Sep 10 / Todd

2021 Maine at JMU Official JMUSB Preview

The Basics

Matchup: Maine Black Bears (0-1, 0-1 CAA) at #3 JMU Dukes (1-0, 0-0 CAA)

Kickoff: 4:00 p.m. EDT. Saturday, September 11, 2021, Bridgeforth Stadium, Rocktown, VA

Weather: Beautiful! Sunny, high 79

Broadcast: NBCSportsWashington+ (and Flo :()

How Maine Can Win

Throw it around the yard for big plays and outscore the Dukes. Maine played a strange game last week. They were hammered by Delaware in three quarters. But oh that one quarter was special. A bevy of deep passes connected against a strong Hens defense and they blocked a punt to score 24 unanswered in the 2nd quarter and take a 24-17 lead into the break. Those sound like exactly the kind of things that JMU has been vulnerable to throughout 2021, including the Spring season’s special teams issues and last week’s flurry of PI and holding calls against the back end of the defense. But the Black Bears also gave up 34 points to a UD offense that may be rather pedestrian and is certainly not JMU. Our guess is that if Maine is going to win this thing, they’ll need to keep scoring throughout and make this a shootout. Like many teams this year, Maine returns 20 starters from the Spring, including veteran QB Joe Fagnano. On defense, the Bears got a huge boost from graduate transfer LB Ray Miller, who came straight from Campbell to have 12 tackles last week.

How JMU Can Win

Pressure the QB and avoid penalties. Maine was feast or famine on offense last week. If they hit a couple big plays, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise. But JMU just needs to stay away from helping them out with more penalties on defense. If the rush can get home, or even just speed the Bears up, there should be huge plays available for the defense at some point. Our money is on something big from Que Reid again. On offense, just keep building on last week’s performance. Oh yeah, protect your kickers!

JMUSB Beer of the Week

Brothers Craft Brewing’s Proud and True Dukes Lager. I know we’ve had a long-standing kinship with another Harrisonburg brewery, but for our first preview this year, how can we pass up this obvious and wonderful choice. It’s odd to say, but thankfully this is a straightforward, no-frills lawnmower beer. In other words, perfect for a tailgating session. Folks will argue over quality no matter what, but the marketing, licensing (tee shirts in the bookstore!), and artwork for this one just crush us right in the feels. And mainly we’re just so glad that our local Giants, Total Wines, etc. have a purple alternative to that icky maroon/orange beer Hardywood swill that’s been coming out of RVA.

Official JMUSB Prediction

Dukes 38, Maine 17. We’re tempted to go bigger on this because we really feel good about this Dukes team regardless of the doubters that are creeping around with the injury report, but this is important conference play already and if JMU opens a lead up at all this week, just seems more likely they’ll salt this away rather than going for fireworks like last week.


leave a comment
  1. M@ / Sep 10 2021

    I’m just glad to get the previous article off the top of the page.

  2. Tidewater Duke / Sep 10 2021

    Dukes 45
    Maine Black Bears

    Go Dukes! Defense had big game

  3. Hart / Sep 11 2021

    Dogs 38
    Bears 13

    The Dukes lose an All American Fornadel to injury which will hurt this year, but the defense should be fierce and even better than the Spring with multiple D-line additions.
    There will be worthy competition in the CAA this year, but it isn’t Maine.

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