Dukes have "something to prove" in 2019

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HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Preseason camp is underway as the James Madison football team prepares for the 2019 season.

The James Madison football team started its fifth practice of preseason camp Wednesday morning at Bridgeforth Stadium. The practice was cut short due to storms in the area.

The Dukes started their fifth practice of camp Wednesday morning, wearing full pads for the first time. However, the workout was cut short due to storms in the area. The team will resume preseason camp Thursday morning.

JMU is gearing up for a 2019 campaign that features high expectations from both the public and within the program. The Dukes are the overwhelming favorite to win the Colonial Athletic Association and are considered to be a contender for the FCS national title. JMU was voted No. 2 in the STATS FCS Preseason Top 25 media poll.

However, the program is coming off what many would consider a disappointing 2018 season. The Dukes went 9-4 overall, finished second in the CAA, and lost in the second round of the FCS Playoffs. While those accomplishments would constitute a good, if not great, season for most programs, they came after JMU made back-to-back appearances in the FCS National Championship game in 2016 and 2017. The Dukes won it all in 2016.

"This team has got something to prove," said JMU head coach Curt Cignetti. "They know it, we all know it. This whole organization does."

Cignetti and his staff are in their first season with the Dukes. JMU will continue preseason camp for a little more than two weeks before beginning game preparations for the season opener at West Virginia on Saturday, August 31.