Oct 14 / Todd

2021 JMUSB Preview Game #6: JMU at Richmond

Ugh, what a bad taste last week left in the mouths of JMU fans. This week is shaping up to be a good old-fashioned JMU/RU blood feud. On one hand we’re more confident the Dukes will play well after what we hope is the ultimate wake-up call last week. On the other hand, while it pains us to say it, Richmond really shouldn’t be as bad as they looked last week either and it’s absolutely desperation time for any hopes of saving the season for the Spatters.

The Basics

Matchup: #7 JMU Dukes (4-1, 2-1 CAA) at Richmond Spiders (2-3, 0-2 CAA)

Kickoff: 2:00 p.m. EST. Saturday October 16, 2021, Bridgeforth East, Richmond, Virginia

Weather: Showers, 81 degrees

Broadcast: NBC Sports Washington or you can Go with the Flo

How We Got Here

The Dukes stumbled in all three phases in their first loss of the year last week at home to Villanova. The Dukes do not play an FBS game this year and have one quality win at Weber St. The Spiders have lost three straight – two of which are excusable to Villanova and Virginia Tech – but last week’s home loss to Elon where they were held to seven points is a head-scratcher. Richmond opened the season with blowouts of bad Howard and Lehigh teams.

How the Spiders Can Win

They’ll have to ignore the massive home-field advantage the Dukes bring into this one. Then they need to score more than the 17 total points they’ve managed to find the last two weeks with backup QB Beau English at the controls. Three weeks ago, the ODAC’s best were flying high having won their first two and leading Villanova on the road 27-13 headed to the fourth quarter. Since then it’s been a trainwreck on fire off a mountain. First, Nova scored 21 unanswered to take that game. Then QB1 Joe Mancuso got hurt on the second play of the game at VT and then the Ticks were manhandled at home by Elon.

Richmond’s defense, particularly in the front seven, is veteran and touuughh. And they’ll need to follow Villanova’s gameplan to a tee. Try to hold the Dukes running game in check and count on the Dukes to do predictable things in “and long” situations. More than that though, unless there is some well of Boise-style trick plays up their sleeve, the defense will have to score or at the very least give the offense short fields if they’re going to keep up with JMU. Don’t take RU’s defense lightly, they were very much in the game in Blacksburg a couple weeks back, trailing just 14-10 in the second half before falling 21-10 with essentially zero offense.

How the Dukes Can Win

Quit f*cking around and do their damned jobs. That’s first and foremost. Offense, Defense, Specials. All shared in the blame for last week’s collapse and it’s on the players to execute at a higher level. On the coaching side, on offense JMU needs to be less predictable, especially in 2nd and 10 or 3rd and long situations. Not trick plays, just something other than run up the middle or chuck it to a 60% healthy Antoine Wells, Jr.

On defense, the Dukes need to get their best pass-rushing linemen in the game and do everything they can to bring pressure with just the front four. This will give them more guys to cover some weaknesses on the back-end, though admittedly we’ll be surprised if Richmond’s QB can do anything resembling the play of his Wildcats counterpart last week.

On special teams, flush last week and get back on track. We’ve seen it before and no reason to think we won’t again.

JMUSB Beer of the Week (BOTW)

It’s gonna be muggy and damp this weekend. You’ll want something lighter and refreshing that when a little is spilled on your raincoat as you take it on and off depending on that awful southern sweat-to-rain ratio won’t linger all afternoon like a wet fart. Basically, no stouts, porters, or hazy IPA’s – even those from Veil this weekend. What you need is a classic. And there’s hardly anything more classic than a Pilsner Urquell. The Czech standby is perfect for this occasion.

Official JMUSB Prediction

It’s Spatter Stomping time and the Dukes really need this one. JMU 30, Richmond 16


leave a comment
  1. mighty oz / Oct 15 2021

    Nice job! Love the home field advantage comment.

  2. CJ / Oct 15 2021

    I would say that we’ve got no worries this week since we got a badly needed wake up call last week, but I think we’ve had several wake up calls already. New Hampshire should have been a wake up call…in fact Sam Houston should have been a big wake up call a few months ago. So I’m really not sure whether things will straighten out, or if we’re destined for an early exit from the playoffs in December. I’m a little concerned that we’re seeing another 2018-like season. In 2018 we were loaded with talent and high expectations, but yet we got outplayed by lesser teams like Elon and NH. I think even Rhode Island had a pretty good offensive day against us that year. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m not looking at Frisco hotel availability in January quite yet.

    I think we’ll beat Richmond, but I’ll be watching closely to see how well they can exploit our secondary and whether JMU can avoid losing focus on the 3rd quarter and beyond.

    If I’m an opponent, I’m going to throw deep when I can because JMU comes up with too many interference penalties and too few interceptions to top the odds against it. I also noticed that the Villanova QB was getting a lot of time to sit back and choose his receivers, even an average CAA QB is going to make some strikes if you give him that kind of time.

    My real concern is when we play Elon and Delaware. They seem to always play us with a lot of heart and intensity, which is sometimes enough to beat us.

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