Sep 30 / Todd

Texas State @ JMU: Official JMUSB Game #4 Preview

The Basics

Matchup: Texas State Bobcats (2-2, 0-0 Sun Belt) at JMU Dukes (3-0, 1-0 Sun Belt)

Kickoff: 1:30 p.m. EST. Saturday, October 1, 2022, Bridgeforth Stadium, Rocktown

Weather: Wet. Also an odd combination of humid and cold with high only around 53. Take note there is no bad weather, only bad clothing choices.

Broadcast: ESPN+

Boys in the Desert: JMU -21.5, O/U 51.5 (note the line has moved towards the Dukes from lower opening numbers most places)

How We Got Here

The Dukes now fully have the attention of the in-the-know portion of the college football fanbase, and are close to making inroads with national fans, after coming back from the most dangerous score in football, 28-3, to take down the vaunted App. St. Mountaineers last week in what could turn out to be a signature moment for the program. Combined with now 3-1 MTSU’s blowout of Miami way down south, suddenly JMU looks fully for real to their new Sun Belt brethren.

On the other side, Texas St. is still a bit of an unknown. They have wins over two horrendous teams, FIU and FCS Houston Baptist (who is almost certainly better than FIU). They have an expected-but-not-altogether-terrible loss to Baylor, and a shockingly bad blowout loss to a bad Nevada team in Week 1. But as we’ve seen with MTSU, Week 1 is not always indicative of a team’s true level.

Oh yeah, while these teams have never met, the Withers Bowl factor and an O’Kelly punting for the Bobcats add a little extra flavor to this matchup.

How Texas St. Can Win

Protect the QB and win the turnover battle. On offense, the Bobcats have to find some way to run the ball at least enough to keep the Dukes honest. JMU’s defense has allowed less than 100 yards rushing in three games. Total. If the Bobcats want to hang in this week, they’ve got to find a way to do better than that. When App got in a position where they were forced to throw and everyone knew it in the second half last week, the Dukes starting destroying Chase Bryce to a point of shookness that caused the game-turning INT.

But defensively in bad weather there may be opportunities against a JMU offense that was a bit loose with the football last week after an easy first couple weeks. The Bobcats almost certainly need to take advantage of any mistakes the Dukes make.

How JMU Can Win

Take this as seriously as any FBS game played by JMU to date. Texas St. was picked fairly unanimously as one of preseason picks to be at the bottom of the Sun Belt, and they’ve done little so far to change that perception. However, while the App-type “big” games are what draws the eye to JMU’s awesome new world, it’s games like this that are going to really show the enormous step up in competition from FCS to FBS. Texas St. has 85 schollies and plenty of talent. In other words, this ain’t Rhode Island and the Dukes can NOT afford to treat the Bobcats like the bad teams from the old conference. JMU’s biggest advantage – particularly on a sketchy weather day – is it’s dominant D-Line taking on a suspect O-Line from TSU. JMU needs to continue shutting down the run and pressuring the offense.

On what is likely to be a chilly, wet, windy day in the Valley, hanging onto the ball offensively (especially after multiple fumbles last week) is probably as crucial as anything schematically. That said, finding ways to get the ball back to KT will surely be a priority this week.

JMUSB Beer of the Week

Shiner Bock makes its annual appearance for the only Texas-related game this season. Plus it’s an early tailgate with weather issues that screams “keep it simple” on menu choices for both food and bev. Nothing simpler that still tastes outstanding than Shiners in a coozie held by rain gloves.

Official JMUSB Prediction

As we said last week in this space, this year’s Dukes are 100% for real. Guessing we aren’t as much of an outlier in this regard anymore, but we still think this team is so locked in – and seemingly just playing in the moment – that there’s no letdown this week.

JMU 38, Texas St. 13


leave a comment
  1. Steve Brown / Sep 30 2022

    I have it:

    TXSU–17 (garbage TD late in the 4th)

  2. Hart / Oct 1 2022

    Dawgs 38
    Cats 14

    Multiple INT’s and sacks of the cats QB today.
    Lots of RB production from JMU in a game they can afford to be conservative and still win in the weather.

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