JMU Stays Undefeated.

All photos Courtesy of JMU Athletics Communication

By Daniel Merriman

The James Madison Dukes are 10-0. The scariest part, they look better than ever. JMU blew out the UCONN Huskies today 44-6. The Dukes did not let up a touchdown in the contest and set a plethora of passing records to accompany the blowout. 

Following the win, ESPN announced it will be taking its College Gameday tour to the Valley. The Dukes may only be getting started.

A Tale of Two Halves

The Dukes came out of the gate sloppy. There was a fumble by Jordan McCloud that was recovered by JMU center Tanner Morris. There were also some untimely sacks taken to begin the Dukes’ time on the field. 

After a few James Madison drives, the Dukes looked solid but not elite. 

JMU settled for a field goal with 10 seconds left in the first quarter, taking a 3-0 lead. The Dukes would tack on another field goal in the second quarter as well. 

After this drive, the Dukes began to take over. An 80-yard TD to Reggie Brown got the scoring going, and the Dukes scored four touchdowns on six of their remaining drives. 

JMU Head Coach Curt Cignetti said post game, “good Teams play well in the second half.” Boy did they ever show they were a good team today. 

James Madison scored on four of its last five drives. JMU took over the game in the second half and looked like the significantly better team throughout the entirety of the last 30 minutes. 

Air Jordan

Jordan McCloud had the best game of his collegiate career. He set a career-high in passing yards at 457. He threw for 4 passing touchdowns to 0 INTs. His 89.2% completion percentage was the highest of his career (Min. 4 passing attempts). He was incredible and looked every bit as poised as expected. 

He completed deep balls with pinpoint accuracy all afternoon. He threw two 50+ yard TD passes to Reggie Brown. One of which set his career long for a single pass at 80 yards. 

His growth throughout this season has been incredible to watch as he has slowly grown into a Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year candidate. Over the past two games, He has scored 10 TDs in just 7 days. Jordan is an animal. 

Today he put up these historic stats while barely having a run game at all. The Dukes only rushed for 46 yards on the day. When the QB1 is on his game, no player is better at the QB position in the Sun Belt. Curt Cignetti and Tino Sunseri are mad scientists. 

Wide Receivers=Wide Open

JMU wideouts Reggie Brown and Elijah Sarratt are both insanely good. The stats speak for themselves. Reggie Brown set the all-time JMU single-game receiving yards record at 202 on 9 catches. That comes out to an average yards per catch of 22.4.

Reggie stated post-game about his historic performance, “I didn’t believe it because I thought someone had already had 200 yards before… I’m blessed to break the single-game record”

Elijah Sarratt had 13 catches and 160 yards on the day. He accounted for 9 first downs against the Huskies. Sarratt tied the single-game record for most receptions in a game with 13 and has been on a tear after earning a larger role throughout the season.

Jordan McCloud commented post-game about his receivers having historic nights, “they put in the work throughout the year to get to this moment…They’re making plays when the ball coming their way”

Sarratt wasn’t even a starter at the beginning of the season which is baffling to think about. Taji Hudson was ahead of him on the depth chart heading into the season opener against Bucknell. Now that Sarratt has broken out I don’t think he will be anywhere other than starting or WR1 for the foreseeable future at JMU. 

What A Time to be a Duke

Do not take this time as a JMU fan for granted. There are very few FBS teams that put together a 10-win squad. JMU has done it in 10 games while only being in their second year of FBS football. College Gameday is coming to town next week when JMU plays against Appalachian State. App is coming off a convincing 42-14 win vs Georgia State which is one of the best teams in the SBC East. The Dukes have a chance to make an undeniable mark on college football history. 

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