When the James Madison University football team returned to Harrisonburg, it wasn't just students waiting there to cheer on their Dukes. Alumni, staff and community members were also there.
After a win over Virginia Tech, they say it's great for the university's morale and even exposure across the country.
Fans say playing a program that's nationally ranked and having a victory is exciting.
"Well it's exciting for our fans, our students, alumni, so having a victory over a program like Virginia Tech means a lot," says JMU President Dr. Linwood Rose.
"This is just a great day for JMU nation, the national exposure across the country, being able to watch it on ESPN, seeing the James Madison Duke Dog, this is just a great day for JMU nation and athletics," says JMU alum Jini Cook.
Hundreds of fans were eagerly awaiting the team's return at Godwin Field.
"It means everything," says JMU sophomore Rachel Smith. "It means I'm not going to be made fun of for going to a school that always loses to bigger teams like Virginia Tech. It just gives us a whole new level of credibility."
"I remember sitting in my dorm and all of a sudden we hear all these screams," says JMU freshman Jefford McCutcheon. "I'm like 'what's going on?' And a guy yells 'we're running down the quad!' Then everyone rushed out on the football field and there was a mob in the center. Everyone was chanting. It was incredible."
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