Delaware/JMU Now a Matchup of Top 5 Teams

By: Damon Dillman Email
By: Damon Dillman Email

Mickey Matthews may be 3-0 for the first time as head coach at James Madison, but he's focused on the Dukes' fourth game.

"There's never been any mention to our players that we're 3-0," he said Monday at his weekly news conference. "Our thought process is to make sure we're getting ready to play Delaware, and how good they are."

JMU hosts the Blue Hens on Saturday in the Dukes' CAA opener.

The Dukes are ranked No. 3 in both the Sports Network and FCS coaches' polls for the third consecutive week after Saturday's 10-3 win at home over Liberty.

Delaware moved up to No. 5 in both polls after improving to 4-0 with a 34-13 win at Richmond in the league opener for both teams.

The Blue Hens are led offensively by quarterback Pat Devlin and running back Andrew Pierce, who ran for 114 yards and three touchdowns against the Spiders. Delaware is also ranked third nationally in total defense, surrendering just 231 yards per game.

"They think this is a national championship year at their place. They think they're that good. And we'll just have to find out," Matthews said Monday. "But they thought going into the season that they had a chance. And watching the tape, I wouldn't disagree with them right now. I think it's the best Delaware team I've seen in several years."

Matthews also opened his news conference by complaining about what he felt was a late-arriving JMU crowd for the Liberty game.

"We've got to talk to our students, alumni, and just JMU Nation as a whole, he said. "I ask you please, to get to your seat quick than we're getting there now."

Saturday is JMU's annual family weekend game, with a noon kickoff. Matthews admitted he's not a fan of 12 p.m. start times.


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