman made his two field goal attempts in fine style which bodes well should he be needed more the next few weeks.

Clayton Cheatham – He may lose secret-weapon status soon.  He might even be one of the best targets on this team by the postseason.

Cole Johnson – Baby giraffe sighting!

The Bad

Tyler Gray limping off – Hate to see a kicker limp off as you know that’s gonna be tough to come back from unless your really close to 100%. Coach Houston said it was a minor strain after the game and hopefully that’s accurate because Tyler is clutch.

Creativity/Scheme – Fans are arguing about Schor or Sharp or parts of the O-Line and whether any of those are “not playing up to potential” right now and to us that seems like crap. One thing is clear though – defensive coaches are absolutely on to what JMU does offensively this year. Thankfully, the Dukes talent and depth simply wears teams out and they’ve been able to pull away in the second half. But it’s clear the Dukes need to mix things up more. On the designed rollouts, a linebacker or DB is almost always waiting for Schor. The inside handoffs hardly work at all in the first half of games. And even the drop backs seem to allow teams to force Schor to the side without targets. Houston, Kirkpatrick, and co. have completely earned the benefit of the doubt and maybe they’re just playing vanilla against teams they know the defense will shut down and the Dukes will eventually win 30-8 or 46-14, but it seems likely they all know the offense will need more against UNH/RU/Elon and into the playoffs.

The Ugly

Fans flipping out about 30-8 and 46-14 wins. Take a deep breath people. Remember the 13-12 slogs of late-era Mickey and 7 for 23 performances from Justin Thorpe. Just root people and appreciate the best Dukes defense of the last twenty years.

5 Comments

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  1. Oz / Oct 23 2017

    Well-said! Hope Tyler will heal quickly.

  2. Jay / Oct 23 2017

    Defense has been lights out and the offense will be okay. We just need to keep rooting on the Dukes! A great season in store for JMU! Go Dukes!

  3. M@ / Oct 23 2017

    I thought that game was sold out…awful lot of empty seats on the home side throughout the game.

  4. The Fly / Oct 23 2017

    Wait, are we still freaking out about this team? Good golly, I really do need to start avoiding social media. It’s nuts out there.

  5. Cory / Oct 28 2017

    I may be biased but the 1999 and 2004 defenses would give this defense a run for their money.

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