HARRISONBURG, Va. - No. 21 James Madison took control against UAlbany with 20 unanswered points in the first half en route to a 40-13 win in the Dukes' second conference game of the season.
The Dukes rose to a 4-2 overall record (1-1 CAA), including 4-0 at home. The Great Danes fell to 1-5 overall, and 0-2 in their first season in the Colonial Athletic Association. Redshirt-junior Daniel Brown had a big receiving game, earning 86 yards and tying the school's record for single-game touchdown receptions with three against the Great Danes. Redshirt-senior Dae'Quan Scott broke the all-time career scoring record at JMU with 240 points, surpassing David Rabil's (2003-06) 231 points.
Sophomore Michael Birdsong first connected with Brown on a 41-yard pass with 5:26 to go in the first quarter, giving the Dukes a 12-3 lead. It capped a four-play, 78-yard drive down field for JMU. Brown scored again on a 12-yard pass from Birdsong with just six minutes to go in the second quarter to give the Dukes to 26-3 lead going into halftime.
Brown tied the school record with 2:10 remaining in the game on a quick two-yard pass in the endzone.
Scott broke the all-time scoring record on a three-yard rush in the second quarter, his first touchdown of the day. He finished the day with 240 total points after a three-yard touchdown rush at the start of the fourth quarter.
Redshirt-freshman Gage Steele played tough for the Dukes on the defensive side of the ball with 18 tackles, 13 of which were unassisted. His 18 tackles were the most for a JMU player since 2007, and he posted the program's third game of 13 solo stops dating back to 1999. He also tallied a sack on Albany's quarterback, junior Will Fiacchi, for a loss of two yards in the first quarter.
Redshirt-senior and reigning CAA Defensive Player of the Week Stephon Robertson added 11 tackles and two quarterback hurries on the day for JMU.
Junior Brian Parker lead the Great Danes with eight receptions for 71 yards, and junior Omar Osbourne rushed for 59 yards on 17 carries.
Overall, JMU accumulated 416 total yards of offense with a balanced act of 211 rushing yards and 249 passing yard over 70 total plays. Albany had 324 total yards, 243 in the air and 81 on the ground, on 83 plays.
James Madison started the game strong with a 38-yard rushing touchdown by freshman Khalid Abdullah on its first drive of the game. Abdullah broke four tackles to find the endzone and put six points on the board for the Dukes.
Albany answered in the next drive with a 24-yard field goal by redshirt-sophomore Tom O'Riordan, cutting the Dukes' lead in half. It was the closest the Great Danes would come to the Dukes on the day.
JMU rattled off the next 20 points, beginning when Birdsong connected with Brown on the 41-yard strike. Scott posted seven more for the Dukes in the start of the second quarter with his 3-yard rush that capped a 10-play, 67-yard drive. Six minutes later, the Dukes found the end zone yet again with the 12-yard pass to Brown, increasing the lead to 26-3.
The second half was scoreless until Fiacchi connected with senior Kevin Chillis on a five-yard pass with just over two minutes left in the third quarter, the Great Danes' first touchdown of the game. Albany's final points of the day came when Birdsong was whistled for intentional grounding from his own end zone, resulting in a safety with a sack credited to Albany's Tim Kologrivov.
After coming up empty in the third quarter, JMU quickly posted a 10-play, 86-yard drive to open the fourth quarter that ended with a one-yard rushing touchdown by Scott. The last score of the game came from a two-yard completion to Brown with just over two minutes remaining. The final touchdown was a result of six plays over 55 yards to give Madison a 40-13 win over UAlbany.
JMU hosts the Richmond Spiders next week at Bridgeforth Stadium in its third Colonial Athletic Association game of the season. The game is scheduled to kick off at 3:30 p.m. and will be televised nationally on NBC Sports Network.