James Madison comes to NC State as an arising assertive at the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level. Over the accomplished two seasons, the Dukes are 28-2 overall. It won the civic appellation two years ago and alternate to the championship d with an best almanac aftermost division afore falling to North Dakota State 17-13.
JMU starts 2018 ranked No. 2 in the FCS coaches’ poll abaft alone North Dakota State and accustomed three of the 26 aboriginal abode votes.
Fifth-year chief cornerback Jimmy Moreland — The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder has 31 career starts and is advancing off an absorbing 2017 campaign, aback he recorded 68 tackles, eight interceptions (ranked additional nationally), 14 passes burst up and two lix recoveries l. Moreland becoming first-team All-CAA and was called a third-team preseason All-American for the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) by HERO Sports.
Senior active aback Marcus Marshall — The 5-10, 200-pound Marshall was a standout at Raleigh Millbrook High, and the adolescent brother of above Georgia active aback Keith Marshall. NC State offered him during the recruiting process, but abounding up at the position and he ultimately active with Georgia Tech. Marshall played for the Yellow Jackets for two years, hasty for 1,278 yards and eight touchdowns in 22 career amateur afore transferring.
He had 143 carries for 850 yards and a team-high 11 touchdowns in his JMU admission aftermost year. HERO Sports called him a preseason third-team FCS All-American. He’ll additionally acknowledgment bliss this season, afterwards averaging 22.5 yards pre runback aftermost year.
Senior cornerback Rashad Robinson — The 5-11, 183-pounder is the preseason CAA Arresting Amateur of the Year and a affiliate of the Athlon Sports first-team FCS preseason All-American squad. Robinson alone started in eight of the 15 amateur he played in aftermost season, and was still called an America Football Coaches Association FCS first-team All-America and first-team All-CAA. He had 51 tackles, seven interceptions and nine passes burst up. Robinson had two picks in the East Carolina contest, and a career-high 12 stops and a sack adjoin South Dakota State in the FCS semifinals.
Senior active aback Trai Sharp — The bounded artefact from Carrboro (N.C.) Aerial had a monster green aerial academy division with, but injuries his aftermost two years afflicted his application and he concluded up at James Madison. The 5-9, 215-pounder rushed 163 times for 759 yards and four touchdowns aftermost year, and bent 14 passes for 91 yards and two scores.
Redshirt inferior advanced receiver Riley Stapleton — A advanced receiver with the anatomy of a bound end at 6-5 and 218 pounds, he had 42 catches for 615 yards and bristles touchdowns aftermost year. He ranked ninth in the CAA with 14.6 yards per catch, and had a brace of 100-yard-plus performances in the FCS playoffs. He bankrupt out for eight catches for 189 yards and a touchdown adjoin Weber State in the playoffs, and accomplished with 20 catches for 366 yards and three touchdowns over the aftermost three playoff games.
1. The Dukes will acceptable comedy two quarterbacks adjoin NC State, and one won’t be a drifter to the Wolfpack. Redshirt inferior Ben DiNucci started adjoin NC State aftermost year, alone he was arena for Pittsburgh at the time.
The 6-2, 211-pound DiNucci went 19-of-32 casual for 170 yards, one touchdown and one interception for the Panthers in the 35-17 Wolfpack win. The stats didn’t appearance it, but he was additionally decidedly ambiguous on his feet. Kenny Pickett additionally played that game,and eventually took the job over, arch to DiNucci’s transfer. DiNucci accomplished with 1,091 casual yards, bristles touchdown and bristles interceptions for the Panthers.
The 6-5, 211-pound Cole Johnson has acceptable acquaintance with the JMU offense. He got to comedy six amateur aftermost year and anesthetized for 141 yards and a touchdown, and he chipped in 25 yards on the ground.
2. James Madison will circle several backs throughout the game. The Dukes affection added than aloof the “Homecoming Duo” of Marshall and Sharp. Sixth-year chief Cardon Johnson will additionally charge to be accounted for aback he’s in the game.
The 5-9, 200-pound Johnson aching his Achilles aftermost year afterwards hasty 37 times for 347 yards and three scores, with 265 yards of it in the win over ECU. He ahead rushed for 1,037 yards and 10 array in 2015 and 704 yards and eight touchdowns in 2016. He has averaged 6.7 yards per blitz on 312 career carries.
Fourth-string active aback Jawon Hamilton rushed 139 times for 495 yards and four touchdowns his apprentice year at Central Florida. The 5-9, 190-pounder suffered a season-ending abrasion his green year and again transferred to James Madison.
3. Green punter Harry O’Kelly had a affection aboriginal year with James Madison, and the Australian artefact could additionally be assertive for some cheat Saturday.
O’Kelly averaged 41.3 yards on 63 punts and landed 25 central the 20-yard band aftermost year. He additionally rushed three times for 63 yards on affected punts, and all three went for aboriginal downs. He had a 30-yard run adjoin New Hampshire and 24-yard t in the NCAA Division I Championship d adjoin North Dakota State. He additionally ran nine yards for a aboriginal bottomward adjoin Delaware.
1. Win the trenches: Added generally than not, the aberration amid an FCS and Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) aggregation is the admeasurement on the field.
James Madison has a appealing big abhorrent band with three players at atomic 306 pounds and the added two over 290 pounds. The Dukes’ aegis appearance three lineman listed at 268 pounds or more. However, area it becomes added apparent is aback JMU has some of its assets arresting lineman in the game.
The Duke accept four advancement arresting linemen who weight 254 pounds or less, and that includes the arresting tackles. One of the backups is above Wake Forest amateur Paris Black of Fayetteville, N.C. NC State will charge to booty advantage of JMU’s 4-2-5 scheme, abnormally aback the affluence are in the game.
2. Test the James Madison linebackers: JMU has an all-embracing accumulation of linebackers, including nickel Wayne Davis. If NC State is activity to auspiciously run the football and get those third-down-and-short plays to accumulate a drive going, success adjoin the Dukes’ linebackers will be a theme.
Redshirt inferior Dimitri Holloway has the best acquaintance for James Madison, but he redshirted aftermost year with an injury. The 6-1, 223-pound Holloway started nine out of 12 amateur in 2016, and accomplished with 53 tackles and four tackles for loss. He had a career-high 16 tackles in JMU’s win over North Dakota State in the FCS semifinals.
The added two starters began at FBS schools afore authoritative their way to James Madison. Inferior linebacker Landon Word spent one year at Virginia afore accession at JMU. He started one d and played in 14 aftermost year, finishing with 31 tackles and a sack.
Davis is intriguing. The 6-0, 186-pounder was the No. 25 cornerback in the country advancing out of Norfolk (Va.) Lake Taylor Aerial in the chic of 2016. He active with Ohio State area he redshirted in 2016 and played in aloof two amateur as a redshirt freshman. Davis fabricated the move to JMU and has three years of accommodation remaining.
3. Make JMU comedy from behind: The No. 2-ranked Dukes acutely accept four affection active backs, but the casual d is unproven,. James Madison is 2-8 best adjoin ACC opponents with a 21-16 win over Virginia Tech in 2010 and a 21-17 achievement over Virginia in 1982.
The eight losses accommodate bristles amateur that got out of hand, but three were aural one score. James Madison will appetite to accumulate the account low, about in the adjacency of a accumulated 38 points. Odds are acceptable that NC State will blast that plan offensively, and if the Wolfpack can get off to a two-touchdown lead, they ability get 38-plus credibility all by themselves.
23 Accumulated acreage goals aftermost division for abiding kickers Ethan Ratke and Tyler Gray . Ratke went 14 of 18 with a continued of 46 and is listed accomplished on the abyss chart. Gray accomplished 9 of 11 aftermost year with a continued of 48, but suffered a hip abrasion in the average of the season. The duo accumulated for 27 touchbacks on 101 kickoffs.
44 Turnovers affected by the Dukes aftermost year, including a amazing 31 interceptions. Four altered players had at atomic bristles interceptions, including the two brilliant corners who accumulated for 15 (Jimmy Moorland had eight and Rashad Robinson added seven).
51 Sacks aftermost year for James Madison in 15 games, a 3.4 per d clip. Three players who accumulated for 22 sacks accept confused on, but both fifth-year chief Darrious Carter and redshirt inferior Ron’Dell Carter acknowledgment (no relation). The 6-5, 229-pound Darrious Carter had 8.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, three affected fumbles and eight quarterback hurries aftermost year. The 6-3, 268-pound Ron’Dell Carter added four sacks and four quarterback hurries advancing off the bench. Darrious played his aboriginal two years at Virginia, and Ron’Dell spent two years at Rutgers.
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