Image courtesy of JMU Athletics Communications
By Bennett Conlin and Jack Fitzpatrick
The Dukes are coming off a massive win over App State, and they return home for Family Weekend. Texas State (a lower-tier SBC West team) comes to town for Saturday afternoon’s matchup.
Bennett and Jack discuss last week’s triumph and this week’s game in the latest JMU football roundtable discussion.
JMU upset App State 32-28 last weekend. What impressed you most about the win?
Bennett: JMU’s resiliency comes to mind, but I’ll go with the front seven of the defense. I was blown away by Jamare Edwards’ performance along the defensive line, and nose tackle James Carpenter has been a force through three games. Carpenter and Edwards each have four tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks through three games. Isaac Ukwu (two tackles for loss, one sack this season) remains a stud, and the Dukes have a few other key contributors on the line.
Along with linebackers Jailin Walker (18 tackles), Mateo Jackson (eight tackles), and Taurus Jones (18 tackles), I like JMU’s front. When the Dukes bring safeties into the box, they’ve played well against the run. JMU’s defensive front is a key reason why the Dukes lead the nation in rushing defense (28 yards per game), and I think that group will help JMU win 5+ Sun Belt games.
Jack: It has to be the short memory. The first half was just highlighted by fumbles, short fields for App State, and just an abysmal 8 minutes of game time. Then the Dukes were able to close the half out in a great way and then came out in the second half and held App State scoreless. That ability to forget about the worst 8 minutes of football I have seen since 2020 Sam Houston State is just amazing. Most teams would have crumbled after that, hell JMU would have crumbled any other year, but their ability to fight back forget about the mistakes and dominate the second half of action was awesome.
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