HARRISONBURG, Va. - #18 Massachusetts scored 18 unanswered points in the second half and came away with a 21-14 Colonial Athletic Association road win against #15 James Madison against at Bridgeforth Stadium, Oct. 30. With their third-straight loss, the Dukes fell to 4-4 overall and 1-4 in the league while the Minutemen improved to 5-3 and 3-2 in conference play.
UMass jumped out on top to open the contest with the opening drive, taking the ball 60 yards on eight plays over 3:05. However, the Dukes' defense stiffened again in the red zone and held the Minutemen to a field goal attempt. Caleb Violette hit the 33-yard field goal attempt to give UMass a 3-0 lead with just over three minutes gone in the game.
The Minutemen found their way back deep into JMU territory on their second drive, with a second and goal at the JMU 1. The Dukes held for the first two plays and on fourth down, forced an incomplete pass to get the ball back and stop the threat, keeping the margin at 3-0.
Two possessions later, Madison found its way on to the scoreboard with an 11-play, 70-yard march. Utilizing the ground game, the Dukes moved into scoring position and capitalized with a 8-yard scoring run by redshirt-senior Jamal Sullivan (Ruther Glen, Va./Caroline). Redshirt-freshman Ben Hopewell (Waynesboro, Va./Wilson Memorial) hit the point-after attempt and JMU had a 7-3 lead midway through the second quarter.
UMass punted on its next possession and pinned JMU back on its own three to start the drive. The Dukes pushed the ball of its own end zone and put together another scoring drive that ate up the remainder of the half. Madison went the full 97 yards for the touchdown with Sullivan taking it in from two yards this time on the 11th play of the drive. Hopewell again hit the point after and the Dukes led 14-3 with just 17 seconds to go in the half, a lead they took into the intermission.
The Minutemen got their first possession of the second half and moved into scoring territory again, including converting a 4th-and-8 with quarterback Kyle Havens hitting wide receiver Anthony Nelson with a 19-yard pass on the sideline to get a first down at the Dukes' 9. From there, Madison held them out of the end zone for the third straight red zone drive, forcing a 25-yard field goal by Violette to cut the lead to 14-6 JMU with 3:04 to go in the third.
The visitors got back in the offensive end, spurred by Nelson's 53-yard punt return to the JMU 17-yard line. From there, it took before Havens found wide receiver Julian Talley for a 2-yard touchdown reception to make it 14-12. The Minutemen went for two and Havens connected with wide receiver Dan Sheeran in the back of the end zone and the game was knotted at 14 with just over 13 minutes remaining in the game.
On the next drive, Madison moved the ball out of its own end before UMass held on JMU's fourth-and-1 at the Dukes' 48 and took over the ball there. The Minutemen then put together their third-straight scoring drive, finished off by 1-yard touchdown pass from Havens to tight end Andrew Krevis. Violette's extra point made it 21-14 UMass with 7:29 to play.
JMU outgained UMass 359-302, as the Dukes rushed for 180 yards and threw for 179 on the game. The Dukes also held a time of possession advantage, holding the ball for 32:10 as compared to the Minutemen's 27:50.
Redshirt-senior quarterback Drew Dudzik (Clifton, Va./Centreville) put together a career-high 277 yards of total offense, rushing 12 times for 98 yards and going 13-for-25 through the air for 179 yards. Sullivan rushed 21 times for 73 yards and two scores.
UMass was led on the ground by Jonathan Hernandez with game highs of 28 rushes for 137 yards. Havens was 15-for-19 for 163 yards and two scores, with Talley having game highs of four catches for 66 yards and one touchdown.
JMU heads on the road next week for a CAA televised game at Richmond. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.