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DAWGS PREVIEW: ARMED FORCES BOWL JAMES MADISON VS AIR FORCE

Updated: Dec 22, 2023



The James Madison Dukes (11-1) and the Air Force Falcons (8-4) travel to Amon G. Carter Stadium in Ft. Worth, TX to meet in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. This will be the seventh appearance by Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl while James Madison will be making the first appearance in a bowl game in program history. James Madison head coach Curt Cignetti accepted the head coach position at Indiana and will not coach the bowl game. Offensive line coach Damian Wroblewski was named as the interim head coach. The Dukes have since hired Holy Cross head coach Bob Chesney for the same position, but he will not coach the bowl game.

 

James Madison -2 O/U 40.5



BROADCAST INFORMATION:

 

- Saturday, December 23, 2023, 3:30 PM Eastern Time Kickoff on ABC

- Anish Shroff and Andre Ware will be on the call for ABC and Paul Carcaterra will be on the sideline.

- On the James Madison side the radio broadcast will be on FM 92.1 and AM 550. On the Air Force side, the radio broadcast will be on FM 104.3 and AM 740.

 

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

 

If James Madison wins it will give the Dukes 12 wins in only their second season in the FBS ranks. If Air Force wins the Falcons will get to nine wins for the sixth time in the past ten seasons.

 

KEY PLAYERS

 

James Madison

 


QB Jordan McCloud – 68.9% passes completed for 3,400 yards with 32 TD and 9 INT. He was third on the team with 311 rushing yards and led with 8 rushing TD. McCloud plans on entering the transfer portal after the bowl game.

 

DE Jamree Kromah – Fourth on the team with 51 tackles, second with 19.5 tackles for loss, and second with 10 sacks.

 

13 JMU players have entered or will be entering the transfer portal since the end of the regular season.

 

Air Force

 

QB Zac Larrier – 59.7% passes completed for 744 yards with 6 TD and 2 INT. Second leading rusher with 579 yards and third with 5 rushing TDs.

 

FS Trey Taylor – Third leading tackler with 71 tackles, tied for fourth with 4.5 tackles for loss, .5 sacks, leads with 3 INT, 4 pass deflections, and 1 blocked kick.



Eight Air Force players have entered the transfer portal since the end of the regular season.

 

KEY MATCHUPS

 

The James Madison passing attack against the Air Force secondary. Jordan McCloud opting to play in the bowl game gives the Dukes passing game their field general. Also playing are top wideouts Elijah Surratt and Reggie Brown. Air Force ranked 12th in the nation giving up only 181.0 passing yards per game. Can Trey Taylor and company slow down the potent James Madison offense?

 

Air Force’s triple option against a James Madison defense that was decimated by players leaving via the Transfer Portal. Air Force was second in the nation in both rushing yards with 3,309 yards and average rushing yards per game with 275.8. James Madison’s defense gave up only 731 rushing yards this season, which is an average of 61.5 yards per game! Because they are still in the NCAA’s “probationary period” JMU is not counted among the leaders in the nation for statistics. If the NCAA included the Dukes among the statistical leaders, JMU would lead the country with that rushing yards per game average. As stated before, several defensive players have entered the transfer portal and will not play. It will be interesting to see how the replacements handle both a new role and going up against a seasoned triple-option attack.

 

PREDICTION - ARMED FORCES BOWL

 

Even with the defensive players out I feel James Madison will win this game. Give me the Dukes winning 27-17. Take James Madison to cover and take the over.

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