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JMU host App State & ESPN's College Gameday

Jmu host App State & ESPN's College Gameday
Photo Credit - Mike McBride via Flickr

JMU host App State & ESPN's College Gameday this Saturday at Bridgeforth Stadium in Harrisonburg, VA.

Broadcast Information

• Kickoff 2:00 PM Eastern time on ESPN+

• Curt Dudley, Brian Barlow, & Corey Spector on the call

• The Varsity Network

JMU host App State & ESPN's College Gameday

JMU has again been denied the opportunity to claim a Sun Belt Championship appearance and an outright bowl bid (however, they could still be awarded the opportunity should not enough other teams get to six wins). For all intents and purposes, this will be the biggest game of the season for JMU. It’s in the friendly confines of Bridgeforth Stadium, they are hosting ESPN’s College GameDay, and they are of course, still undefeated. The Dukes enter the contest as a -11.5 point favorite.

Remember just last season JMU traveled to Boone and defeated the Mountaineers. App State had just come off their own GameDay experience and had an early 28-3 advantage on the scoreboard, but the offense completely stalled out in the second half and the Dukes would go on to win 32-28.

Over the past three games, App’s scored a combined 65 points in the second half. Compare that to 56 points they scored in the first half of those same games, and you’ll see the offense is performing better, and also at a much more consistent rate than the previous season. In that same three game conference span for JMU, the Dukes put up just 27 first half points but ramped up in the second half for 61 total points.

Why are those numbers important? We know the transitive property doesn’t work in football, however, two of those matchups were the same for each team (Marshall & Georgia State). It also shows that App’s offense is more consistent throughout the game, but that JMU really gets going after the half. What it doesn’t tell us is how the defenses are performing.

App State’s defense seems to be rounding into form after a rocky start to the season that saw opponents averaging almost 31 PPG through their first five games. Meanwhile, the Dukes haven’t allowed their opponents to average more than 19 PPG all season!

Here’s an interesting defensive stat heading into this one; App State allowed Marshall to score only 9 points. JMU also gave up just 9 points to the Herd. App State allowed the Panthers of Georgia State to only see pay dirt twice (14 points). And, you guessed it, JMU also only gave up 14 to Georgia State.

Key Players

QB Joey Aguilar – Appalachian State

CB Trenton Yowe – Appalachian State

QB Jordan McCloud – James Madison

LB Jailin Walker – James Madison

Key Match-ups

Can App State’s offensive line and running backs establish a ground attack? JMU has only allowed two opponents to get over the century mark on the season.

Does JMU’s first half scoring troubles continue? The resurging Mountaineers defensive front will be more aggressive and attempt to further disrupt the dangerous Jordan McCloud.


The Dukes have the pressure of remaining undefeated. They have a different routine than usual with GameDay in town. They know the NCAA denied their latest attempt to be bowl eligible & with that, a chance to play in the Sun Belt Championship game.

App State wants revenge for last season's collapse in Boone. It started a downward trend that saw four more losses and the first missed bowl game since fully joining FBS. A win keeps them in contention for a spot in the conference championship game.

A quick first possession for each team but then this one starts to heat up. App takes the lead (slightly) into the locker room but the Dukes come out hot to start the second half. It’s a back-and-forth affair but without a lot of points. The Mountaineers get enough of a ground game to control the clock, get into position late, and kick a game winning field goal to end the Dukes streak and start their own, 2-0 when featured on ESPN’s College GameDay.

App State - 24

JMU - 23

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