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The Press Box Sports

James Madison Shines on GameDay Appearance: Beats Villanova 30-8

FCS Football James Madison Dukes Villanova Wildcats

Saturday was a great day for Dukes fans. James Madison hosted this week’s College GameDay broadcast and did so in a big way. Villanova came into Harrisonburg looking to knock off the No. 1 team in FCS Football, but James Madison easily won the contest 30-8 and progresses to 6-0 for the season.  The game-plan was there for Villanova the Wildcats accomplished part of it. They held James Madison to just 45 rushing yards for the game. The Dukes were averaging 289 rushing yards per game going into this matchup so that was a big win in the ground game for Villanova. The problem for the Wildcats was that they couldn’t stop quarterback Bryan Schor. The JUCO transfer was spot on for the Dukes. Schor was 20-28 on his passes, for 271 yards, and 2 touchdowns.

On Defense, the Dukes dominated the Villanova offense. The Wildcats only recorded 174 yards of total offense. Even on the ground game, James Madison didn’t give up any big running plays and that’s what doomed the Wildcats. The Wildcats were so shaken up on offense, Mark Ferrante put in Kyle McCloskey at quarterback to get things going. Jack Schetelich was struggling, throwing for just 15 yards on 7 attempts, and 1 interception. McCloskey did a little better on the ground (43 yards on 16 carries), but had a similar result in the passing game. The freshman did get the Wildcats on the board early in the fourth quarter with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Todd Summers and completed the two-point conversion to Aaron Forbes. That was is for the Wildcats though. McCloskey threw a pick-six to Brendan Hereford on Villanova’s last drive of the game. Also note that the Dukes forced the Wildcats to punt eight times in this game.

The receiving unit for James Madison stepped up their game with the lack of production on the ground. Terrence Alls was the top receiver for the Dukes with 7 catches for 83 yards, but it was freshman tight end, Clayton Cheatham and wide receiver, David Eldridge that scored for James Madison. Cheatham had 2 receptions and 57 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown catch. Eldridge had 4 receptions for 43 yards, with one being a 29-yard touchdown pass from Schor. The Wildcats just couldn’t handle a receiving corps that averaged 19.5 yards per reception.

This is why James Madison has been so dominant and why they are at the top of the FCS Football Rankings. They don’t play one-dimensional football and can beat teams either on the ground or through the air. Mike Houston has his team firing on all cylinders and things don’t look to be slowing down for James Madison. The Dukes are now 6-0 on the season and tied for first in CAA conference play. The win also gives the Dukes at least a share of the CAA title. They’ll head to Williamsburg this coming Saturday to play 2-4 William & Mary. Villanova falls to 4-3 and has a week off before hosting Elon on October 28th. The bye-week will give the banged up Wildcats an extra week to try to get some key players healthy.

 

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