Improving pass defense a priority for JMU

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HARRISONBURG, Va. -- The James Madison football team is working to improve its pass defense after the Dukes struggled on the road at Stony Brook.

The JMU football pass defense struggled in the Dukes' recent win over Stony Brook.

JMU surrendered 318 yards and two touchdowns through the air on just fifteen completions. Stony Brook was able to hit on multiple big plays in what was an overtime win for the Dukes.

"A lot of it depends on who is out there playing," said JMU head coach Curt Cignetti, following Tuesday's practice.

All-American cornerback Rashad Robinson did not play against the Seawolves. Robinson has been off the field at different times this season as he battles injury. According to Cignetti, Robinson said he is feeling better and the Dukes are hopeful he will return Saturday against Villanova.

While JMU has allowed big plays through the air at times this season, the Dukes rank fourth in the CAA in pass defense. James Madison is giving up 214.5 yards per game through the air while often facing teams that are pressed into passing situations with the Dukes leading on the scoreboard.

"It all starts with your technique and ball-in-the-air skills," said Cignetti.
"It's been the long ball."

JMU returns to action Saturday when the Dukes host Villanova in a top-five matchup at Bridgeforth Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.