JMU Football to Play Air Force in Armed Forces Bowl

Image courtesy of JMU Athletics Communications

By Bennett Conlin

JMU football will face Air Force in the first bowl game in program history. JMU confirmed initial reports Sunday afternoon. The Dukes and Falcons will meet on Dec. 23 in the Armed Forces Bowl at 3:30 p.m. ET. The game will air on ABC and take place in Fort Worth, Texas.

Air Force sits at 8-4 after a disappointing finish to their season. The Falcons started 8-0 and looked like a legitimate contender for the Group of Five spot in a New Year’s Six Bowl game. Instead, Air Force dropped its final four games of the year to fall well out of contention.

Still, the program is solid. Air Force plays great defense and runs an option offense predicated on running the football. The Falcons might only throw the ball a handful of times in the contest, which will test JMU’s stingy run defense.

Who will play for JMU?

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that Jordan McCloud intends to play in the game for JMU, even though he’s in the transfer portal. Several other Dukes are also in the portal, and the RTD’s reporting suggests at least some of those players will play.

When fully available this season, JMU has been one of the best Group of Five teams in the country. JMU is 11-1 on the season, with the lone loss coming in overtime to App State. The Dukes finished the year with a convincing 56-14 win over Coastal Carolina.

If the Dukes bring a full assortment of players to the game, they’ll likely be favored.

As for head coach Curt Cignetti, it was initially reported that he would coach the bowl for JMU. He will no longer coach the game. Damian Wroblewski, the team’s offensive line coach, will serve as JMU’s head coach for the contest, the school announced Sunday.

Playing in a bowl game is a milestone achievement for JMU, and Wroblewski will lead the Dukes as they seek a meaningful win.

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