Oct 27 / Todd

JMUSB Game Preview #8: New Hampshire @ JMU

These came from the last game vs. UNH

Well here we go again telling you this is JMU’s biggest game to date. But really, it is. New Hampshire brings its ridiculous 13-straight playoff appearances and a team that has to be out for revenge after JMU locked the damn gates on ’em in the playoffs last year to The Valley this weekend. And frankly, the Wildcats will bring the first reasonably competent offense that JMU has seen all season. Seriously, it’s a joke to look back at the schedule so far and realize how collectively horrific the Dukes’ opponents have been on that side of the ball.

The Basics

#17 New Hampshire Wildcats (5-2, 3-1 CAA) at #1 James Madison Dukes (7-0, 4-0 CAA), 3:30 p.m., Bridgeforth, Rocktown, Homecoming!

Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 63 degrees, 20% chance of rain. Looks like the rain is going to hold off till after the game so this should be the first truly fall-weather game of the year!

Coverage: MadiZone with the legendary Curt Dudley and friend-of-the-pod Bennett Conlin.

How UNH Can Win

By not turning the ball over. UNH is incredibly well-coached. No team in the CAA, and maybe the country, has maximized it’s talent for longer over more coaching regimes than the Wildcats. Last year when the Dukes fell asleep up north, they really should’ve stolen that game. But in the playoffs, they made too many of their own mistakes and JMU destroyed them. UNH QB1 Trevor Knight is the best offensive player the Dukes have faced all year and it’s not all that close. But he can’t try to do this all on his own and needs to play within himself. This year’s JMU team isn’t designed to boat race people like last year so if New Hampshire can simply run their stuff, chip away, and not make mistakes, they could be right there in the second half. UNH probably also needs to do something other than force-feed stud WR Neil O’Connor, who averages almost 9 receptions per contest. Even with JMU in heavy man packages this year, the talent in the Dukes secondary makes it unlikely one player will beat them.

How JMU Can WIn

By not turning the ball over. Seriously. Stop it. Even if JMU gives up more than three scores to an offense for the first time all year, they are simply more talented and much faster and than this always well-coached UNH group. Last year their athleticism gap was enormous in both games, yet UNH put up points both times. The first game, JMU made so many boneheaded plays they almost messed around and got got. On defense, the Dukes need to rise to their first real challenge of the year and they might even want to slide help to O’Connor’s side.

Record-Breaking Week?!

JMU President Bryan Schor is currently tied with two of the all-time Dukes’ greats, Justin Rascati and Vad Lee, with 51 career TD passes. You might want to save a few extra streamers in case there’s a big record-breaker this week! Also, Raven Greene only needs two more picks to tie the record for career interceptions and you never know when #5 is lurking!

A Note on UNH’s Schedule

Ain’t played nobody PAWWWLLLLLL!

Beer of the Week

I’m going homerish this week with Greensboro’s own Gibbs’s Hundred Brewing Company’s Blind Man’s Pale. Gibbs is a great little local brewery tucked into a redeveloping old industrial area of downtown between a distillery, a really cool maker space, and a Barcade. Unfortunately, they’re moving “uptown.” Fortunately, this is one of their best (they also make a solid ESB) and it’s a hoppy Pale Ale. Not quite as hoppy as Dale’s and much more traditional in that it’s unfiltered, but a really solid brew in that same genre. Plus, it’s finally out in cans. And they’re purple!

Official JMUSB Prediction

Dukes 41, Cats 17 – Lock the Damn Gates Again! (and find the tees here)

3 Comments

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  1. ShadyP / Oct 27 2017

    The fan base should show up and be very vocal in this one…..the unh coach is the guy who had the officials in the playoff game warn the band for being too loud. Let be loud from start to finish and make unh very uncomfortable on offense all game long.

  2. M@ / Oct 27 2017

    I though W&M was our biggest trap game. That didn’t materialize. Now I’m more concerned than ever about this test. On paper it should be a win (not necessarily easy, but a win nonetheless). But we take everyone’s best shot every week. And this team, more than most, really want to give us that shot.

  3. Drake / Oct 27 2017

    Out of all our past opponents, Delaware has impressed me the most. A lot of concern has been raised about the offense, but the defenses we’ve faced (Maine, UD, Villanova, and W&M) are top 20 defenses. I’m pretty excited to see what we can do against UNH’s defense. With all our offensive weapons on the field, I think it’ll be one of those games where Schor has 4 TDs by 4 different receivers.

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