Coming off seven straight winning seasons, JMU will open the season on the road in Chapel Hill, taking on the Tar Heels on Sept. 3. This will be the second-ever meeting between the two programs. The Dukes will then return home to open the renovated and expanded Bridgeforth Stadium on Sept. 10, hosting Northeastern Conference runner-up Central Connecticut State. A road trip to four-time defending Big South Conference champion Liberty is next on Sept. 17 to wrap up non-conference action.
"Playing North Carolina is a great opportunity for our program and our University," JMU Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne said. "It gives us not only a chance to play a FBS and Atlantic Coast Conference opponent but gives our fans throughout the region another time to see the Dukes. It also helps that this game has a significant positive impact on the athletic budget during challenging economic times. We really appreciate the hard work by the athletic staff at UNC in making this game happen to fit our schedule."
Madison heads on the road to open Colonial Athletic Association play, traveling to Williamsburg, Va., to play defending CAA co-champion William & Mary Sept. 24. JMU then comes back to Bridgeforth for a three-game homestand, starting with Richmond on Oct. 1 for Homecoming. The Maine Black Bears follow on Oct. 8 with the third being the Family Weekend contest against Villanova on Oct. 15.
Following an off-week, the Dukes will make their first trip to Norfolk to take on CAA-newcomer Old Dominion, Oct. 29. Another road game follows at New Hampshire, Nov. 5., before JMU returns home for Senior Day on Nov. 12 against Rhode Island in the Rams first trip to Harrisonburg since the 2006 season and the first meeting since 2007. The regular-season slate wraps up on Nov. 19 at Massachusetts.
"It's the most challenging, if not difficult, schedule we have ever had," JMU Head Coach Mickey Matthews said. "Having two road non-conference games against top-flight opponents, and having three of our last four on the road with two of those being in New England, makes it a daunting task."
The 2011 Division I Football Championship Playoffs will begin Nov. 26, with the 20-team bracket wrapping up with the 2012 NCAA Championship Game in January 2012 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas.
Day Date Opponent Time Series Record Last Meeting
Sat. Sept. 3 at North Carolina TBA UNC leads 1-0 2007 - at UNC 34, JMU 14
Sat. Sept. 10 Central Connecticut State TBA First Meeting
Sat. Sept. 17 at Liberty TBA JMU leads 11-5 2010 - at JMU 10, LU 3
Sat. Sept. 24 at William & Mary* TBA JMU leads 18-15 2010 - at JMU 30, W&M 24
Sat. Oct. 1 Richmond* (Homecoming) TBA UR leads 16-12 2010 - at UR 13, JMU 10 (ot)
Sat. Oct. 8 Maine* TBA JMU leads 10-4 2010- JMU 14, at UM 10
Sat. Oct. 15 Villanova* (Family Weekend) TBA JMU leads 10-9 2010 - at VU 14, JMU 7
Sat. Oct. 29 at Old Dominion* TBA First Meeting
Sat. Nov. 5 at New Hampshire* TBA JMU leads 7-6 2010 - UNH 28, at JMU 14
Sat. Nov. 12 Rhode Island* (Senior Day) TBA JMU leads 7-2 2007 - JMU 44, at URI 27
Sat. Nov. 19 at Massachusetts* TBA UM leads 8-6-1 2010 - UM 21, at JMU 14
Home games in Bold * Colonial Athletic Association Game