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James Madison-West Virginia Preview Capsule
James Madison (2-0) vs. No. 9 West Virginia (1-0), at Landover, Md., 4:30 p.m. (Root Sports)
Line: No line.
Series Record: West Virginia 1-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
West Virginia is coming off a bye week and hopes to come close to the offensive proficiency it displayed in a 69-34 win over Marshall two weeks ago, its highest-scoring opener ever. James Madison has outscored its first two opponents 97-10 but hasn’t seen the likes of the Mountaineers, who are 12-0 against FCS opponents. The Dukes have beaten a ranked FBS opponent before, stunning then-No. 13 Virginia Tech in 2010.
James Madison QB Justin Thorpe against West Virginia’s defense. Thorpe is averaging 159 passing yards, 89 yards rushing and could find some room against West Virginia’s retooled defense that saw a dozen players get their first action in the opener. The Mountaineers gave up 545 yards to Marshall.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
West Virginia: QB Geno Smith. The senior set career school records for completions (651) and TD passes (60) against Marshall and has thrown for 724 yards and 10 touchdowns in his last two games.
James Madison: RBs Jordan Anderson, Jauan Latney and Dejor Simmons. With leading rusher Dae’Quan Scott doubtful with an ankle injury suffered last week, the Dukes’ rushing load will be shared by Anderson, Latney and Simmons, who average a combined 98 yards per game.
FACTS & FIGURES
The game is being played at FedEx Field, home of the Washington Redskins. It is about 150 miles from James Madison’s campus in Harrisonburg, Va., and 220 miles from Morgantown, W.Va. Virginia Tech and Cincinnati will play at FedEx Field on Sept. 29. … West Virginia won the teams’ only other meeting, 45-10, in 2004, the year James Madison won the FCS national championship. … James Madison has yet to allow any first-half points this season. In addition to their 21-16 win over Virginia Tech two years ago, the Dukes narrowly lost to Maryland in 2009.
By Joy Overbeck
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