Dukes hold strong at No. 2 in national rankings

James Madison remains at No. 2 in both major FCS national polls.
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HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Coming off a 38-24 come-from-behind victory in a top-five matchup last weekend, James Madison maintained its #2 ranking in the STATS FCS Top 25, as well as the AFCA FCS Coaches’ Poll.

JMU received two first-place votes and 3,740 points to hold its position in the primary media poll for the eighth straight week. North Dakota remained #1 in the poll, earning 155 first-place votes and 3,923 points. South Dakota State and Weber State held third and fourth, respectively, while Montana rounded out the top five.

The Dukes forced four turnovers and scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to push past fifth-ranked #5 Villanova this past Saturday. Ben DiNucci connected with Brandon Polk for a 26-yard touchdown pass, tying the score at 24. MJ Hampton earned her first career interception and returned it 83 yards for a pick-six to give JMU a 31-24 lead. Following a missed field goal from Villanova, Latrele Palmer scored the Dukes’ final points with a 69-yard run.

Including JMU, five Colonial Athletic Association teams appeared in the poll this week. The Dukes were followed by #7 Villanova, #18 Towson, #22 New Hampshire and #24 Delaware. Four other teams received votes.

The second-ranked Dukes hit the road to face William & Mary on Saturday, Oct. 19. The game kicks off at 3:30 p.m. at Zable Stadium and will be televised on Cox Yurview and streamed on FloFootball.