Continuing Conference Action: The James Madison football squad continues its 2010 season in Colonial Athletic Association action by hosting the New Hampshire Wildcats Sat., Oct. 16.This is the fourth of six home games on the season for the Dukes.
The Coaches: James Madison Head Coach Mickey Matthews (West Texas State, '76) is in his 12th season at JMU and as a head coach overall with a 86-52 record.
New Hampshire Head Coach Sean McDonnell (New Hampshire, '78) is also in his 12th season as head coach of the Wildcats and as a head coach overall, sporting an 83-56 record.
History With New Hampshire: Today's contest is the 13th meeting in the history between the Dukes and Wildcats, but the first since the 2007 season. Madison holds a 7-5 advantage, having won the last two meetings. At Bridgeforth Stadium, JMU is 4-2 against UNH, including the 41-24 victory in the last game between the two schools on Sept. 8, 2007.
JMU leads 7-5
(Home 4-2, Away 3-3)
Date Location W/L Score
9/4/82 Home L 6-28
10/16/93 Home W 45-21
9/17/94 Away L 24-27
10/14/95 Away W 23-19
9/28/96 Home L 22-39
9/18/99 Away W 35-28
9/30/00 Home W 24-13
9/8/01 Away L 19-26
9/7/02 Home W 20-14
11/8/03 Away L 17-20
10/14/06 Away W 42-23
9/8/07 Home W 41-24
Defense Over the Last Nine Games: Madison's defense has been a huge part of the team's 8-1 record over the last nine contests, dating back to the final four games of the 2009 season. In those nine contests, the defense has given up just 11.0 points per game overall and 10.4 to FCS opponents, with the most the 16 scored by then-FBS #13 Virginia Tech in the in the second week of the season.
Additionally, the 2010 first-team defense has given up only three touchdowns this season, those on the opening drive at Virginia Tech, in the second quarter against Delaware and in the second quarter at Towson. Since the touchdown against the Hokies, the group has given up just eight field goals and two touchdowns in the following 15 quarters.
Nationally, the Dukes' defense ranks in the top ten in FCS in scoring defense (2nd, 10.40), pass defense (3rd, 128.00 yards per game), total defense (5th, 248.60 yards per game) and pass efficiency defense (94.15 rating).
Sullivan Reaches the 1,000-Yard Milestone: Redshirt-senior Jamal Sullivan has reached a historic career milestone. With his team season-high 93 yards against Liberty, Sullivan surpassed the 1,000-yard total and is now at 1,156 rushing yards for his career. Of the current roster, only senior Griff Yancey has more, with 1,398 career rushing yards.
Home Is Where the Heart (And the Victories) Are: The Dukes are tough to beat at Bridgeforth Stadium under Head Coach Mickey Matthews. In his 11-plus years at the helm, JMU has a 53-16 (.768) record in Harrisonburg. What makes that more impressive is that eight of the losses occurred during a two-year span (2001-02) when the Dukes had a combined overall record of 7-16 (JMU was 2-9 in 2001 and 5-7 in 2002). Last year, JMU was 3-2 at home, its seventh straight winning season at home.
Matthews' JMU Home Mark
Year Overall Conf.
1999 5-0 4-0
2000 6-0 4-0
2001 1-4 0-4
2002 3-4 2-3
2003 5-1 3-1
2004 5-1 3-1
2005 5-1 3-1
2006 5-0 4-0
2007 5-1 3-1
2008 8-1 4-0
2009 3-2 2-2
2010 2-1 0-1
Totals 53-16 32-14
In the National Rankings: Not only are the Dukes ranked in the top seven in both of the latest national polls, but they are making their mark on the national statistical rankings. JMU is tied for second in sacks allowed (0.40) and ranks second in scoring defense (10.40) and net punting (39.35 yards per punt). Additionally, Madison is ranked in the top 20 in six other categories and top 10 in four others, including passing defense (3rd, 128.00), total defense (5th, 248.60), fourth-down percentage defense (t-7th, 20.0%) and attendance based on percentage of capacity (10th, 104.50%). (Complete chart of CAA and NCAA Rankings are is on page 18.)
Last Time Out - Any Road Win Is A Good One: In another road battle, the #6/7 James Madison football team held off a pesky Towson squad for a 17-13 Colonial Athletic Association win, Oct. 9.
With JMU holding a slim 14-13 lead, Towson punted and pinned the Dukes back on their own 1-yard line. JMU fought its way out of the end zone and pushed down the field, going 94 yards in 17 plays while holding the ball for just over seven minutes. A busted gadget play led to a 21-yard field goal by Hopewell to again make it a four-point lead at 17-13 with 9:41 remaining in the contest.
JMU outgained Towson 317-259, including putting together 181 yards on the ground, and held more than a seven-minute advantage in time of possession.
Redshirt-senior Jamal Sullivan had a season-high 26 carries for 88 yards while Dudzik was 12-for-22 for 136 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Scott led the receivers with two catches for 61 yards and his first collegiate touchdown. Junior linebacker Pat Williams led all tacklers with 14 tackles, while redshirt-freshman Stephon Robertson had 13 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss. (Full recap on page 22).
Carrying the Momentum: After struggling in the early part of the season last year, the Dukes rallied late in the year and posted four straight wins to end the season and carry that momentum into the 2010 campaign. Two of those four wins were on the road against CAA-rivals UMass and Delaware with the others at home against Maine and Towson. JMU's seven-game winning streak was the second longest in the nation, with Jacksonville State leading the nation with eight straight victories, before last week's last-second loss to Delaware. That also snapped the Dukes four-game CAA winning streak. However, JMU rebounded with a road win at Towson, giving Madison victories in eight of its last nine contests.
JMU Against Ranked Teams: In its FCS history, Madison has a 49-61-1 record against ranked opponents. Since taking over in 1999, Head Coach Mickey Matthews has coached in a majority of those games, posting a 31-25 record against ranked teams. Against New Hampshire when the Wildcats were ranked, JMU is 3-1 in those contests, including a perfect 3-0 under Matthews.
Can It BE Any Tougher?: JMU will again sport one of the toughest schedules in FCS football, with the hardest conference slate of any team in the league and the third-ranked schedule in FCS Football, according to the NCAA Oct. 10. The Dukes were one of six Colonial Athletic Association squads picked among the top 25 in The Sports Network Preseason Poll and eight total squads receiving votes. Villanova was picked to defend its national title from a year ago, William & Mary was picked fourth, followed by Richmond in sixth, New Hampshire in 10th, JMU and Delaware. Maine and Massachusetts also were within the next 15 vote getters outside the top 25, giving the league eight of the top 40 teams in the country. CAA Football has had a national finalist in each of the past four seasons and six of the last seven, including national champions Delaware (2003), James Madison (2004) and Richmond (2008) to go along with Villanova last season.
In addition to those five games scheduled against preseason ranked CAA opponents, the Dukes also played Preseason-Big South Conference favorite and three-time defending league champion Liberty at Bridgeforth Stadium, defeating the Flames 13-10 on Sept. 25. JMU also picked up the thrilling 21-16 win at the Football Bowl Subdivision's Virginia Tech, who was ranked sixth in the USA Today's top-25 poll and eighth in ESPN.com's power rankings. That gives the Dukes nine of its 11 games against opponents ranked in the top 25 or receiving votes nationally in their respective preseason polls.
Dukes After A Loss Under Matthews: In its 11-plus seasons under current Head Coach Mickey Matthews, James Madison has a 24-21 record in games after a loss (other than season finale losses). However, that record takes a better turn starting in the 2004 season, as the Dukes are an improved 12-6 in those games after a loss, including last week's win at Towson. Also, JMU has only had three multiple-game losing streaks since 2004, with the longest a four-game skid last season before the Dukes ran out the season with four consecutive victories.
Re-joining the Rankings: After being out of the rankings since Oct. 19 but receiving votes in the final top 25 polls, Madison opens the 2010 season back in both The Sports Network/Fathead.com and FCS Coaches' Polls. In the preseason polls, JMU was ranked 15th in both of the polls and is one of six CAA squads in the top 25, with eight receiving votes overall. The only other league close is the Big Sky, with four teams ranked in one poll and five in the other.
Entering this week's action, the Dukes are seventh in The Sports Network/Fathead.com Poll and sixth in the Coaches' Poll.
James Madison Football On TV: The Dukes will be on television four times this year, with three of them at the friendly confines of Bridgeforth Stadium. The first was the Oct. 2 home contest against Delaware followed by todya's New Hampshire game at home. Also on the slate are the home game against Massachusetts on Oct. 30 with the final the road contest at Richmond on Nov. 6.
In addition, the Dukes game at Virginia Tech on Sept. 11 will be broadcast on the internet on ESPN's broadband channel, ESPN3.com.
Including the Virginia Tech game, the Dukes are now 1-1 in televised games this season.
Robertson In On the Tackle: That is a phrase that has become very familiar to the Dukes when it comes to redshirt-freshman linebacker Stephon Robertson. He is leading the Dukes and ranks in the top 10 in tackles with 49 (9.8 pg) and tackles for loss with 6.5. What is even more impressive about that is that Robertson had just two tackles in the season opener against Morehead State, but had 13 tackles each at Virginia Tech, against Liberty and at Towson. In addition, he had eight tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss, against Delaware.
All-Time Versus the CAA: For the last six-plus seasons, there has not been a better team in league action in the Colonial Athletic Assocation than James Madison. During that time span, the Dukes have put together a 38-12 conference mark, 3.5 games better than New Hampshire, the next team in the rankings. Overall JMU is 58-21 in that span, surpassed only by New Hampshire's 58-20 mark.
CAA Records 2004-10 Conf. Overall
James Madison 38-12 58-21
New Hampshire 35-16 58-20
Richmond 32-16 54-24
Massachusetts 33-16 51-25
Villanova 30-20 45-27
Delaware 25-24 45-32
William & Mary 25-24 42-31
Maine 24-25 35-37
Towson 10-39 24-45
Rhode Island 9-39 20-49
No longer playing
Hofstra** 18-30 31-37
Northeastern** 16-32 20-47
NOTE: During this time period, CAA teams each season played each of 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, the league will eliminate the divisions and be one unified standings.
JMU vs. CAA Teams (* Former league teams)
Opponent Overall Met
Boston University* 5-1-0 1997
Connecticut* 4-1-0 1999
Delaware 8-12-0 2010
Hofstra 6-3-0 2009
Maine 9-4-0 2009
Massachusetts 6-7-1 2009
New Hampshire 7-5-0 2007
Northeastern 12-8-0 2007
Rhode Island 6-3-0 2007
Richmond 12-15-0 2009
Towson 16-5-1 2009
Villanova 10-8-0 2009
William & Mary 17-15-0 2009
Family Ties: Several current Dukes had family ties to JMU athletics before joining the Dukes' program as players, including the following:
- Senior fullback Donnell Brown (Chesapeake, Va.) and junior defensive tackle Ronnell Brown are twins and are brothers of former JMU tight end/fullback Marvin Brown (2004-07), a member of JMU's 2004 NCAA championship team.
- Senior quarterback Drew Dudzik's (Clifton, Va.) father, Mike, lettered as a JMU quarterback in 1980.
- Freshman wide receiver Anthony Rose (Amherst, Va.) joins redshirt-freshman weak safety Peter Rose and redshirt-junior strong safety Jon Rose on the squad.
Oh Captain, My Captains: The Dukes voted and elected five captains for the 2010 season, with four seniors and one junior. The four seniors come from the offensive side of the ball in running back Griff Yancey, fullback Donnell Brown, quarterback Drew Dudzik and tackle Theo Sherman, with the lone junior being the only defensive player selected in safety Vidal Nelson.
Matthews Coming Off the Bye Week: Head Coach Mickey Matthews has proven that he knows how to manage the Dukes through a bye week in his tenure. He is now 9-3 in games after a bye, with two of those losses coming in the 2001 season and the last a 17-16 heartbreaking loss to Richmond in 2007.
Football Received Votes In The AP Poll For FBS Football: On the heels of a stunning 21-16 win at FBS #13 Virginia Tech, the James Madison football squad received 11 points in the AP Poll for FBS Football, Sept. 12, 2010. This is the first time JMU has appeared in this national poll.
James Madison received 11 points in last week's poll, landing on the ballots of two voters -- Ray Ratto of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area in California and Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News. The Dukes continued their appearance in the poll on Sept. 19, as Madison received eight points in the voting. However, Madison was not in the Sept. 26 listing.
The Hokies were the second ranked FBS team to lose to an FCS team in the history of the AP poll. The first was Michigan, which was No. 5 when it lost to Appalachian State to start the 2007 season. The victory caused The Associated Press to change its policy and allow voters to vote for teams in what used to be called I-AA.
And Bridgeforth Is Getting Larger: The Sept. 4 game with Morehead State marked the first game in the renovated, but not completed, Bridgeforth Stadium. In the Phase I removations that are now in use, there is a new seating area on the West side of the stadium that includes seating with a chairback club section, new concessions and bathrooms, ticket booths and a team store.
Following the final home game, the temporary bleachers will come down in front of the new permanent stands. Then construction will begin on Phase 2, which includes an upper deck with new press box, suites, elevators, stadium graphics, the wraparound of seats to the north end zone and a new video scoreboard above the Plecker Athletic Performance Center.
Matthews The Winningest: Mickey Matthews (1999-2008) became JMU's winningest football coach Sept. 27, 2008 in a 24-10 victory at Maine. The win gave the then-10th-year Dukes coach a 68-45 JMU record.
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. He was with the team at Maine for a special team presentation to Matthews in recognition of the coach's accomplishment.
JMU'S COACHING RECORDS
Coach (Years) W-L Pct. NCAA
Mickey Matthews (1999-2009) 86-52 .623 5
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 and 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 3-1 0-1
Totals 85-52 55-37
JMU's National Rankings: Until the Oct. 19, 2009 polls, JMU was ranked in all but three top-25 FCS polls by The Sports Network since early during its national title season of 2004. JMU has only missed being ranked in the top 25 in 10 polls during that six-plus year span total and is currently ranked third in The Sports Network/Fathead.com Poll and the FCS Coaches' Poll, heading into this week's battle with #22/21 Liberty.
The Dukes moved into the top-25 rankings Sept. 20, 2004 and won that year's NCAA Division I-AA national title. They since had been out of the top 25 for only three weeks in a TSN poll since until finishing out of the polls for the last five weeks last year.
In 2008, JMU was voted No. 1 in the Sept. 22 FCS coaches' poll, the first time it had held the top spot in the coaches'eeks during the 2005 season. They moved back into the poll for the final 2005 voting (25th) and hadn't been lower than 17th in or The Sports Network poll since early in the 2005 season (JMU's first regular-season appearance at the top). JMU assumed the No. 1 TSN poll position Sept. 29.
Coming off its 2004 national title season -- when the Dukes were voted to the No. 1 position in the final FCS polls -- JMU was the FCS' No. 1 team in the 2005 preseason polls and through the first week of the 2005 regular season.
Road Games A Battle Under Matthews: Over the past 11-plus years under Head Coach Mickey Matthews, the Dukes are 33-35 overall. However, six of them were against Football Bowl Subdivision opponents. The numbers improve greatly since the start of the 2004 campaign, as the Dukes are 25-14 on the road in that time, with four of those losses coming against FBS squads.
Conference Openers Have Had Success: Madison has made it a habit to get off to a good start in conference action, sporting a 12-6 record in league openers since 1993, including a stellar 9-3 mark under current Head Coach Mickey Matthews. The Dukes are 8-2 at home in conference starters and 7-0 under Matthews at Bridgeforth Stadium. The only conference opener losses Matthews has had were on the road in 2001 (26-19 at UNH), 2009 (24-17 at Hofstra) and this year against Delaware (13-10). This was the first time that JMU and Delaware had met in a league opener for the Dukes.
Conference Opener Records in I-AA/FCS: Rip Scherer -- 0-2; Alex Wood -- 3-1; Mickey Matthews -- 9-3
Starting Out 3-0: This season marked the first time under Head Coach Mickey Matthews that the Dukes started the season 3-0. His previous best starts were 2-0 with both ending at the hands of FBS opponents. In 2004, JMU was 2-0 before a 45-10 loss at West Virginia. Madison was also 2-0 in 2000 before a 26-7 defeat at South Florida. This year, the Dukes already have a win at then-FBS No. 13 Virginia Tech.
The last time JMU started the season 3-0 was in 1996 under Alex Wood, when the team finished 7-4. However, that squad did not play a FBS opponent during the season.That was the only time in the program's I-AA/FCS history that the Dukes started a season 3-0.
Before that, there were two seasons that Madison won at least its first three games. One was in 1978 when the team opened with four straight wins to start the season and the other in 1976, winning three straight, both coming under Challace McMillin.
Football's Cuffee, Robertson Collect Player Of The Week Honors: For their roles in the 10-3 win over then-No. 21 Liberty, junior cornerback Taveion Cuffee (Virginia Beach, Va./First Colonial (Fork Union)) and redshirt freshman linebacker Stephon Robertson (Alexandria, Va./Edison) received honors from the Colonial Athletic Association, Sept. 27. Cuffee was honored as the CAA Special Teams Player of the Week while Robertson was selected as the CAA Rookie of the Week. Robertson picked up his second Rookie of the Week honor this season in three games played.
Cuffee logged CAA Football Special Teams Player of the Week honors after helping James Madison to a 10-3 win over Liberty Saturday. The junior blocked a 47-yard field goal attempt which would have pulled the Flames to within one point of James Madison early in the third quarter. The Dukes recovered and marched 54 yards before notching a 22-yard field goal for the final score in the game, 10-3. Cuffee also recorded an interception with two minutes left to play, giving James Madison the ball back to end the game. Defensively Cuffee broke up a pass and made a season-high seven tackles in the win.
Robertson was CAA Football Rookie of the Week after leading a James Madison defense which limited Liberty to just three points in a 10-3 win in Harrisonburg. Robertson logged a game-high 13 tackles for the Dukes, while allowing Liberty only 61 rushing yards on 32 carries. The JMU defense allowed Flame QB Mike Brown to tally 229 yards of total offense, nearly 100 yards off his season average, and kept Liberty out of the endzone for the first time since 2006.
Football's Dudzik, Robertson Collect Player Of The Week Honors: On the heels of James Madison's 21-16 victory over FBS No. 13 Virginia Tech, redshirt senior quarterback Drew Dudzik (Clifton, Va./Centreville) and redshirt freshman linebacker Stephon Robertson (Alexandria, Va./Edison) received honors from the Colonial Athletic Association and other national media.
Dudzik was honored as the CAA Offensive Player of the Week while Robertson was selected as the CAA Co-Rookie of the Week. Robertson was also one of five players honored by the College Sporting News among the FCS National All-Stars.
Dudzik earns the CAA Football Offensive Player of the Week honor after leading James Madison to a 21-16 win over nationally-ranked Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. The senior, responsible for all three of the Dukes' touchdowns, was 5-of-8 for 121 yards and one touchdown passing and rushed 12 times for 35 yards and the other two TDs. Under Dudzik's leadership, the JMU offense did not commit a turnover, converted 7-of-12 third-down opportunities, scored touchdowns in both redzone trips and won the time of possession battle by more than six minutes in the second half. James Madison's win at Virginia Tech marked CAA Football's 10th win over an FBS/BCS foe in five years, its fifth such win in the last two years, the league's third over an ACC opponent in two years, and the league's first-ever win over an FBS ranked opponent, the second in college football history.
Robertson, a CAA Football Rookie of the Week winner, proved to be one of the heroes in James Madison's 21-16 upset-win at Virginia Tech Saturday. The linebacker recorded a game-high 13 tackles, but his biggest tackle of the day was one for a seven-yard loss on Hokie running back Darren Evans. With just over five minutes left in the game, Robertson not only made the stop behind the line of scrimmage, but he also forced a fumble and halted a Virginia Tech comeback after the Dukes fell on the loose ball.
Football Defensive Staff Earns Honor: After its thrilling win over Virginia Tech, the James Madison football squad continues to receive honors, as the defensive coaching staff was named as one of the "Game Changing Coaches" by FootballScoop.com. Coaches Kyle Gillenwater (Defensive coordinator / linebackers), JC Price (Defensive line / defensive run-game coordinator), Mark Hendricks (Defensive backs). Mo Linguist (Safeties) and Isai Bradshaw (Defensive line assistant) were honored for the defense's effort in the 21-16 victory of the then-FBS #13 Hokies.
In the win, the defense held Tech to just one touchdown and two field goals in five red zone chances, while forcing three Hokie turnovers (two fumbles and one interception). The defense also limited Ryan Williams to just 91 yards and no scores on 20 carries. In addition, the only points Virginia Tech put on the board in the second half came on a field goal on the opening drive. Twice in the closing 12 minutes, the defense put the brakes on Tech in JMU territory, knocking away a pass in the end zone to get the ball back on downs and then forcing and recovering a fumble with just over five minutes to go.
The group joined the defensive staffs of Cal and Stanford and offensive staffs of Nevada and West Virginia in receiving this week's honors.
Taking on FBS Teams Not Kind to JMU: Against NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams that still compete in the division, JMU has a 4-15 record, coming off the win of then-FBS #13 Virginia Tech, Sept. 11. Prior to that, the Dukes last played an FBS opponent in 2009, dropping a heartbreaking 38-35 overtime loss at Maryland.
Opponent Record Met
Ball State 0-1 1997
Duke 0-1 2008
Maryland 0-2 2009
Navy 2-1 1990
North Carolina 0-1 2007
Virginia 1-2 1983
Virginia Tech 1-6 2010
West Virginia 0-1 2004
Of JMU's 19 games against FBS teams, nine 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 season at North Carolina, the 2008 season at Duke and last year at Maryland.
JMU'S FBS GAMES: JMU's games against Football Bowl Subdivision teams include the following:
1979 Virginia 79, JMU 9 10/13 at UV
1980 Va. Tech 38, JMU 6 9/27 at VT
1982 JMU 21, Virginia 17 9/18 at UV
1983 Virginia 21, JMU 14 9/17 at UV
1988 Navy 27, JMU 14 9/3 at Navy
1988 Va. Tech 27, JMU 6 11/19 at VT
1989 JMU 24, Navy 20 10/28 at Navy
1990 JMU 16, Navy 7 10/27 at Navy
1991 Va. Tech 41, JMU 12 8/31 at VT
1992 Va. Tech 49, JMU 20 9/5 at VT
1997 Ball State 24, JMU 6 9/6 at BSU
1998 Maryland 23, JMU 15 9/5 at UM
1999 Va. Tech 47, JMU 0 9/4 at VT
2003 Va. Tech 43, JMU 0 9/6 at VT
2004 W. Va. 45, JMU 10 9/25 at WVU
2007 N. Carolina 37, JMU 14 9/1 at UNC
2008 Duke 31, JMU 7 8/30 at Duke
2009 Maryland 38, JMU 35 (ot) 9/12 at UM
2010 JMU 21, Va. Tech 16 9/11 at VT
Top JMU Crowds: Of the 10 largest crowds JMU has ever played in front of, six of them are at Virginia Tech, including the all-time record of 66,233 at the 2010 meeting between the two schools. The top 10 games are listed below:
1. 66,233 2010 at Virginia Tech (JMU 21-16)
2. 65,115 2003 at Virginia Tech (VT 43-0)
3. 58,500 2007 at North Carolina (UNC 37-14)
4. 56,609 2004 at West Virginia (WVU 45-10)
5. 51,907 1999 at Virginia Tech (VT 47-0)
6. 46,485 2009 at Maryland (UM 38-35 (ot))
7. 43,684 1992 at Virginia Tech (VT 49-20)
8. 41,623 1991 at Virginia Tech (VT 41-12)
9. 38,300 1988 at Virginia Tech (VT 27-6)
10. 36,547 1998 at Maryland (Maryland 23-15)
Long Going Long and In the (End) Zone: Junior wide receiver Kerby Long stepped up big in the season opening win over Morehead State, Sept. 4. Despite just touching the ball four times, Long finished with 147 yards of total offense, including career-highs of 112 receiving yards and two touchdowns on three receptions. His only non-touchdown reception was a self-tapped grab for 47 yards that put JMU in business at the Morehead 3 and led to the first score of the game.
Opening the Season Has Mixed Results: As a NCAA varsity program JMU is now 19-16-1 in season-opening games. Since moving to the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) in 1980, the Dukes are 15-15 in season-openers.
In the FCS, JMU has started a season against a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent eight times (0-8 record), an FCS opponent 15 times (8-7 record) and a Division II opponent seven times (7-0 record).
Under Matthews, JMU is 7-5 in season-opening games, including 0-4 against FBS teams, 3-1 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 and dropped last year's season opener at Maryland in overtime, 38-35. This year, the Dukes opened with a 48-7 victory over Morehead State.
The First at Home Tends To Be Good: Bridgeforth Stadium has been the home to many happy openings for the Dukes. Since its start in 1973, JMU is now 28-10 (.737) in the first home game of the year and it is even more impressive under current Head Coach Mickey Matthews, as his squads are 11-1 (.917) in the first contest at Bridgeforth each year, including a current eight-game winning streak. The only home opener loss under Matthews as in the 2002 season, a tough 31-28 defeat to Hampton.
Dukes Picked Fourth in Preseason League Poll: JMU was picked fourth in the 10-team CAA after going 4-4 in the league in 2009 and placing in a three-way tie for fifth in the 12-team conference. Defending national and CAA champion Villanova received 17 of a possible 20 first-place votes to be picked to repeat in 2010. National semifinalist, William and Mary, was second followed by New Hampshire, JMU, Delaware, Richmond, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Towson.
The CAA standings will be structured as one 10-team league in 2010 following the discontinuation of football programs at Hofstra and Northeastern in the offseason. There will no longer be a divisional format, as was the case for the first three seasons of CAA football.
Two Honored On Preseason All-CAA Squad: Senior linemen Theo Sherman (Danville, Va./Chatham) and Ronnell Brown (Chesapeake, Va./Hickory) were named to the Preseason All-CAA team as announced at CAA Football Media Day, July 28.
Sherman continues to be a steady presence for the JMU offensive line, entering his fourth season as a starter. He will lead a group that returns most of its parts from last season as the Dukes look to improve upon an offense that ranked eighth in the CAA last year in scoring and ninth in total offense.
Brown will look to step up as the leader of a JMU defensive line that loses the presence of 2009 Buck Buchanan honoree and NFL draft pick Arthur Moats. He was Third Team All-CAA in 2009 after compiling 26 tackles, including 15 solo and 8.5 for loss. He also recorded 3.5 sacks and had one interception.
The Playoff System Opens Up: In 2010, the NCAA Football Division I Championships will expand from 16 to 20 teams, with the Big South Conference and the Northeast Conference slated to get automatic bids for their champions. There will be 10 automatic bids now and 10 at-large spots awarded.
The playoffs will start with four games on the opening weekend and 12 teams with a bye. After that, it will go to a standard single-elimination bracket, culminating in the Division I Championship Game at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas on Jan. 7, 2011.
JMU Football History: The 2010 season is JMU's 39th season of football, its 37th varsity football season, its 32st season with football scholarship players and its 31st 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).
Former JMU Standouts: In addition to the former Dukes recently 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.