James Madison 2014 FCS Football Playoff Capsule

George Hammond

James Madison Dukes


A seven-game winning streak to finish the season gave James Madison its first playoff bid since 2011 and put first-year coach Everett Withers in line to be a possible favorite for CAA coach of the year. JMU was picked to finish eighth in the CAA preseason poll, and the Dukes were slow out of the gate as they had five transfers among their offensive starters. They opened 2-3, but got their winning ways started in a 31-28 victory over Albany when kicker Ryan Maglio booted a 34-yard field goal with just four seconds remaining. James Madison has been red hot ever since.

2014 Record: 9-3, 6-2
Coach: Everett Withers

Big Wins: 10/4 at Albany (31-28), 11/15 at Richmond (55-20)
Bad Losses: 9/20 at Villanova (31-49), 9/27 Delaware (23-30)

His name is Vad Lee, and he’s one of several transfers who have helped to resurrect JMU’s fortunes. But no one has been more important than the former Georgia Tech quarterback. Lee is the first quarterback in Dukes’ history to pass for more than 3,000 yards in a season and Lee is a big reason JMU leads the CAA in total offense. Lee ranks in the top ten nationally in passing yardage and has thrown 29 touchdowns this season. James Madison is averaging over 30 points a game this season and is a top ten team nationally in total offense. In addition, JMU is among the top ten teams nationally in turnover margin.

It’s safe to say the Dukes won’t win many defensive struggles. They score points, but they also allow points. They are allowing almost 30 points a game and ranked 94th nationally in total defense entering the season finale. The Dukes allowed the opponent to score at least 27 points in seven games this season. JMU has struggled stopping the run (91st). The Dukes’ punting game hasn’t been strong and they are one of the most penalized teams in the nation.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Vad Lee, QB, 769 yards
Passing: Vad Lee, QB, 3,323 yards
Receiving: Daniel Brown, WR, 564 yards
Tackles: Kyre Hawkins, LB, 86
Sacks: Sage Harold, DL, 11.5
Interceptions: Taylor Reynolds, CB, 4

2014 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 216.1 (20th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Passing Offense: 281.5 (13, 3)
Total Offense: 497.5 (10, 1)
Scoring Offense: 34.9 (22, 3)
Rushing Defense: 195.5 (91, 10)
Pass Defense: 238.9 (89, 11)
Total Defense: 434.4 (94, 11)
Scoring Defense: 29.5 (79, 10)
Turnover Margin: 0.91 (7, 3)
Sacks: 2.64 (21, 3)
Sacks Allowed: 2.00 (57, 3)

Recent Playoff Appearances:
2011    First Round     Defeated Eastern Kentucky
2011    Second Round    Lost to North Dakota State
2008    First Round     Defeated Wofford
2008    Quarterfinals    Defeated Villanova
2008    Semifinals    Lost to Montana
2007    First Round     Lost to Appalachian State
2006    First Round     Lost to Youngstown State
2004    First Round     Defeated Lehigh
2004    Quarterfinals    Defeated Furman
2004    Semifinals    Defeated William & Mary
2004    Championship    Defeated Montana
1999    First Round    Lost to Troy
1995    First Round    Lost to Appalachian State
1994    First Round    Defeated Troy
1994    Quarterfinals    Lost to Marshall
1991    First Round    Defeated Delaware
1991    Quarterfinals    Lost to Samford
1987    First Round    Lost to Marshall

*all team stats through 11/15


Playoff Central