Saturday's 20-8 upset of Delaware left the door to a winning season open for the James Madison football team.
On Monday, head coach Mickey Matthews said his 3-5 team plans to walk through that door.
"It's big," Matthews said Monday at his regular weekly press conference, when asked the importance of winning the remaining three games.
"I think anytime in life you have adjust your goals as you go along," said Matthews, who picked up his first career win at Delaware Saturday. "And certainly we've had to do a lot of adjusting the last two or three weeks. And that's our goal, is to win out."
Matthews credited his coaching staff for keeping JMU players positive in the midst of their recent four-game losing streak. He also said he was confident the Dukes could snap that streak against the Blue Hens, after watching his team in practice last week.
"We practiced very good and very hard Tuesday. And that's easier said than done," he said. "Anyone that's been around a bunch of kids after they've had their heart broke, which our kids did, that's very difficult to do."
The skid began with a 24-17 upset loss at Hofstra October 3. A week later, JMU lost junior quarterback Drew Dudzik to a broken foot, then fell 21-17 to No. 1 Richmond when freshman quarterback Justin Thorpe fumbled with just over a minute left on the clock.
That was followed by back-to-back losses to two other top ten opponents, Villanova (who handed JMU its first shutout loss at home since 1990) and William & Mary.
"We just really had a rough road there in the middle," said Matthews. "Some of it caused by ourselves, some of it caused by really playing good teams."
Like the Dukes, none of their final three opponents, Maine (4-4), Massachusetts (4-4) and Towson (2-6), has a winning record.
"It's been tough," Matthews said of his team's sub-.500 season. "We're not used to it; we're not going to get used to it."