JMU Will Blow Out Appalachian State

Image courtesy of JMU Athletics Communications

By An Intelligent Sports Mind

JMU fans are rightfully excited to be in the Sun Belt. The league is filled with college football juggernauts. Opposing fanbases care about the weekly results, and Sun Belt East atmospheres are amazing — did you see Boone this weekend??

Another positive of the Sun Belt move? Competitive conference games. The Dukes were the obvious top dog of the CAA, mashing opponents even when they showed up on Saturdays with their “C” game.

Bad news, JMU fans. The wait for competitive conference games will take at least one more week. I fully expect JMU to demolish Appalachian State this weekend.

GameDay curse

Whoa, whoa, whoa! App State recently defeated Texas A&M. Why would they possibly get blown out at home by MU?

Well, for starters, Saturday is a prime spot for an App State hangover. The Mountaineers upset Texas A&M and followed that up with a miraculous home win over Troy with ESPN’s College GameDay in town. It would be natural for the Mountaineers to come down off those emotional highs.

Let me be the first to say, beating Texas A&M, hosting College GameDay, and beating Troy on a Hail Mary was the worst possible scenario for the Appalachian State program. What were they thinking??

Former JMU head coach Everett Withers led JMU to its first College GameDay experience in 2015. The season derailed after that.

Withers, one of the brightest defensive minds of his generation, then went to Texas State. The head ball coach intentionally ran that program into the ground, making tackling completely optional in the process. Why? To avoid winning, which meant avoiding the plague that is the College GameDay curse.

When reached for comment this week on the dangers of GameDay and how the show’s presence could negatively impact App State in future games, Withers replied, “I’ll have to watch the film.” We eagerly await his response.

Mountaineer mouse traps

I’m also concerned about the health of Appalachian State players. Shawn Clark, App State’s head coach, put mouse traps throughout the facility last week to send a message to his team to not take the “cheese” — A.K.A. all the positive media coverage surrounding the team. He wanted them to stay focused on the goal of winning the Sun Belt.

But was the motivational tool worth the risk?

You’re telling me a team of about 100 college-aged kids all remained humble despite multiple national outlets telling them they’re the greatest sports team since the 2021 JMU softball team? I’m guessing at least 5-10 guys broke fingers in mouse traps reaching for the cheese. Realistically, another 5-10 players accidentally stepped on the traps.

Hello, bruised big toes. Goodbye, the perfect health of 10-20 players.

Dukes own North Carolina

In JMU’s last two trips to the great state of North Carolina, the Dukes are 2-0 with an average margin of victory of 19 points. The last time JMU played a Group of 5 team in North Carolina, the Dukes won by 20 points.

Appalachian State’s first game of the season, which was played in North Carolina, was a 63-61 loss to the University of … you’re not going to believe this: North Carolina. The Mountaineers needed a Hail Mary to win their other game in North Carolina this season. Getting the point yet?

Appalachian State is listed as the home team — a silly technicality — but all history suggests the Dukes will feel more at home Saturday.

Last time

JMU has outscored Appalachian State, which is famous for barely beating Michigan one time, 35-11 in the last 30 minutes of football played between the two teams. If you expand that pace over 60 minutes, history says JMU should defeat Appalachian State 70-22.

Recent history confirms this math, as Appalachian State gave up 63 points to North Carolina in Week 1. Based on internal calculations (don’t ask for these, they’re confidential) provided by the mathematicians at JMU Sports News, JMU’s offense is seven points better than UNC’s. JMU scoring 70 points is an obvious prediction, given what the Tar Heels did to the Mountaineers.

We love the Sun Belt. We love what App State brings to the Sun Belt. But Saturday, it looks like a true “Dukes by 90” situation.

22 comments

  1. Well, no. App doesn’t have a good defense but I would think JMU would be more likely to win a closer game, say 30-27. And that’s with the knowledge that App is currently favored by 7.5. I’m an App fan but this team is still a work in progress.

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  2. Love this article. JMU is a very good FCS program. Has not won a championship in a while. 4 and 12 all time at App State. The first two games, cupcakes, and 1 week off may help. We will see. Either way, it is a long season. As far as all the media exposure, great for recruiting. Go Apps! Beat JMU! Thanks.

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    1. ASU will destroy JMU, they have been competitive with power 5 programs, JMU has usually been blown out by power 5 programs especially in NC remember the UNC and NC State games! ASU by at least 10 points.

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  3. It’s great to see that the JMU remedial creative writing class has assigned a satirical piece. Great job!

    Next week’s assignment – a serious sports article!

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  4. ASU has a lot of momentum but I honestly think their ride is going to end sooner or later.
    Troy had ’em beat.

    By a random seat assignment, I was in the midst of Troy fans on Saturday….I’ll say this, in terms of fan behavior, they were certainly superior. No cursing, little whining, no belittling the cheer leaders, etc.
    I’m an ASU fan since the 1970’s by the way…..many of today’s APP fans are out of touch.

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  5. I hope the App defense will stop giving 15 yard cushions, letting the receivers run 10 yards, and turn around for an easy completion. The overall gameplan for Troy was horrific. And somebody remind the offensive staff that getting 8 yards per carry is a good thing. Why pass when they can’t stop your run? If they don’t change some things soon, he may be right. App is primed to be blown out by someone.

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    1. I think that’s a bit extreme. Actually, I am delighted we are now in the SBC. I am hoping for a competitive contest. That’s as far as I wish to go!

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  6. I wish we had received that humbling Troy defeat last week that would have put us back on our unsuspecting track – sort of. Actually no, it was worth a potential JMU loss for all the fun we’ve had. That being said, bring that loud bass – might be only sound you will recognize at the Rock Saturday. You can also play the blues with it after the game!

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