No. 7/8 Villanova put up 28 unanswered second-half points to push pass visiting James Madison and win the Colonial Athletic Association football opener for both teams Saturday, 49-31, before 10,781 fans at Villanova Stadium.
Coming off a bye week, the Wildcats, who are picked to finish second in the CAA this fall, improved to 2-1 overall. The Dukes fell to 2-2 after two straight victories.
The game featured a combined 1,131 yards of total offense, including JMU records of 406 yards passing and 478 total offense by redshirt junior quarterback Vad Lee (Durham, N.C./Hillside/Georgia Tech). Lee completed 23 of 43 passes with three going for touchdowns. He also had two picked off in the second half. Lee led JMU on the ground with 72 yards and one score on 28 carries.
Eight receivers caught balls for JMU, led by redshirt junior tight end Deane Cheatham (Mechanicsville, Va./Hanover) with career highs of six receptions and 109 yards, and he scored one touchdown.
JMU, which led 24-14 with 10:39 to play in the third quarter, finished with 568 yards, but yielded 563 to the Wildcats.