Dukes upset #1 William and Mary
Behind redshirt-freshman Dae’Quan Scott’s 125 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns, the JMU football team celebrated Senior Day by upsetting #1 William & Mary, 30-24, Nov. 13 at Bridgeforth Stadium. The win snapped the Dukes’ four-game losing streak and evened their record at 5-5 and moved to 2-5 in the Colonial Athletic Association while the Tribe dropped to 7-3 and 5-2 in the conference.
Scott came in and ran at the quarterback slot for the majority of the game and made an offensive impact, scoring the three offensive touchdowns for JMU on runs of 16, 3 and 31 yards in the game.
William & Mary jumped out to a 7-0 lead on the opening possession of the game. After a solid return to its own 49, the Tribe moved it the remaining 51 yards in nine plays, capped off by quarterback Michael Callahan hitting tight end Alex Gottlieb with a 3-yard pass in the left corner of the end zone. Kicker Drake Kuhn connected on the extra point to give the visitors the first lead just under five minutes into the game.
After several possession changes, the Tribe again put together a sustained drive, going 12 plays down to the JMU 5. However, the Dukes’ defense held and forced a 22-yard field goal by Kuhn, which made it 10-0 with 4:26 to go in the second quarter.
The Dukes got on the scoreboard quickly with their next possession, as the ground attack got some momentum. Scott scored on a 16-yard scamper around the left end, stretching for the end zone pylon to get the touchdown. Dixon Wright hit on the point after attempt and the lead was trimmed to 10-7 with just 1:00 remaining in the half.
William & Mary got the ball back and was held on three straight plays, with the Dukes calling time out to force the punt. After a false start by the Tribe on the first punt attempt, Madison busted through the line, with Josh Roach smothering David Miller’s punt just as it was leaving the foot. The ball flew back to the W&M 2, where D.J. Bryant picked it up and ran it in the final two yards for the touchdown, giving the home team a 14-10 halftime advantage.
The Dukes got the ball to start the second half and continued building on the late momentum, marking 71 yards in 14 plays, taking 8:25 off the clock. This time, Scott scored on a 3-yard run and Wright’s extra point made it an 11-point lead for JMU, 21-10 with 6:30 to go in the third.
W&M had a response, moving it down the field into the red zone again on an 8-play drive. However, JMU again kept the guests out of the end zone, forcing them to settle for a 31-yard field goal from Kuhn to make it 21-13.
The Tribe then pulled a surprise on the ensuing kickoff, as Kuhn hit a perfect onside kick and JMU’s special teams were not prepared, allowing W&M to recover the ball at its own 42. From there it took them eight plays to cover the 58 yards, with Callahan finding wide receiver Ryan Moody across the middle, where he broke a tackle and scored the 17-yard touchdown. The Tribe then went for two and were successful with Callahan hitting D.J. Mangas just in the front of the end zone to make it a 21-21 tie with five seconds gone in the fourth.
From there, the Dukes continued one of their strongest second half offensive performances of the season, taking just five plays and 2:46 on the clock to cover 70 yards to the end zone. This time, Scott cut through the line and took it wide to the right side of the field and found the corner of the end zone for the eventual game-winning 30-yard touchdown, as JMU led 28-21 with just over 12 minutes to go.
William & Mary took the next kickoff and had success before the red zone again, getting to the JMU 3 this time before the defense tightened up, including a pass breakup on third down. Kuhn hit his third field goal of the contest, this time from 20 yards and the margin was trimmed to 28-24 with seven minutes remaining.
JMU was unable to move the ball on its next possession after starting at the Tribe 43 but a solid punt from David Skahn was down by sophomore Jakarie Jackson at the W&M 1, putting the visitors in a deep hole. After three plays netted just two yards, the Tribe went back to punt at its own 3. However, D. Miller took the snap and stepped out of the back of the end zone for the safety to make it 30-26 JMU with 3:26 to go.
Miller then blasted the free kick and the Dukes started at their own 34. Three plays later, JMU punted the ball back to W&M for its final drive, starting at its own 36. The guests drove down to the JMU 35-yard line but a fourth-down pass was incomplete and the Dukes held on for the win.
William & Mary outgained JMU 336-266 in the game, including 250 yards of passing. However, all of JMU’s yards came on the ground, as the Dukes set a school record with no pass completions for the first time in their Division I playing history and only the second time in school history, as they only attempted one pass on the afternoon. The Tribe also held a slight advantage of two minutes in time of possession, while also converting 7-of-15 third-down attempts as compared to JMU’s 3-of-9.
The Dukes were led by Scott’s 125 rushing yards, while redshirt-senior Jamal Sullivan had 17 carries for 121 yards on the day. This marked the first time Madison had a pair of 100-yard rushers in a game since Rodney Landers (166) and Eugene Holloman (116) did in NCAA first round vs. Wofford at Bridgeforth Stadium on Nov. 29, 2008. Linebacker Pat Williams led all tacklers with 11 total tackles, while Jackson and safety Jon Williams each added 10, with Jon also posting four pass breakups.
The Tribe were led on the ground by Jonathan Grimes’ 70 rushing yards on 16 carries. Callahan was 24-for-40 for 250 yards and two touchdowns through the air, connecting with Moody for game highs of eight receptions for 122 yards and one score. Brian Thompson was the leading tackler for the Tribe with 10 total.