JMU excited for College GameDay

Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 11:35 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 18, 2023 at 12:24 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Students, staff and alumni at James Madison University are preparing for College GameDay’s 30th anniversary on the road.

On Nov. 18, College GameDay will go live on the JMU Quad for the 30th anniversary of the on-the-road show. The show will highlight the JMU Dukes’ season as they gear up to take on the Appalachian State Mountaineers.

Students of all ages and alumni gathered on the quad for a live version of the Pat McAfee show, bringing electric energy to JMU’s campus. Some students said this event feels surreal to them.

“I watch GameDay, I’ll throw it on. When they announced it I was at IslandWing and everybody was chanting ‘GameDay GameDay’ It was a whole thing,” JMU senior Colleen Tanzola said. “I am just super excited to be here and I feel like I am in a dream right now. The GameDay truck pulled up, this is official.”

The Quad was packed for the show, setting a precedent for the crowd College GameDay will bring to Harrisonburg. ESPN is projecting the show to be the biggest yet, bringing more people than College GameDay’s previous times in the Friendly City.

Not only were people fired up about the Pat McAfee show, but people also shared their grievances about the NCAA’s decision to block JMU from competing in a bowl game.

“There’s no greater opportunity to have GameDay here this week,” Garret Morris, a former JMU employee, said. “The NCAA is on full display and we’ve been robbed. There’s no other way to show it than here at James Madison University.”

“I think it’s great for our school it’s going to get us publicity and hopefully we can get a bowl game,” JMU sophomore Alessia Novello said.

For some students on the Quad, College GameDay is the last hoorah for him.

“This is a once in a lifetime where Pat McAfee and College GameDay is going to be here for your senior year,” Danny Kielty said ”I think it’s criminal for not all twenty thousand students to be here.”

“I feel like My senior year of high school got kind of robbed and then freshman year wasn’t all that,” This is a perfect way to end off. I am a big J-M-U fan and this is perfect.” Tanzola said.

Alumni who were there said the campus still felt like home with College GameDay returning to JMU.

“It just allows everyone to be apart of something special. JMU is special,” JMU alumnus Dylan Morris said.

“It’s definitely been a family atmosphere for us,” JMU alumnus and current employee said. “That’s the great thing about JMU, we are all family.”