Nov 10 / Rob

JMUSB Game Preview #10: JMU vs. Richmond

It’s almost here. The game most of us had circled all the calendars back in August. It might not be to decide the CAA crown like many of assumed it would be, but it’s still a huge game. Because Richmond. And as Dukes fans, we love seeing our team stomp Spiders. In 2015 JMU was 7-0 when RU came to town and ruined the Dukes chances for an undefeated season. Last year, Bryan Schor and the good guys had the upper hand.

Saturday’s affair should be a quite a test for the dominant JMU defense. Richmond QB Kyle Lauletta has been slinging it all season. He and his teammates lead the CAA in passing and in total offense. Rhode Island they ain’t. But Richmond hasn’t seen anything like this Dukes D.

The Basics

Match-up: #1 JMU Dukes 9-0 (6-0) vs. Richmond Spiders 5-4 (3-3)
Kick-off: 3:300 PM on Saturday, in Bridgeforth Stadium
Weather: High of 40. Bundle up.
Broadcast: MASN 2 or streaming via Madizone

How We Got Here

The Dukes beat Rhode Island last week, because of course they did. That’s what this Dukes team does. It wins. The victory was a program record 21st straight. In the win over Rhody, the defense was its normal dominant self. And the offense ran all over the Rams in the second half. It was fun.

Richmond enters the game coming off a road victory at Villanova. It was perhaps RU’s best game of the season. The defense, which has struggled, shut out the Wildcats and allowed only 163 yards. And the rushing attack had a terrific day against a tough Nova defense, eclipsing the 100 yard mark for the first time since week 3 agains Howard and only the 3rd time all season. It’s been an up and down season for the Ticks. They started out with championship dreams, and now must win to even keep their playoff hopes alive.

Fun Fact

Did you know this game features the CAA’s most efficient QB? We’re talking about Bryan Schor of course, who enters the game with a passing efficiency of 162.4. He has 21 TD passes, to Lauletta’s 26, but with 151 fewer pass attempts.

College Kids Say Dumb Things

Kyle Lauletta a terrific QB. We can see that even through our purple colored glasses. But did he really say that it’s possible for RU to put up over 700 yards off offense on Saturday?* We think he did. It kind of reminds us of the smug and dismissive way Tom Brady reacted to Plaxico Burress’ prediction for Super Bowl XLII (greatest game ever btw). That’s kind of a crazy thing to say. Not as crazy as saying special sports drinks can heal concussions or that his brain can make his muscles elongate after a hit to prevent injury, but still nuts. This isn’t the 2015 Everett Withers JMU defense Mr. Lauletta.

*Context shmontextWe know that’s not what he really meant. Shut up. It’s Richmond week. 

How RU Can Win

We’d like to say they can’t, but they can. The Bridgeforth crowd is going to be hyped up for the game. It’s a Black Out (that means wear black you lushes) and likely another sellout. Richmond absolutely needs to take the crowd out of it. The Spider passing offense has been prolific all year. But if they can run the ball, it’s a whole different ballgame. Richmond will probably try to show some balance on offense and get out to an early lead to silence the crowd. If they do that, they’ll position themselves to win.

How JMU Can Win

Hit the quarterback. Hit the quarterback. Hit the quarterback. The JMU defense has featured a bunch of sack machines lately. They’ll all need to step up this weekend and get after Lauletta. The Dukes need to put him on his heels and knock him down repeatedly. Do that, and the JMU secondary will make big plays and humble the Spider offense. When the Dukes have the ball, they need to exploit their advantage in the trenches. Richmond has been getting gashed against the run all season, surrendering a whopping 173 yards a game on the ground. JMU isn’t going to pound it down their throats all day, but we definitely expect them to try to establish the run early, before taking a few shots downfield.

JMUSB Beer of the Week

Breaking news. We’re not choosing an IPA this week. With temps expected to dip way down tomorrow, we need something a little heartier to take the chill off. We’ll go with Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break. It’s an imperial/double stout that will really appeal to coffee lovers. Slightly sweet with plenty of bitter chocolate to balance things out. It’s a big one though (11.5% ABV) so don’t overdo it.

Official JMUSB Prediction

The Dukes D proves its not just great, but historically great, the offense picks up where it left off in Kingston, the home crowd goes nuts all day, and the Dukes move to 10-0. JMU wins 28-10.

5 Comments

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  1. Duke Of Richmond / Nov 10 2017

    11.5% ABV? Y’all are really taking this whole “Black Out” theme seriously…

  2. Jr / Nov 10 2017

    Anytime a team beats Nova they have to be taken seriously.. that said I think we are going to see a lot of balls in the air Sat with the Dukes coming out ahead by 2 tds 31/20

  3. Rob / Nov 10 2017

    @Duke of Richmond. We didn’t recommend having a bunch of ’em! Definitely not a session beer. Maybe one pregame and one in the second half. Or go ahead and have 2 before walking in if you’re tailgating. Haha.

  4. wexcelsior / Nov 10 2017

    I’m so proud of you for not choosing an IPA, it brings a tear to my eye.

  5. Drake / Nov 10 2017

    We are having people over and they happen to be UGA fans. Just so happens the UGA-Auburn showdown is also at 3:30. They are being relegated to a small computer monitor whilst JMU plays on the big screen. The guy is bringing a keg of home brew so it could be a blackout game in Atlanta for me. My head already hurts.

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