Dukes dominate New Hampshire, clinch share of CAA title
Five different players reached the end zone, led by a career-high three scores from Percy Agyei-Obese, as No. 2 James Madison football rolled past No. 23 New Hampshire 54-16 on Saturday afternoon inside Bridgeforth Stadium.
The Dukes improved to 9-1 on the year and 6-0 in Colonial Athletic Association play, while the Wildcats fell to 5-4 and 4-2. JMU, which won its ninth in a row, clinched at least a share of the 2019 CAA title after Villanova beat Richmond earlier Saturday.
Ben DiNucci led JMU's passing attack with 293 yards through the air, tossing two touchdowns without throwing an interception. The signal caller also added one touchdown on the ground. DiNucci’s first touchdown to Brandon Polk eclipsed 5,000 total yards of offense for the quarterback.
Agyei-Obese led all Dukes rushers with 130 yards, a new single-game high, and three touchdowns, picking up 6.2 yards per carry. Cole Johnson also added 33 yards and one touchdown on the ground, averaging 33 yards per carry.
DiNucci's most prolific target in the ballgame was Polk, who caught five passes for a career-high 136 yards and one score. With his performance Saturday, he became the first JMU receiver to reach 800 receiving yards in a season since 1998.
John Daka led the JMU defensive effort, collecting five tackles and 2.0 sacks. MJ Hampton added a career-high seven tackles and 1.0 TFL, and Wayne Davis had a season-best seven stops. Mike Greene made six tackles, and Adeeb Atariwa contributed 1.5 TFL in the win.
The Dukes won the turnover battle in Saturday's game, forcing one turnover while avoiding any giveways, with JMU turning Adam Smith’s team-leading fifth interception into seven points.
JMU also had an outstanding day offensively, racking up 537 total yards, 221 on the ground and 316 through the air, while averaging 7.9 yards per play. The JMU offense did a good job prolonging drives, converting on 71.4 percent of third-down attempts going 10-for-14 on the day. The Dukes also went 1-for-1 on fourth down.
Defensively, JMU held up fairly well against the New Hampshire offensive attack, holding the Wildcats to 243 total yards.
JMU's offense made the most of its trips to the red zone, scoring on five of its five trips, with four of those scores being touchdowns.
JMU put points on the board on nine different occasions, on their way to scoring 54 points. It scored on its first seven possessions, which included six straight touchdowns after falling behind 10-3 in the first.
The Dukes took the lead for good with 10:23 left in the second quarter, opening up a 17-10 advantage on the Wildcats. Agyei-Obese powered in a 24-yard touchdown run to finish an eight-play, 80-yard drive. The Dukes then rode that lead to victory, increasing their advantage by 31 points along the way.
» The Dukes now own the third-longest active win streak in the FCS, at nine games.
» JMU out-gained New Hampshire 537-243, including a 316-150 advantage through the air.
» JMU had their highest scoring quarter in the second period, when they put up 20 points.
» JMU converted 10 of 14 third downs while New Hampshire was successful on 5 of 15.
» JMU scored three second-quarter touchdowns take the lead for good.
» JMU won the time of possession battle 30:53 to 29:07.
» After trailing 10-3, JMU reeled off 41 unanswered points to take a 44-10 lead in the third.
» DiNucci completed 79.2% of his passes on the day, going 19-for-24 while averaging 12.2 yards per attempt.
» Max Brosmer led the Wildcats passing attack, completing 12 of his 21 attempts for 101 yards.
» Malik Love was New Hampshire's leading receiver with 67 yards.
--Ethan Ratke moved into a tie for ninth all-time in CAA history with his 46th and 47th career field goals. He’s matched with Richmond’s Griffin Trau (2014-18).
--Polk moved into two JMU single-season top 10s, rising to a tie for sixth with seven receiving touchdowns and seventh with 816 receiving yards.
--John Daka added two more sacks to raise his 2019 total to 11, which is tied for fifth in JMU single-season history. He also rose to eighth all-time at JMU with 22 career sacks.
--DiNucci’s touchdown pass to Polk in the first quarter moved him past 5,000 yards of total offense as JMU’s quarterback. He also moved into seventh all-time at JMU with 4,519 career passing yards at JMU.
--Riley Stapleton also moved up to eighth place all-time at JMU with 1,649 receiving yards.
JMU next takes the field on Saturday, Nov. 16 against Richmond at Bridgeforth Stadium, with kickoff slated for 3:30 p.m. JMU will honor its 2019 senior class prior to kickoff.