Dukes excited to host FCS playoff game

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HARRISONBURG, Va. -- The James Madison football team will host Monmouth Saturday afternoon in the second round of the FCS Playoffs.

James Madison hosts Monmouth Saturday afternoon in the second round of the FCS Playoffs.

The Dukes are coming off a first-round bye while the Hawks defeated Holy Cross, 44-27, last Saturday in opening round of the playoffs. JMU earned the right to host games through the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs by claiming the No. 2 overall seed.

Playing at Bridgeforth Stadium could be a major advantage for the Dukes in Saturday's game against Monmouth. JMU has averaged 22, 144 fans per home game in 2019 while the Hawks have played, on average, in front of 2,780 fans at their home games.

"It's a different kind of atmosphere when we are at home," said JMU junior offensive lineman Liam Fornadel. "You got your fans behind you and cheering you on. They are by your side the entire time. It's a different atmosphere and it's definitely going to help us throughout our entire journey."

The Dukes are 6-0 at home in 2019 and beating teams, on average, by more than 33 points per game at Bridgeforth Stadium.

"We got the No. 1 fan base in the country," said JMU head coach Curt Cignetti. "It's unbelievable. Our kids love to play at home. Being at home and (having) a large crowd will be a huge plus."

Kickoff between the Dukes and Hawks is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday. The game will be shown on ESPN3 and the Watch ESPN app.