James Madison FCS Football 2012 Playoff Capsule

George Hammond

James Madison Dukes


It has been an up-and-down year for the Dukes who entered the season with high expectations. They were picked to finish third in the CAA behind Towson and Old Dominion. JMU has only one win this season against a team with a winning record, an October 6 victory against Towson. The Dukes are no stranger to the playoffs, however, as they won the national title in 2004 under coach Mickey Matthews, now in his 14th season.

2012 Record: 7-3, 5-2
Coach: Mickey Matthews

Big Wins: 10/6 Towson (13-10), 11/3 at Maine (31-7)
Bad Losses: 10/20 at Richmond (29-35), 11/10 at Villanova (20-35)

James Madison finds itself among the leaders in the nation in various statistical categories. The Dukes’ average of 214 rushing yards ranks 15th among FCS teams. Defensively, the 19.30 points per game allowed is tops in the CAA and 17th nationally. Redshirt junior running back Dae’Quan Scott is second in the CAA and 36th nationally in rushing per game at 86.8 yards while leading the league and ranking 30th nationally in all-purpose runner yardage at 131 yards. Redshirt junior linebacker Stephon Robertson has moved up to third in the CAA and 45th nationally in tackles at 9.20 per game. Senior David Skahn has been an effective punter for the Dukes. He is averaging 38.9 yards per punt, but only a single punt has been returned this year (for three yards), making his net punting average tops in the CAA.

Consistency — that’s been JMU’s biggest problem. You don’t know what you’re always going to get with the Dukes. If they bring their A game, they can compete with anybody because the athletic ability is there. But that doesn’t always happen. For example, in its loss to Villanova, the Dukes managed only 90 yards of offense in the first half and went 4-for-12 on third down. Quarterback Justin Thorpe has been nursing ankle and shoulder injuries late in the season and the Dukes need a healthy Thorpe in the playoffs. An option team, JMU also needs to be in front. If the Dukes have to rely on the pass or play catch-up, they could be in trouble. They’re ranked only 79th nationally in passing offense.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Dae’Quan Scott, RB, 781 yards
Passing: Justin Thorpe, QB, 1,529 yards
Receiving: Brian Barlow, WR, TE, 425 yards
Tackles: Stephon Robertson, LB, 101
Sacks: Sage Harold, DE, 4.0
Interceptions: Dean Marlowe, S, 3; Ryan Smith, S, 3

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 214.30 (15th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Passing Offense: 185.20 (79, 8)
Total Offense: 399.50 (40, 6)
Scoring Offense: 28.90 (44, 5)
Rushing Defense: 135.20 (36, 3)
Pass Defense: 185.10 (31, 3)
Total Defense: 320.30 (23, 2)
Scoring Defense: 19.30 (17, 1)
Turnover Margin: -0.40 (85, 8)
Sacks: 1.70 (75, 7)
Sacks Allowed: 1.50 (29, 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 11/10


Playoff Central