James Madison 2015 FCS Football Playoff Capsule

George Hammond

James Madison Dukes


On the morning of October 24th, James Madison was 7-0 and playing host to ESPN’s “College Gameday” when Richmond came to town for the Dukes’ Homecoming. Four weeks later, the Dukes are no longer unbeaten as their superman quarterback Vad Lee got injured in the Richmond loss and is out for the season. The Dukes were expected to be one of the top teams in the CAA under second-year coach Everett Withers and they haven’t disappointed. Last year, JMU was upended in the first round of the playoffs by Liberty.

2015 Record: 9-2, 5-2
Coach: Everett Withers

Big Wins: 9/26 at SMU (48-45), 10/10 at Towson (51-30)
Bad Losses: 10/24 Richmond (49-59), 10/31 at William & Mary (41-44)

One of the keys to the Dukes’ explosive offense has been its ability to convert on third downs. JMU leads the nation with a 56.2 percent success rate. In addition, James Madison leads the FCS nationally in three other categories: scoring offense (45.5), total offense (572.4 yards) and first downs (296). JMU ranks third in rushing offense (297.6 yards), fifth in red-zone scoring and sixth in completion percentage. Since Lee went down, Bryan Schor has taken over at quarterback and continued to lead the Dukes’ attack.

The Dukes have struggled on defense as they entered the season finale against Villanova, ranked 10th in the CAA allowing 27.1 points a game. The Dukes have given up 40 or more points three times this season and at least 28 points three other times. In addition, JMU is just 58th in turnover margin in FCS, which doesn’t help keeping down the opponents’ points. And the Dukes are one one of most penalized teams in the nation, ranking 112th in penalty yards per game.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Cardon Johnson, RB, 989 yards
Passing: Vad Lee, QB, 2,190 yards
Receiving: Brandon Ravenel, WR, 649 yards
Tackles: Kyre Hawkins, LB, 87
Sacks: Andrew Ankrah, LB, 10.5
Interceptions: Taylor Reynolds, CB, 3

2015 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 297.6 (3rd in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 274.8 (21, 2)
Total Offense: 572.4 (1, 1)
Scoring Offense: 45.5 (1, 1)
Rushing Defense: 170.7 (69, 8)
Pass Defense: 221.9 (72, 11)
Total Defense: 392.6 (68, 8)
Scoring Defense: 27.1 (67, 10)
Turnover Margin: 0.20 (50, 6)
Sacks: 2.40 (34, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 1.20 (26, 2)

Recent Playoff Appearances:
2014    First Round    Lost to Liberty
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 11/14


Playoff Central