news game preview can jmu dukes remain perfect in first season in fbs
Sports

Game Preview: Can JMU Dukes remain perfect in first season in FBS?

jmu football
(© Steve Heap – Steve Jacobson)

The James Madison football team looks to remain perfect when they visit Arkansas State on Saturday in Sun Belt action.

The Dukes (4-0, 2-0 Sun Belt) could be in line for a Top 25 ranking if they remain perfect after this weekend thanks to what’s been a hot start to life in FBS.

The Dukes are tied atop Group A in the conference with a 2-0 record just like Coastal Carolina

Where to watch?

The game will air at 7 p.m. ET and be shown live on the NFL Network.

What to know about JMU

The Dukes are on quite a roll, having scored at least 30 points in all of their games this season, actually topping 40 in three of the four. Last weekend’s rainy win over Texas State, 40-13, saw quarterback Todd Centeio struggle a tad in the air. He threw his first interception, but it was Latrele Palmer who stepped up with three rushing touchdowns and 106 yards on the ground. The expectation is for Centeio to bounce back here against a defense that not forced an interception in their last four games.

What to know about Arkansas State

The Red Wolves have allowed at least 28 points in their last four games, losing three of them. But a 45-28 win over Louisiana-Monroe last weekend has them feeling good entering this showdown. But they still allowed 5.1 yards per play in that game and had nine penalties. While they didn’t have any turnovers, there were missed tackles and just avoidable penalties that they will look to correct here. As for players to watch, quarterback James Blackman can really light it up. He was 25-for-32 for 254 yards and two touchdowns last week.

Prediction

Arkansas State 28, JMU 27

Roger Gonzalez

Roger Gonzalez is freelancer for Augusta Free Press. A native of Connecticut that grew up in Charlottesville, he is a graduate of Virginia Tech. He currently is a sportswriter with CBS Sports and has written for The Daily Progress, The Roanoke Times and other newspapers before getting into the digital sports journalism world.