JMU football prepares for Royal Rivalry against Old Dominion

The James Madison football team is gearing up for its first-ever Sun Belt Conference game.
The James Madison football team is gearing up for its first-ever Sun Belt Conference game.(WHSV)
Published: Nov. 8, 2022 at 12:20 AM EST
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JMU football prepares for Royal Rivalry against Old Dominion

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - James Madison football returns to Sun Belt play on Saturday when the Dukes face Old Dominion.

The Dukes have never beaten the Monarchs. However, these teams have not met since 2012, when Old Dominion recorded a 38-28 victory.

In its first year in the Sun Belt Conference, JMU has already battled Old Dominion in multiple sports. This past weekend, the women’s soccer Dukes dropped a double-overtime heartbreaker against the Monarchs in the Sun Belt Championship.

On Saturday, all eyes will be on the football field as the Dukes face the Monarchs in a matchup dubbed the Royal Rivalry.

“People who support our program believe that this is a really big game,” said James Madison head coach Curt Cignetti. “We’re in-state rivals, we compete in recruiting... it is a really big game. I’m sure it will be a great rivalry down the road.”

Both teams are coming off three consecutive losses. The Dukes dropped last weekend’s contest against ACC team Louisville, a game that saw JMU quarterback Todd Centeio go 4-of-15 for 52 yards and no touchdowns.

Cignetti said the Dukes are focused on the next test as they try to maintain a winning record in the Sun Belt Conference. James Madison started the season with five consecutive wins but have now dropped to 5-3, including a 3-2 mark in Sun Belt play.

“You have to shake it off in athletics,” said Cignetti. “We have a lot to play for and our guys will be ready.”

The Dukes take on Old Dominion on Saturday at 1 p.m. on the road. This game will be streamed live on ESPN+.