Dukes happy to have bye week after tough stretch

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HARRISONBURG, Va. -- The James Madison football team is happy to have its bye week after playing nine straight games to start the 2019 season.

James Madison Football - 2019

JMU is off to an 8-1 overall start (5-0 CAA) and has won eight straight games since a season-opening road loss to FBS opponent West Virginia. The Dukes are alone atop the Colonial Athletic Association Standings with an unbeaten league record.

The Dukes' first break comes after a tough stretch that has already included five road games and a three-game road trip.

"It's a good time for a break," said JMU senior safety Adam Smith. "We obviously wish it was a few weeks earlier just so we could rest up a little bit I think Coach Cignetti has done a great job of keeping us fresh."

After the bye week, JMU returns to action Saturday, November 9 when the Dukes welcome New Hampshire to Bridgeforth Stadium. The final two games of the regular season are against Richmond (home) and Rhode Island (away).

"I think normally you would like to have (the bye week) maybe 1-3 weeks sooner," said JMU head coach Curt Cignetti. "But we are really happy we have it and that we were able to win those eight games in a row and be sitting where we are sitting."