James Madison Dominates Georgia Southern, Secures 41-13 Revenge Win in Football


James Madison Dominates Georgia Southern, Secures 41-13 Revenge Win in Football

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In their quest for redemption following last year’s loss in Statesboro, the James Madison University (JMU) football team put on an impressive display of dominance. JMU, with a perfect 6-0 record in the season and 3-0 in SBC, trounced Georgia Southern (4-2, 1-1 SBC) with a commanding score of 41-13, igniting the crowd at Bridgeforth Stadium in Harrisonburg. This article dissects the elements that led to the Dukes’ victory and explores their potential for a spot in the AP Top 25 rankings.

Offensive Brilliance

JMU’s offense stole the spotlight throughout the game. Jordan McCloud showcased his skills, throwing for 259 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions with an impressive 65% completion rate. McCloud demonstrated poise and patience in the pocket, making crucial decisions and converting on third downs more effectively than in previous games. Head coach Curt Cignetti praised McCloud, noting his continuous improvement, with ten touchdown passes in the last three games, a significant jump from his earlier season performance.

Elijah Sarratt and McCloud formed a formidable connection, with Sarratt amassing five receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown, establishing himself as a premier receiver. Coach Cignetti lauded Sarratt’s ability to rise to the occasion when the pressure is on. Running back Kaelon Black also had a standout game, contributing three touchdowns, both on the ground and through the air, showcasing his versatility and running for his first rushing touchdown of the season.

The offense’s third-quarter explosion and improved consistency compared to previous weeks not only impressed the fans but also had a positive impact on the entire team, as the defense stepped up.

Dominant Defense

Cignetti expressed unwavering confidence in the team’s defense before the game, a belief that the players validated on the field. The JMU secondary, which had struggled earlier in the season, shone brightly, accounting for 52 of the team’s 87 tackles and preventing Georgia Southern from scoring a passing touchdown, a first for the season.

Chauncey Logan delivered a standout performance with 11 tackles, an interception, and a pass breakup, even against formidable opponents like Khaleb Hood and Derwin Burgess. The defensive line, led by James Carpenter and Jalen Green, bolstered the pass defense with impressive statistics, showcasing their collective capability and determination.

Reclaiming the Ranking

Last year, the Eagles had stripped JMU of its top-25 ranking, but the Dukes may have reclaimed it through their dominant performance. The game illustrated JMU’s potential when they maintain consistency throughout all four quarters against a strong SBC East team.

Coach Cignetti’s halftime message seemed to have a profound impact, motivating the team to overcome their third-quarter struggles. JMU’s performance in critical areas like third downs (4-10), the third quarter (a 21-0 lead for JMU), and field goals (Camden Wise’s perfect season) demonstrated significant improvements.

The Dukes now pose a formidable threat, provided they can address their second-half issues and third-down challenges. If they continue to play at this level and considering their overall performance, it is highly likely that they will earn a spot in the rankings when they face Marshall on Thursday.




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