The Coaches: James Madison Head Coach Mickey Matthews (West Texas State, ‘76) is in his 15th season at JMU and as a head coach overall with a 104- 65 record.
Akron Head Coach Terry Bowden (West Virginia, ’78) is in his second year as head coach of the Zips with a 1-12 mark and 20th overall, sporting an impressive 141-74-2 record.
The two coaches have passed in the coaching circles, as Matthews was an assistant coach at Georgia from 1996- 1998 at the same time that Bowden was the head coach at Auburn.
History With Akron: This is the first time that the Dukes and Zips will meet on the football field. In fact, it is the secondtime that JMU will play against a school playing in the Mid-American Conference, as the Dukes fell at Ball State, 24-6, in 1997. Additionally, Madison had previously faced Massachusetts numerous times when both were members of the FCS Colonial Athletic Association.
Taking on FBS Teams Not Kind to JMU: Against NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams that still compete in the division, JMU has a 4-17 record. The Dukes last played an FBS opponent last season, losing to West Virginia at FedEx Field in Washington, D.C., 42-12. This year, Madison will head to Mid- American Conference-foe Akron for its FBS game, playing at the Zips on Sept. 7 at 6 p.m.
Opponent Record Met
Ball State 0-1 1997
Duke 0-1 2008
Maryland 0-2 2009
Navy 2-1 1990
North Carolina 0-2 2011
Virginia 1-2 1983
Virginia Tech 1-6 2010
West Virginia 0-2 2012
Of JMU’s 21 games against FBS teams, 10 of the contests have been season-openers. JMU started the 1988 season at Navy, the 1991, 1992 and 1999 seasons at Virginia Tech, the 1997 season at Ball State, the 1998 season at Maryland, the 2007 and 2011 seasons at North Carolina, the 2008 season at Duke and 2009 at Maryland.
JMU’S FBS GAMES: JMU’s games against Football Bowl Subdivision teams (all road) include the following:
1979 Virginia 69, JMU 9 10/13
1980 Va. Tech 38, JMU 6 9/27
1982 JMU 21, Virginia 17 9/18
1983 Virginia 21, JMU 14 9/17
1988 Navy 27, JMU 14 9/3
1988 Va. Tech 27, JMU 6 11/19
1989 JMU 24, Navy 20 10/28
1990 JMU 16, Navy 7 10/27
1991 Va. Tech 41, JMU 12 8/31
1992 Va. Tech 49, JMU 20 9/5
1997 Ball State 24, JMU 6 9/6
1998 Maryland 23, JMU 15 9/5
1999 Va. Tech 47, JMU 0 9/4
2003 Va. Tech 43, JMU 0 9/6
2004 W. Va. 45, JMU 10 9/25
2007 N. Carolina 37, JMU 14 9/1
2008 Duke 31, JMU 7 8/30
2009 Maryland 38, JMU 35 (ot) 9/12
2010 JMU 21, Va. Tech 16 9/11
2011 N. Carolina 42, JMU 10 9/3
2012 W. Va. 42, JMU 12 9/15 at FedEx
Scott, Reynolds Named CAA Players of the Week: James Madison's Dae'Quan Scott and Taylor Reynolds were honored as the Colonial Athletic Association's Special Teams Player and Rookie of the Week, respectively, as announced by the league Sept. 2.
A senior return specialist and running back, Scott's fifth conference weekly honor comes on the heels of a solid all-purpose performance in JMU's convincing 38-14 win over Central Connecticut State. The senior finished the season-opener with 197 all-purpose yards, including a 54-yard punt return for a touchdown that represented the first such score for him and the 15th for the Dukes in Bridgeforth Stadium history. Scott would add 15 carries for 120 yards and a reception for 14 yards in the win.
Playing in not only his first collegiate contest but his first game on the defensive side of the ball after making the transition from quarterback to cornerback in the spring, Reynolds racked up six tackles to go with an impressive 51-yard interception return for a touchdown in JMU's win over the Blue Devils on Saturday. The rookie's pick-6 was the Dukes' first since their final game of the 2011 season.
Opening the Season Has Mixed Results: As a NCAA varsity program JMU is 22-18-1 in season-opening games, but since moving to the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) in 1980, the Dukes are 17-17 in season-openers.
In the FCS, JMU has started a season against a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent 10 times (0-10 record), an FCS opponent 17 times (10-7 record) and a Division II opponent seven times (7-0 record).
Under Matthews, JMU is 9-6 in season-opening games, including 0-5 against FBS teams, 5-1 against FCS teams and 4-0 against Division II teams.
In season-opening games under Matthews, JMU lost in 1999 at Virginia Tech 47-0, defeated Lock Haven 72-0 in 2000, beat Elon 42-21 in 2001, lost to Hampton 31-28 in 2002, defeated Liberty 48-6 in 2003, beat Lock Haven 62-7 in 2004 and 56-0 in 2005, defeated Bloomsburg 14-3 in 2006, lost at North Carolina 37-14 in 2007, lost 31-7 at Duke in 2008, dropped 2009 ‘s season opener at Maryland in overtime, 38-35, won in 2010 against Morehead State, 48-7, lost 2011’s opener at North Carolina, 42-10, defeated Saint Francis (Pa.) last year, 55-7, and won this year's opener over Central Connecticut State, 38-14.
JMU Picked Fifth In Preseason Poll: Madison was selected to finish fifth in the preseason poll, as chosen by the league’s coaches and sports information directors.
The Dukes were picked fifth overall in the preseason poll, despite having the second-most first-place votes with four. Villanova was picked to take home the league title, garnering 11 first-place votes, followed by Towson (three votes), New Hampshire (three votes), Richmond (one vote) and Madison. Delaware was picked sixth, followed by CAA-newcomer Stony Brook, Maine and William & Mary. The other CAA-newcomer Albany and Rhode Island round out the poll.
Matthews The Winningest: Mickey Matthews (1999-Pres.) became the all-time leader in victories among JMU football coaches Sept. 27, 2008 in a 24-10 victory at Maine. The win gave the then-10th-year Dukes coach a 68-45 JMU record. It is now at 103-65 overall, which currently ranks 23rd among all active coaches in terms of winning percentage and victories.
Challace McMillin (1972-84), JMU’s first football coach, had a 67-56-1 record during 13 JMU seasons and held the program’s previous coaching victories record. McMillin has retired as a JMU kinesiology teaching staff member, but he continues to work with JMU athletic teams in a sports psychology role.
JMU’S COACHING RECORDS
Coach (Years) W-L Pct. NCAA
Mickey Matthews (1999-Pres.) 104-65 .615 6
Challace McMillin (1972-84) 67-56-1 .544 0
Joe Purzycki (1985-90) 34-30-2 .530 1
Rip Scherer (1991-94) 29-19 .604 2
Alex Wood (1995-98) 23-22 .511 1
* Challace McMillin’s listed coaching record at JMU does not include the program’s inaugural football season of 1972 when the team’s schedule did not include the minimum number of games to constitute an NCAA-recognized varsity football season. JMU’s 1972 team played five games against a mixture of college varsity, junior varsity and prep-school teams.
JMU UNDER MATTHEWS
Year Overall Conf.
1999 8-4 7-1 NCAA
2000 6-5 4-4
2001 2-9 0-9
2002 5-7 3-6
2003 6-6 4-5
2004 13-2 7-1 NCAA Title
2005 7-4 5-3
2006 9-3 7-1 NCAA
2007 8-4 6-2 NCAA
2008 12-2 8-0 NCAA
2009 6-5 4-4
2010 6-5 3-5
2011 8-5 5-3 NCAA
2012 7-4 5-3
2013 1-0 0-0
Totals 104-65 68-47
JMU Football History: The 2013 season is JMU’s 42nd season of football, its 40th varsity football season, its 35th season with football scholarship players and its 34th season competing at what is now the NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level, formerly Division I-AA.
JMU began football in 1972, moved to a recognized varsity schedule in 1974, first awarded scholarships for the 1979 season and moved to Division I-AA in 1980. JMU moved from Division III to Division in 1979 and to then-Division I-AA for the 1980 season.
JMU’s top seasons in addition to winning the 2004 NCAA Division I-AA championship (13-2) have been in 2008 when the Dukes reached the FCS semifinals as the playoffs’ top-seeded team and compiled a 12-2 record, 2007 (8-4, NCAA playoffs), 2006 (9-3, NCAA playoffs), 1999 (8-4, NCAA playoffs), 1995 (8-4, NCAA playoffs), 1994 (10-3, NCAA playoffs, second round), 1991 (9-4, NCAA playoffs, second round), 1987 (9-3, NCAA playoffs), 1982 (8-3), 1978 (8-2, No. 9, Division III), and 1975 (9-0-1, College Division).
Playoffs Expanding Again in 2013: In 2011, JMU took advantage of the playoff expansion to 20 teams by grabbing one of the last slots in the 2011 FCS Playoffs and advancing to the second round after defeating Eastern Kentucky. This year, the playoffs increase in participation again, as 24 teams will be selected for the field, 11 via auto bids as the Pioneer League’s champion will now be automatically invited to the postseason. The top eight teams will be seeded, receive first-round byes and host second-round games. The 16 other teams will bid to host first-round games.
Last Time Out - JMU Escapes With Home Victory Over Blue Devils: No. 15 James Madison used a mix of run and pass and several key touchdown returns for a 38-14 home win over Central Connecticut State in the season opener for both teams, Aug. 31. JMU moved to 14-1 in home openers under head coach Mickey Matthews with the victory.
Redshirt-senior running back Dae'Quan Scott posted his 13th career 100-yard rushing game with 15 carries for 120 yards. He moved up to seventh on JMU's all-time rushing list with 2,412 yards. He had nearly 200 all-purpose yards, adding 63 return yards and one reception for 14 yards.
Sophomore quarterback Michael Birdsong was 10-for-18 for 115 yards and one touchdown while running nine times for 55 yards, a pair of scores and a two-point conversion. Senior linebacker Stephon Robertson and redshirt-freshman linebacker Gage Steele led the defensive effort with 12 tackles each.
Birdsong scored the first two touchdowns for the Dukes on the season via the ground. The first was a 1-yard plunge that was set up by a 35-yard strike to Arlandis Harvey that put JMU at the CCSU 5. The second was a mix of pass and rush, with Birdsong scrambling in from six yards out to go up 13-0 late in the first quarter. (Full recap on page 20.)
Oh Captain, My Captains: James Madison's Stephon Robertson, Tyler Snow, Dae'Quan Scott, Quintin Hunter and Josh Wells have been selected by their teammates as captains for the 2013 football season. Robertson and Snow are captains for the second straight season, while this is the first time for the remaining three.
Preseason All-America Honors: James Madison’s Stephon Robertson and Dean Marlowe were named Preseason All-Americans by The Sports Network, the organization announced. Robertson was a first-team selection at linebacker, while Marlowe was on the second team at safety.
Robertson Getting In On the Play: Redshirt-junior linebacker Stephon Robertson has shown a nose for the football throughout his collegiate career. A 2013 Sports Network First-Team Preseason All-American, Robertson opened his final collegiate season with 12 tackles, two of the solo, in the season-opening victory over Central Connecticut State.
As CAA Defensive Player of the Year at linebacker in 2012, Robertson led the Dukes in tackles in seven of the 11 games last season, including a career-high 15 in the win over No. 12 Towson. He averaged 9.18 tackles per game (101 total, 48 solos), which was third in the CAA and tied for 43rd in the nation. He had his first pass interception of the year and second of his career at Maine. He has contributed five pass breakups on the season, along with 8.5 tackles for loss and 1.0 sacks. He recorded double-digit tackles in last games this season, including five of the last seven - all CAA games.
In his career, Robertson has started in all 35 games played. He has amassed 316 career tackles, an average of 9.03 tackles per game, despite being targeted as a threat by every opposing offense. He has also been named a 2013 Preseason All-American by Phil Steele’s College Football Preview and The Sports Network and is also on the initial watch list for the Buck Buchanan Award after finishing second among underclassmen and eighth overall in last year’s balloting despite appearing on just the final watch list.
Scott Chewing Up Ground:James Madison running back Dae’Quan Scott was eating up yardage lastseason. In his nine contests, Scott led the team with 781 yards on 155 carries (5.0 yards per carry) and eight touchdowns. His average of86.8 yards per game ranked third in the CAA and 45th nationally. He tied for the team lead with 30 receptions for 295 yards (9.8 yards per catch) and four scores. His 8.00 points per game was third in the league and 23rd nationally. He posted his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the year, third in a row and 12th of his career when he had 23 carries for 121 yards and one touchdown against Maine, Nov. 3, 2012.
In the opening game this year, Scott had 15 rushed for 120 yards (8.0 yards per carry) and also had a pair of punt returns for 63 yards, including a 54-yard punt return touchdown in the third quarter against Central Connecticut State. It was just the 15th JMU punt return touchdown in stadium history.
Scott continues to move up the JMU career rushing charts to seventh with 2,412 yards. He also ranks is tied for seventh at JMU in career scoring with 186 points, joining Rodney Landers (2005-08) and Curtis Keaton (1998-99) at that total. He also is eighth in career all-purpose yards at 3,364 yards.
Matthews Reaches the Century Mark: JMU Head Coach Mickey Matthews recently accomplished a historic milestone in his coaching career. In his 14th season at the helm of the Dukes, Matthews earned his 100th career victory with a 13-10 win over then-No. 12 Towson, Oct. 6. He is currently tied for 24th on the FCS career active victories list with 104 victories, joining fellow CAA coach New Hampshire’s Sean McDonnell at the same spot.
Starke Is Solid With the Foot But Splits the Uprights Even Better at Home: Redshirt senior kicker Cameron Starke has shown his ability to hit clutch kicks for the Dukes, having connected on two final-play, game-winning field goals in 2011.
A Second Team All-CAA pick last year, Starke was a solid kicker for the Dukes, hitting all 37 of his point after attempts and going 10-for-14 (71.4 percent) on the year in field goal attempts, including connecting on all seven from inside 40 yards. He ranked second on the team in scoring with 67 points, including a career-long 49-yarder as part of a 13-10 win over then-defending CAA champion Towson.
For his career, he is 26-of-34 (.765) on field goals and 76-of-77 (.987) on extra points, including two game-winning field goals on final plays in 2011. His 15 field goals in 2011 tied a school record for a single season.
Smith Coming Into His Own As a Wide Receiver: Junior DeAndre’ Smith is continuing to show his growth with Madison, tallying his best game of his career at Richmond, Oct. 20, 2012. Smith had six receptions for career highs of 122 yards and two touchdowns. This year, Smith is the top receiving returner with 323 yards last year on 29 catches (second among returners) and two scores.
Spreading the Ball Around the Wide Side of the Fields: In the season opener against Central Connecticut State, the passing game connected on 10 completions in the win. The bigger part was that eight different players had at least one catch, with two getting two receptions each.
Birdsong Made History at Quarterback: Sophomore Michael Birdsong came into camp as the starting signal caller and nothing in the opener would change that situation. Birdsong was 10-for-18 for 115 yards and one touchdown through the air and also had nine carries for 55 yards and a pair of scores on the ground in the victory over Central Connecticut State.
Birdsong made his first collegiate start in the 2012 Georgia State game, leading the Dukes to a victory. Birdsong was 11-for-23 for 119 yards and one touchdown through the air while carrying the ball six times for 43 yards.
The start made him the first true freshman to start at the JMU signal caller slot since Head Coach Mickey Matthews' fourth season as head man of the Dukes in 2002. That year, Jayson Cooke started the season finale at Northeastern on Nov. 23, 2002, a game won by the Huskies 41-10. Other true freshman starters during Matthews' tenure have been current wide receivers coach Clayton Matthews (9/22/01) and Mike Connelly (10/23/99).
An injury cut his true freshman season short by two games, but he finished 41-for-77-for 478 yards, four touchdowns and just one interception. He is slated to be the starting quarterback for the Dukes this season.
James Madison Football On TV: Six 2013 James Madison University football games are scheduled to be televised through a package coordinated by the Colonial Athletic Association, the conference announced today. Another JMU game will be available for viewing through the Web-streaming service ESPN3, with all home games available on MadiZONE HD SportsNet presented by JMU Alumni Association.
The Dukes’ will be nationally televised in CAA games on the NBC Sports Network three times during the year, as well as on the NBC Sports Regional Networks three times, making Madison the most televised CAA squad in the package. JMU’s national broadcasts will be the home contest against Richmond on Oct. 12 at 3:30 p.m., as well as road contests at New Hampshire on Nov. 9 at 12:30 p.m., and at Towson on Nov. 23 at 3:30 p.m. The regional broadcasts include the Sept. 28 game at Delaware at 7 p.m. and home tilts with Villanova on Nov. 2 at 2:30 p.m. and Nov. 16 against CAA newcomer Stony Brook at 3:30 p.m.
JMU’s game at Akron on Sept. 7 is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., and will be televised live on ESPN3, giving Madison fans the opportunity to watch four of the five road contests free of charge via television or the internet.
National Rankings: JMU come into the 2013 season with high expectations from both the coaches and the media, according to their respective polls. The Dukes were ranked 15th in the FCS Coaches Preseason poll, while being in the No. 19 slot in The Sports Network poll, which is voted on by sports information, media members, broadcasters and other dignitaries. After the opening week of play, Madison remained 15th in the Coaches Poll and dropped one spot to 20th in The Sports Network Poll, based on several of the victories over FBS schools last weekend.
Three Selected To Preseason All-CAA Squads: Senior linebacker Stephon Robertson was named the Colonial Athletic Association Preseason Defensive Player of the Year and was one of three Dukes named to the preseason squad, announced at the CAA Football Media Day at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md. Joining Robertson on the squad was junior safety Dean Marlowe and senior kicker Cameron Starke.
The 2012 CAA Defensive Player of the Year, Robertson was previously selected as a Walter Camp All-American and a Second Team Associated Press and Sports Network All- American, as well as earning First Team All-CAA honors. A starter in all 11 games last year and 34 played in his career, Robertson was a force for Madison’s defense, which ranked second in the CAA and 24th in FCS football in scoring, first in the league and 19th nationally in rushing defense and fifth in the CAA in pass defense. Also a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award as the nation’s top defensive player, Robertson finished with a team-high 101 tackles, including 48 solos, 8.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and five pass breakups, which earned him First Team All-CAA honors for the second straight year after being named CAA Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2010.
A two-time All-CAA selection, including a first-team honor last season, Marlowe was the only sophomore and one of four non-seniors on the league’s first team last year. A Preseason All-America pick by The Sports Network, the safety had a career season-high 82 tackles on the year, including 44 solos, 5.0 for loss, seven passes defended, team-high tying three interceptions, one forced fumble and one safety. One of the leaders on a JMU defense that was second in the CAA in scoring, first in rushing and fifth in pass defense, Marlowe ranked second on the team, third among CAA defensive backs and ninth in the CAA overall at 7.45 tackles per game and 7.63 in league contests. He was tied for eighth in the league with three interceptions and recorded a season-high 12 tackles in the home win over William & Mary, one of two games with 10 or more tackles on the year.
A Second Team All-CAA pick last year, Starke was a solid kicker for the Dukes, hitting all 37 of his point after attempts and going 10-for-14 (71.4 percent) on the year in field goal attempts, including connecting on all seven from inside 40 yards. He ranked second on the team in scoring with 67 points, including a career-long 49-yarder as part of a 13-10 win over then-defending CAA champion Towson. For his career, he is 25-of-33 (.758) on field goals and 71-of-72 (.987) on extra points, including two game-winning field goals on final plays in 2011. His 15 field goals in 2011 tied a school record for a single season as he is a career 25-for-33 (75.8 percent) on field goals.
JMU Against Ranked Teams: In its FCS history, Madison has a 54-70-1 record against ranked opponents. Since taking over in 1999, Head Coach Mickey Matthews has coached in a majority of those games, posting a 36-34 record against ranked teams.
Former JMU Standouts: JMU was well represented in the NFL on the 2012 rosters. The Dukes had two former players that were on opening day rosters for the 2012 season. Linebacker Akeem Jordan spent his first six years in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles and is beginning this season with the Kansas City Chiefs as the starter at left inside linebacker. Starting his fourth season in the NFL is former defensive end turned linebacker Arthur Moats (Buffalo Bills), who is currently the backup at middle linebacker. Last year, former defensive end D.J. Bryant was signed to the practice squad of the Baltimore Ravens and was part of the club when they won the Super Bowl. This year, Bryant starts the year on the injured reserve list with the Ravens.
In addition to the former Dukes currently active with professional football organizations, JMU's leading all-time performers include several other players who have enjoyed success in the NFL - placekicker Scott Norwood (1978-81), wide receiver Gary Clark (1980-83), defensive end Charles Haley (1982-85), linebacker Dion Foxx (1990-93), wide receiver Macey Brooks (1993-96), running back Curtis Keaton (1998-99), tight end Ed Perry (1993-96) and return specialist Delvin Joyce (1997-2000).
Norwood received All-Pro honors as a placekicker with the Buffalo Bills. Clark was All-Pro with the Washington Redskins and a member of two Super Bowl title teams and later played with the Arizona Cardinals and Miami Dolphins. He was selected in the first round of the first United States Football League draft in 1984.
Haley was the first player to be a member of five Super Bowl title teams while playing with the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys. He was the first Duke to be a first-team Division I-AA All-America and the first Duke chosen in the NFL draft (San Francisco, 1986, fourth round). He is JMU's career tackles leader.
Foxx played with the Miami Dolphins. Brooks was with the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears.
Keaton was with the Cincinnati Bengals and New Orleans Saints after being the 1999 Atlantic 10 offensive player of the year when he ran for 1,719 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Perry was a tight end and long snapper with the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs after being Miami's sixth-round 1997 draft pick and first-team All-Yankee Football Conference during each of his final three collegiate seasons.
Joyce was a return specialist for the New York Giants and New York Jets. He ended his career at JMU as the only player in Division I-AA history with 1,000 yards in each of the career statistical categories of rushing, receiving, punt returns and kickoff returns and as the all-time Division I-AA leader in punt return yards and combined kick return yards. He holds many of JMU's career kick return marks and is the program's all-time leader in all-purpose yards with 5,659.
Two other former Dukes saw extensive time during the 2007 preseason with NFL teams, including tailback Alvin Banks (2003-06) with the New York Jets and offensive lineman Corey Davis (2003-06) with the Buffalo Bills. Justin Rascati, JMU's starting quarterback from 2004-06, briefly was with the Chicago Bears. Former tight end Mike Caussin spent time with Buffalo Bills (active) and Jacksonville Jaguars (practice squad) last season.
All-Time Versus the CAA: For the last nine seasons, James Madison has been among the top CAA teams. During that time span, the Dukes have put together a 50-22 conference mark and trail New Hampshire by two games. Overall JMU is 76-34 in that span, surpassed only by New Hampshire’s 82-32 mark. Additionally, Madison is the only school in this group to have at least a .500 overall record in each year since 2003.
CAA Records 2004-Pres. Conf. Overall
New Hampshire 52-20 82-32
James Madison 50-22 76-34
Richmond 42-30 70-41
Villanova 41-31 66-46
Delaware 37-35 65-45
Maine 36-36 51-52
William & Mary 34-38 55-50
Towson 24-48 42-58
Rhode Island 15-57 27-71
NOTE: During this time period until the 2010 season, CAA teams each season played five other teams in their division and three of the six teams in the other division for an eight-game league slate. With the dropping of football by two CAA schools prior to 2010, the league eliminated the divisions and are one unified standings. After the 2011 season, Massachusetts moved up to the FBS level.
JMU vs. CAA Teams (* Former league teams, Includes when not CAA members) JMU Last
Opponent Overall Met
Boston University* 5-1-0 1997
Connecticut* 4-1-0 1999
Delaware 8-12-0 2010
Georgia State* 1-0-0 2012
Hofstra* 6-3-0 2009
Maine 11-5-0 2012
Massachusetts* 7-8-1 2011
New Hampshire 7-7-0 2011
Northeastern* 12-8-0 2007
Old Dominion* 0-2-0 2012
Rhode Island 8-3-0 2012
Richmond 13-17-0 2012
Towson 18-5-1 2012
Villanova 11-10-0 2012
William & Mary 20-15-0 2012
Totals 131-96-2 (.576)