Oct 22 / Todd

2021 JMUSB Game Preview #7: JMU @ Delaware

Need one more. JMU needs one more win against a sputtering old rival to get through the toughest stretch of the season at 4-1 and keep all their goals intact. With university-changing athletics news swirling around the Dukes and coming off a bounce-back win over Richmond after the loss to Nova, it’s so crucial that the team itself not overlook this game.

The Basics

Matchup: #7 JMU Dukes (5-1, 3-1 CAA) at #23 Delaware Blue Hens (3-3, 2-2 CAA)

Kickoff: 3:00 p.m. EST. Saturday October 23, 2021, The Tub, Newark, Delaware

Weather: Partly Cloudy, 62 degrees

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

How We Got Here

Delaware made the FCS semis last spring before falling to SDSU. But after losing QB1 Nolan Henderson earlier this season, they’ve cycled through QB’s and struggled to get any consistency on offense. They’ve lost their last two – both on the road – to URI and Stony Brook, but will back in Newark for Homecoming this week.

The Dukes beat Richmond last week with dominant defense against another backup QB and are at end of a mostly-road game stretch where they really need to get one more win before coming home for most of the stretch run.

How the Chickens Can Win

Take advantage of a potentially tired and distracted Dukes team and not waste a single opportunity. JMU is at the end of 4 road games in 5 stretch that has seemed on paper like the season’s toughest. The players and coaches have had plenty of extracurricular social media to binge on this week if they were so inclined. And the last two weeks, JMU has given chances to their opponents by not stepping on necks when the chance was there. For Delaware to win this week, they need to cash in those chances. If the Dukes turn it over, Delaware has to get points. If a penalty puts the Dukes behind the sticks, the Hens defense has to get off the field on 3rd down. And any redzone trips they get need to be six, not three. If they can get a Homecoming crowd that’s angry with their coach and indifferent about the program’s future behind them instead of tuning out, that would go a long way towards being in control late.

How the Dukes Can Win

Do Your Own Job. Delaware is a desperate team fighting for their season. Whatever the story with their coach’s status and their program’s future, this particular Hens squad made the semis in the spring and had high hopes for this year. They will be focused even if they’re outgunned. The Dukes need to match that focus during an otherwise wild week for JMU. While Alger, Bourne, donors, and fans all have their own obligations and other things to worry about this week, for the players and coaches themselves, the only job they can do that will contribute to JMU this week is winning this damned game. The defense should be able to tee off on another backup QB leading a sputtering offense, but the JMU offense and special teams need to clean up the penalties, turnovers, and general sloppiness that have led to a loss to Villanova and a “meh” outcome against a struggling Spiders team. Allow Sroba/Vanhorse/Thornton returns to stand without being called back. No more collapsing pockets without ball protection (sacks are not horrible compared to fumbles). Hit the most open receiver, not the obvious one. Catch the ball. Hit the first guy that crosses your face when pulling. Put simply, do the basics correctly. Just do your own job and this will be ok. For those three hours, their is nothing more a player or coach can do to boost JMU than win this game.

JMUSB Beer of the Week (BOTW)

New Anthem Beer Project Ba’al – With everyone in the world trying to make massively cloudy/juicy IPA’s and most of them ending up tasting like they still had soap in the lines, it was refreshing to have my guy at the local bottle-shop (shouts to HighSide in Fairfax City) recommend something new that actually delivered. This small brewery from Wilmington, NC hit a home run and you should find this simple gold can wherever you can.

Official JMUSB Prediction

Time for the Dukes to get back to the soul-crushers they looked like against Maine and Weber a month ago. JMU 38, UD 13


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  1. CJ / Oct 22 2021

    I would of course add that we’re not out of the toughest stretch of the season until we’ve dispatched Elon next week. You’d think Cignetti would have Elon’s number given his knowledge of the program, but it seems to be the other way around. I mention this after watching them damn near beat us last spring with a third string QB, so they’ll be even more dangerous with Davis Cheek back in action. I’m telling you guys, don’t overlook Elon.

    Delaware is struggling this year but if they come out fired up and focused they are just as capable as NH or VU of stealing a win…believe that. I’d really like to see us keep our foot on the gas through the 3rd quarter and beyond…I’ve seen too many 3rd quarters in recent memory where we fall into a lazy pattern of three and outs that translates into momentum and scores for our opponents. Play all four quarters, don’t let a team hang around!

    Big advantage for us is that the Hens are without their starting QB, because I still haven’t seen our secondary reach the level that I’d like to see them at.

    And for anyone still reading this far I’d like to drop yet another endorsement for STAYING in FCS. What I love about JMU football is that every year we’re a potential championship contender…you guys can forget that if we move to FBS.

    Okay guys, another good talk.

  2. Steve Brown / Oct 22 2021

    I am predicting:


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