James Madison freshman Dae'Quan Scott admits that there were moments during Saturday's upset of William & Mary when he felt like he was still at nearby R.E. Lee High School in Staunton.
"It felt good," says Scott, who ran for 125 yards and three touchdowns in the Dukes' win over the top-ranked Tribe. "It felt like high school again, but it was a little different than high school."
Scott was all-state as a senior at Lee in 2008 after rushing for 2,241 yards, and accounting for 47 total touchdowns: 35 on the ground, eight passing, three kickoff returns and one punt.
But Scott, who had spent most of the season as a receiver for JMU, was an unexpected star against the Tribe. He took most of the team's snaps at quarterback, running the ball 21 times while not attempting a pass.
The previous week, Scott made his first appearance as the Dukes' 'wildcat' quarterback in their 13-10 overtime loss at Richmond. He ran the ball twice for minus-two yards in that game.
"I really didn't know if it was going to work, because the game at Richmond it really didn't work when I tried that one," Scott says of JMU's game plan against the Tribe. "But it was more or less just try a couple, and just break one sooner or later."
"I guess I'm like everyone else. I wish I'd have done it four or five weeks ago," coach Mickey Matthews says of his decision to use Scott in place of senior Drew Dudzik at quarterback.
"We're really not worried about what we're doing or not doing," says Matthews. "We need to make sure he attacks the perimeter, because he gets there so quickly."
Matthews says Scott will be JMU's starting quarterback for Saturday's season finale at Maine. And unlike against William & Mary, Scott's new role won't catch the Black Bears off-guard.
But Matthews, whose team can finish with a winning record with a win, isn't concerned.
"We have some more plays to run that we didn't run against William and Mary, that will make us a little more multiple," he says. "We didn't have to, because of the element of surprise against William and Mary. What we were doing was very simple, and was very effective."
"I go in it as just another game. We have a good game plan, so I just go in it as I go into any other game," says Scott. "I mean, the win, it gives you a lot of confidence. But we have to go in with a clear mind, and just play the game."
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