Nov 23 / Todd

# 23 Coastal Carolina @ JMU: Official JMUSB Game #11 Preview

The Basics

Matchup: #23 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (9-1, 6-1 Sun Belt) at JMU Dukes (7-3, 5-2 Sun Belt)

Kickoff: Noon EST. Saturday, November 26, 2022, Bridgeforth Stadium, Rocktown

Weather: Partly Sunny. High 56.

Broadcast: ESPNU (National U Doubleheader treatment for the SBC)

Boys in the Desert: JMU -14, O/U 54 (this is wild to us but might as well roll with it!)

How We Got Here

The Dukes fumbled 17 billion times last week, but otherwise looked a hell of a lot healthier than they’ve been since early October in another 20-point comeback to end Georgia State’s bowl hopes and set up this Sun Belt East Title Game. Plus we have to think they’ll be primed to send out a decorated and meaningful senior class (Percy, Kyle Davis, KT, Ukwu, Ravenel, Kidd, Painter, etc.). JMU is 7-3 in their first full season in FBS and a win Saturday would mean they win the Sun Belt East. No matter what the rules or technicalities say, everyone would know (but mainly Coastal would know) who the real champs are and who really belongs in the Sun Belt Title game with Troy next week. And what better way to wind up this magical first-FBS season than having Brideforth welcome a ranked team for the first time ever!

Coastal had an unexpected bye week for the worst reason imaginable as their scheduled trip to Charlottesville to take on the Cavaliers was cancelled. Prior to that they survived their game without QB1 Grayson McCall with a 26-23 win over Southern Miss. Not unlike the Dukes, Coastal has been a study in how a winning program culture can sometimes carry you even when the matchups don’t seem in your favor. They’ve survived all year and won close game after close game even though it seems they don’t quite have the talent or the edge they did during the last two seasons. After all of that they stand at 9-1, ranked 23rd, and with an outside shot at a New Year’s Six bowl depending on results in the AAC.

How Coastal Can Win

Hang in the game long enough defensively to allow their insanely creative offense to confuse JMU’s young and transitioning defense. The Chants’ defense has been…meh. They give up 27 points a game and have only held one team under 21 all season. They give up 400 yards per game. But they have been opportunistic with almost as many sacks and turnovers forced as JMU. In other words, they aren’t good but they’re often complimentary to Head Coach Jamey Chadwell’s extremely creative offense. Is it option? Is it spread? Is it pistol? It’s sort of all of them and it averages 32 points and nearly 430 yards per game. With JMU playing more and more youth on defense right now, we’ve seen the Dukes give up some long broken plays the last few weeks and Coastal seems capable of finding a few of those too.

How JMU Can Win

Don’t beat themselves. Step 1 of this is “don’t fumble every other play.” But Step 2 requires the Dukes to handle the emotions of this week. It’s essentially JMU’s bowl game, we all know the real stakes, it’s a ranked team at BFS, it’s a blackout game with fancy unis, it’s an important Senior Day, and it’s unusual for JMU in that it’s a finite last game. In other words, chances are the Dukes will come out sky-high. Early on they need to use that emotion to do their individual jobs and not try to do too much. If there’s adversity (like last week), they also need to not let the emotion and the ending of this season overwhelm them into frustration.

But beyond that, JMU with a healthy Centeio is simply better than Coastal without Grayson McCall. With the exception of Reggie Brown, the Dukes’ offense is relatively healthy and has certainly looked as dangerous again the last two weeks as it did during the heady early season. Chadwell wasn’t playing games when he noted in this week’s presser that JMU’s O-Line is the best they’ve seen all year. And if JMU’s defense can stick to their assignments and stay home against misdirection, we’ve seen what the Dukes are capable of against teams that struggle in the passing game and have to stay on the ground against Ukwu, Edwards, Carp, and co.

Historical Footnote

JMUSB Beer of the Week

We had another beer here, but if you don’t know why we’re now going with Atrevida Beer Co’s Christopher Street Pale Ale, you really should read this story about a helper/hero that would make even Fred Rogers smile. Plus, who doesn’t love a hoppy Pale (instead of an IPA, think Blue Mountain’s Full Nelson)?

Official JMUSB Prediction

Beach chickens. Basically the Delaware of the Sun Belt. Already crowing about “winning” and “clinching” the Sun Belt East when the real ones will know the truth come late afternoon Saturday.

JMU 38, Coastal 13


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  1. Tidewater Duke / Nov 23 2022

    Don’t know how we are favored by 14 over 23rd ranked team, but “boys in the desert” usually don’t make mistakes. I will go with Dukes 35, chickens 21.

    Doesn’t matter if we win or lose, it has been a great year.

    GO DUKES!!!!!

  2. CJ / Nov 26 2022

    Great win today! I’ll admit it, I thought the 38-13 JMUSB prediction was completely outrageous, I was totally expecting a loss and was perfectly satisfied with that given all of the accomplishments this season. But to win, and basically throttle Coastal by 40 points was amazing.

    I give a lot of credit to the coaching staff. I was a fan of Mike Houston, and it took me a while to get sold on Cignetti. But he has proven to be an outstanding coach. To make the adjustments they’ve made game after game, to keep the team fighting and come back to win from huge deficits, that’s great coaching.

    Ridiculous rules preventing us from playing in a bowl, equally as ridiculous as preventing us from playing in the CAA championship last season. Runs completely contrary to the spirit of sports. Let the best teams play.

    I’m really looking forward to next year. Most crucial factor is if we can get a decent QB1.

  3. cJ / Nov 29 2022

    How about those stiff-arms from Percy? Anybody catch those?

    For those of you who can advocate further on JMU’s behalf,
    I urge you To spread the message to sun belt runners up…

    You wanna be true champions? Then go through JMU

    Anybody hear me?

    Probably not.

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