Oct 7 / Todd

JMU @ Arkansas St.: Official JMUSB Game #5 Preview


The Basics

Matchup: JMU Dukes (4-0, 2-0 Sun Belt) at Arkansas St. Red Wolves (2-3, 1-1 Sun Belt)

Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. EST. Saturday, October 8, 2022, Centennial Bank Stadium, Jonesboro, Arkansas

Weather: Clear, low 60s. Pretty perfect conditions at kickoff but keep in mind this is a 6:00 kickoff locally so sun/shadows could be an issue in the first quarter or so.

Broadcast: NFL Network

Boys in the Desert: JMU -11.5, O/U 55.5

How We Got Here

The Dukes are 4-0 and very much in the national conversation at this point with one of the nation’s toughest defenses and dominant performances outside of the big win in Boone. The weather and the scoreboard excuse what may have actually been a “meh” performance offensively last week but JMU has objectively been one of the crisper teams anywhere this year.

Arkansas St. has had an odd schedule but it seems fair to say they’re developing into a consistently capable team offensively that is starting to put things together. The Red Wolves started the season with an FCS blowout win and a loss to Ohio St. where it should be noted they hung reasonably tough for a half. Then they made mistakes in a tough 44-32 loss to rival Memphis, lost a tight one in Norfolk to ODU 29-26 at the end, and finally put things mostly together in a fairly strong 45-28 home win over ULM last week.

How Arkansas St. Can Win

Make more big plays and avoid mistakes. QB James Blackmon and a deep group of receivers have clearly shown they can consistently score points and they’ll likely need more of the same tomorrow. And RB/KR Johnnie Lang can absolutely go. It doesn’t feel like the Red Wolves can win a grinder against the Dukes but there’s no doubt that if the Dukes make more mistakes and Arkansas St. can open the game up with their speed and big plays, they can pull this off in what Coach Butch Jones would almost certainly call a building block for this re-developing program.

How JMU Can Win

Rattle the Wolves’ O-Line and be accurate in the passing game. Lost in the easy-going win last week was some icky interceptions and pre-read plays in the running game by the Dukes offense. JMU cannot afford to give those extra chances away this week to such more capable offense. JMU’s offense needs to get back to the efficient passing game we saw the first two weeks and the second half at App and balance that with continued steadiness in the running game.

Broken record here but defensively the Dukes need their pressure to get home, both to rattle a large but shaky O-Line and to force early throws from Blackmon. JMU’s secondary has vastly exceeded our expectations thus far but they can’t be asked to cover for extended plays against this group of skill players.

JMUSB Beer of the Week

Flyway Brewing’s Free Range Brown Ale. When in Arkansas (never trust anyone from a state with an ass on the end), Little Rock’s Flyway is widely available and always solid. And it finally feels like a very Oktoberfesty type weekend. Many people celebrate falls with beers chocked full of a certain gourd. Many people are wrong. Find yourself a tasty Brown Ale to curl up in that hoodie with and stop listening to the propaganda from big pumpkin.

Official JMUSB Prediction

JMU’s pass rush is goes wild and ultimately forces penalties and turnovers that turn this game after halftime. On the other side, if JMU can avoid turning the ball over, we expect big days from KT and Ravenel in particular out of the slot. Big plays will be there to be made and we’re looking forward to watching those guys run!

JMU 38, Arkansas St. 20


leave a comment
  1. CJ / Oct 7 2022

    What a season this is turning out to be…looking forward to another good game this Saturday. Just hope we don’t get too lazy or complacent, on this level any opponent can give you a good punch in the mouth. Just ask Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Miami, about that…

    Two factors have really stood out to me as pivotal to our success this season. First, of course, is Centeio. He’s a game changer. If he stays healthy (and that’s my main concern every Saturday), I think we’ll keep winning and he’ll be a pretty solid pick in the NFL draft. Second is the coaching. Although I’ve thought Cignetti & company were a decent coaching staff, I’ve had lingering concerns that they’ve just hadn’t won the big games against NDSU or Sam Houston St. They’ve shown this season they are legit. To come back against App State, down 28-3, to make those adjustments, to keep the team on track, was legendary. To put together the season we’ve had so far, our first in FBS, is huge. I don’t know what if anything they’re doing differently this season, or whether the players and schemes are just aligning, but our coaching staff deserves a great deal of credit for what they’ve done.

    Okay, if anyone is still reading this far, hit me up at Spider Kellys on Saturday night for even more riveting and insightful JMU football dialogue.

  2. Steve Brown / Oct 7 2022

    I have 45-13 in favor of JMU. They can’t stop our offense and the weather conditions will be perfect for a game.

  3. OBXDuke83 / Oct 7 2022

    First, thank you for continuing to do these write-ups.
    This has been a really exciting season. I was a slow convert to the move up, but it was definitely time. I hope the team stays locked in and doesn’t pay too much attention to all of the 11-0 talk.
    Dukes 31
    Ark St 10

  4. Tidewater Duke / Oct 8 2022

    What a great year so far! I think this looks like a trap game for the Dukes. Away game, riding a winning streak, etc. I think we will win, but it will be closer than we think.

    JMU. 28
    Ark st. 17

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: