Matthews Still Won't Name Starting Quarterback

By: Damon Dillman Email
By: Damon Dillman Email

The James Madison football team opens defense of its Colonial Athletic Association title this Saturday at Hofstra.

The Dukes will head to Long Island as the No. 6 team in this week's FCS Coaches Poll, and seventh in the Sports Network poll.

JMU's place in both polls remains unchanged from last week.

According to Mickey Matthews, there will be no change with his team's quarterback situation as the Dukes enter conference play.

Matthews said Monday at his weekly press conference that junior Drew Dudzik and freshman Justin Thorpe will continue to rotate at quarterback against Hofstra.

Matthews said both quarterbacks deserve to play. But he anticipates using Dudzik more because he's proven a better game manager.

"We go game to game," said Matthews. "You're going to change it in the week. You may change it during the game. I always go with my gut feel. Both kids are prepared to play."

Dudzik played the entire second half of JMU's 24-10 win at Liberty this past Saturday. The team used a similar strategy in its opening overtime loss at Maryland, using Thorpe for just a single second half series.

"You know, when you look at it, maybe Drew's going to play some more," said Matthews. "I haven't been able to go that far with it this week, (offensive coordinator Jeff Durden) and I. But both kids are still playing.

We'll just make a decision during the week. Who's going to begin the game, as I like to say," added Matthews.

Matthews also said Monday that he doesn't expect junior running back Jamal Sullivan to play at Hofstra. Sullivan left Satuday's game at Liberty early in the third quarter, after a nasty hit after taking an option pitch from Dudzik.

Matthews said Sullivan has a bruised patella, and will probably miss 2-3 weeks. Matthews says sophomores Corwin Acker, who ran for 147 yards and two touchdowns in place of Sullivan Saturday, and Scott Noble will fill the void.

Senior receiver Bosco Williams will try to practice Tuesday, Matthews said. Williams has been sidelined all season because of a foot injury.


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