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JMU drops third straight


The final was 27-0, but James Madison’s home loss to Villanova on Saturday could have been a lot, lot worse.

“To be blunt about it, if we hadn’t played such good defense, we would have really been in trouble. If not for our defense, we would have lost 47-0,” JMU coach Mickey Matthews said after his team’s third straight loss.

The Dukes drop to 2-4 on the season and 0-3 in the CAA – and is likely on the outside looking in as far as any chance of a playoff berth at the end of the 2009 season is concerned.

The Wildcats dominated from the start, scoring on their opening possession on a four-yard touchdown pass from Chris Whitney to Tony Canci, then taking control in the second following a pair of fumbles by JMU freshman quarterback Justin Thorpe that set up short fields for the ‘Nova offense.

Two field goals by Nick Yako and a Whitney-to-Matt Szczur 30-yard scoring strike made it 20-0 Villanova at the half.

Whitney connected with Szczur again with a 22-yard TD pass in the third quarter to complete the scoring.

Thorpe, under heavy pressure all day, completed 13 of his 32 pass attempts for 144 yards and added 65 yards on the ground on 18 carries.

JMU could muster only 260 yards of total offense on the day.

“To be honest, we are just so bad on offense right now that we are not giving ourselves a chance. Until we get better offensively, it is going to be a rough year. Until we block better and run better with our backs, the quarterback is just under so much pressure,” Matthews said.



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