Sat 9/8/12 4:30 PM
Marshall 69-34 W
TV: Root Sports
Alcorn St W 42-3
Series: WVU 1-0
First Meeting: 2004
Last Meeting: 2004
James Madison's win over Virginia Tech at Lane Stadium a few years ago might not have even been the Dukes' biggest football win in recent years. On Tuesday, the JMU men's soccer team upset #1 ranked North Carolina by a 1-0 score. If there's anything to campus momentum, the football squad will be trying to piggyback off their soccer compatriots.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
After reviewing game video, West Virginia lists ten true freshmen who saw the field against Marshall. That roster includes Christian Brown (DL), John DePalma (LS), K.J. Dillon (S), Korey Harris (DL), Garrett Hope (LB), Karl Joseph (S), Eric Kinsey (DL), Nana Kyeremeh (CB), Ricky Rumph (CB) and Jordan Thompson (WR).
An additional nine players saw their first game action in a Mountaineer uniform: Isaiah Bruce (LB), Cody Clay (FB), Jerry Cooper (LS), Dozie Ezemma (LB), Russell Haughton-James (OL), Garrett Hope (LB), Brandon Jackson (OL), Kyle Rose (DL) and Ishmail Showell (S).
Since 1980, the Mountaineers hold a 27-19 mark in stadiums that also house a professional football team at the time. West Virginia was 3-0 in professional stadiums in 2011, defeating Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium, 24-21, on Nov. 12, USF, 30-27, on Dec. 1 at Raymond James Stadium, and Clemson, 70-33, on Jan. 4 in Miami's Sun Life Stadium. Currently, WVU is riding a four-game winning streak in pro stadiums and is 3-0 under Dana Holgorsen in professional venues.
Mountaineer fans who miss the giant inflatable helmet from team introductions might, repeat might, see a reminder on Saturday. At JMU home games, a huge inflatable bulldog is part of the the pregame festivities. No word if the "Duke" will make the trip to Landover.
PAIR OF DOZENS
Heading into Saturday's contest against James Madison, West Virginia is riding a 12-game winning streak against NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) opponents. The Mountaineers are 12-0 all-time against the division with all games being played at Milan Puskar Stadium. This is the first one played away from Morgantown.
James Madison is 4-16 all-time against FBS teams. In addition to the signature win over Virginia Tech, the Dukes own a pair of back-to-back wins over Navy and a victory over Virginia.
Oddly enough, West Virginia's win total over FCS teams exactly matches West Virginia's all-time record against Marshall. Not that we're trying to imply anything.
James Madison's David Skahn has punted six times this year, but the Dukes have yet to make a tackle in coverage. Skahn has forced four fair catches and placed three of his boots inside the 20, and as a result JMU hasn't given up a yard in returns. Skahn isn't just dinking the ball downfield, either. He's averaging 44 yards per kick, and has a long boot of 65.
JMU football athletic trainer Scott Cook is a 1991 graduate of West Virginia. He stands out a bit on a football staff dotted with James Madison graduates – five of the nine assistant coaches on the staff graduated from the Harrisonburg school.
Last year, St. Francis traveled to a nationally-ranked opponent -- North Dakota State -- and dropped a 56-3 decision to the Bison. This year, the Red Flash repeated that pattern, trekking this time to Harrisonburg, where they lost to JMU 55-7. North Dakota State went on to win the FCS national title a year ago – so hopes are the St. Francis appearance on the Dukes' schedule is a good omen.
There's more for JMU – their national title season in 2004 featured a game against West Virginia, which the Mountaineers won 45-10. The Dukes won their next six games after the loss, then rolled through the playoffs for the crown.