Dukes feature No. 1 defense in FCS

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 10:53 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The James Madison football team has the best defense in the FCS.

The Dukes lead the country in Total Defense by allowing just 222.0 yards per game while surrendering 14.7 points per contest, which ranks sixth in the nation. JMU leads the Colonial Athletic Association in both Total Defense and Scoring Defense.

“I think it’s just us being able to know our assignments, being confident in what we are doing on the field,” said JMU redshirt sophomore Abi Nwabuoku-Okonji. “Because we practice so hard and going out there and executing.”

JMU has been especially dominant over the last two weeks, allowing just 13 combined points in road wins at Richmond and Delaware. The Dukes limited the Blue Hens to just 109 yards of total offense. However, both opponents were playing against James Madison with backup quarterbacks.

“I mean we are just dominating up front and putting pressure on people,” said JMU head coach Curt Cignetti. “The quarterback doesn’t have a lot of time to throw and that’s where it all begins.”

JMU redshirt senior safety MJ Hampton added: “In the spring (season) we kind of struggled at points. But we are looking at it like, hey, we are probably the best defense in the nation right now...We come to practice every single day and we hold each other accountable.”

No. 5 James Madison is scheduled to host Elon for a 2 p.m. kickoff Saturday at Bridgeforth Stadium. TV coverage is slated for NBC Sports Washington Plus.

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