Richmond, Villanova Picked CAA Co-Champs; JMU Third in South

By: Damon Dillman Email
By: Damon Dillman Email

Despite rolling unbeaten through the conference a season ago, James Madison is not the preseason pick to repeat as CAA football champs.

The Dukes were picked to finish third in the conference's South Division, according to the CAA preseason poll released Wednesday. Richmond and Villanova, a pair of teams JMU beat on memorable last-second plays last regular season, finished tied atop the division and as CAA champions in the poll.

New Hampshire was the preseson pick to win the North Division.

JMU won 38-31 at Richmond last year on a Scotty McGee punt return with just one second left on the clock. Two weeks later, Rodney Landers connected with Bosco Williams for a 35-yard touchdown pass on the game's final play to win 23-19 at Villanova.

Those wins were part of an 8-0 performance in CAA play last year, as the Dukes won the school's first-ever outright conference football title and earned the top seed in the FCS playoffs.

JMU beat the Wildcats again 31-27 in the second round of the playoffs, before losing a week later to Montana in the semifinals. Richmond went on to beat the Grizzlies for the FCS Championship.

JMU hosts the Spiders October 10, then Villanova returns to Harrisonburg a week laters.

McGee was one of three JMU players named preseason first-team All-CAA on Wednesday. Offensive guard Dorian Brooks and defensive lineman Arthur Moats were the other two. McGee made the team as a return specialist.

New Hampshire quarterback R.J. Toman was voted the conference's preseason offensive player of the year. Richmond linebacker Eric McBride and defensive lineman Adrian Tracy of William & Mary split the defensive honors.


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