Dukes eager to showcase program at FBS level

Dukes eager for FBS opportunity
Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 10:59 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 31, 2022 at 12:19 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The James Madison football team is preparing to play on a national stage in 2022.

The Dukes will make their FBS debut Saturday night when they host Middle Tennessee at Bridgeforth Stadium.

“I feel the buzz out there a little bit as the game is approaching,” said JMU head coach Curt Cignetti.

While the transition to the highest level of college football is not easy, JMU has a program built on sustained success at the FCS level. The Dukes won 12 games or more four times since 2016, appeared in the FCS Playoffs each season from 2014 to 2021, won an FCS national title in 2016, and finished as FCS national runner-up in 2017 and 2019. James Madison also won an NCAA Division I-AA national title in 2004.

“I think it’s really a good opportunity for us to showcase, not only for us, but all the other programs in the FCS how good the competition level was,” said JMU redshirt senior defensive lineman Isaac Ukwu. “And how good we really are in the grand scheme of college football.”

Graduate running back Percy Agyei-Obese added: “This allows us to really show everyone JMU football and it shows everyone that we’ve been able to play at this stage. We’ve had the talent to play at this stage.”

Saturday’s game between Middle Tennessee and James Madison is scheduled for a 6 p.m. kickoff. It will be broadcast on ESPN+.