HARRISONBURG, Va. -- James Madison redshirt senior quarterback Ben DiNucci made plays with his legs and his arm in JMU's season opener while also committing a costly turnover late in the game.
Redshirt senior quarterback Ben DiNucci completed 65% of his passes in JMU's season opening loss at West Virginia but he threw a costly interception late in the contest.
DiNucci, who is in his second season as the Dukes' starter, completed 65% of his passes against West Virginia. He went 13/20 passing for 156 yards. He also rushed for 36 yards on 14 carries. DiNucci gained 66 yards on the ground but lost 30 due to sack yardage. He was sacked four times in the game.
While he performed well for most of the game, DiNucci threw an interception in the fourth quarter that led to a score for the Mountaineers, giving WVU a ten-point lead.
DiNucci's late-game turnover led to criticism from JMU fans following the game but Monday afternoon JMU head coach Curt Cignetti spoke highly of his signal-caller during his weekly press conference.
"I thought Ben (DiNucci) competed like a warrior," said Cignetti. "He laid his heart out there on the field. There is no questioning Ben DiNucci's competitiveness. He plays every play to win."
"He made a lot of plays with his arm. He made a lot of plays with his legs. Now, there were maybe two or three times where the eyes were here and they maybe should've been over there....The interception is a real pivotal play in that game."
DiNucci, Cignetti, and the Dukes return to action Saturday evening when JMU hosts Saint Francis in the 2019 home opener. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.