HARRISONBURG, Va. -- James Madison hits the road this Saturday, Dec. 1 when it travels to Hamilton, N.Y. to face No. 8 seed Colgate in the second round of the 2018 NCAA FCS Playoffs.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Crown Field at Andy Kerr Stadium and will be streamed on ESPN3 and Watch ESPN. The game can be heard on the JMU Sprint Broadcast Network, with pregame coverage beginning at noon.
JMU's run through the 2018 FCS Playoffs is presented by Excel Heating and Cooling.
Saturday marks the second meeting all-time, with Colgate winning the only previous meeting. On Dec. 5, 2015, the Raiders won 44-38 in Harrisonburg in the second round of the 2015 playoffs.
JMU IN THE POSTSEASON
JMU is making 15th FCS playoff appearance in 2018, which includes a program-record fifth straight berth. The Dukes are 17-12 in the playoffs with a pair of national championships - 2004 and 2016. They also advanced to the title game in 2017, falling just short (17-13 vs. North Dakota State).
JMU has won multiple playoff games in four postseason trips, going 4-0 in both national title runs and 3-1 in last year’s playoff and 2-1 in 2008 when it reached the semifinals. The Dukes are 6-7 in true road games in the playoffs, while also posting a 9-4 home record and 2-1 mark in neutral-site matchups.
DEFENSE SHUTS DOWN DELAWARE IN OPENING-ROUND WIN
JMU held Delaware to 185 total yards and a pair of field goals to grind out a 20-6 victory in the first round.
The Dukes allowed just 69 rushing yards (2.8 per carry) and UD converted just 2-of-14 third-down attempts. The defense registered five sacks and 10 tackles for loss, with a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions. JMU limited the Hens to 52 yards in the first half and took a 12-3 halftime lead after getting a touchdown from Marcus Marshall, while adding a safety and field goal.
After UD made it a 12-6 game, JMU answered with a 13-play drive, capped off by a Ben DiNucci touchdown pass to Jake Brown. JMU converted the two-point try on a pass from DiNucci to Dylan Stapleton to extend the lead to 20-6 in the third, completing the game’s scoring.
In the fourth, JMU forced two turnovers on downs and interceptions by Charles Tutt and Wayne Davis sealed the win, which extended JMU’s home playoff win streak to six games.
The Raiders completed the regular season with a 9-1 overall record and won the Patriot League championship outright to earn the No. 8 overall seed for the NCAA FCS Playoffs. This marks Colgate’s first home playoff game since 2003, the year they finished runner-up for the national championship. It’s also the program’s 11th appearance in the playoffs, as it seeks its fourth berth in the quarterfinals.
Colgate has posted five shutouts and leads the FCS in scoring defense, at 5.7 points per game. It has not trailed in a game this year vs. a FCS opponent and has outscored those foes 67-0 in the first quarter and 195-9 in the first half. The Raiders rank second nationally in pass defense (124.6) and third in rush defense (77.1) to lead the country in total defense (201.7). James Holland Jr. was voted the Patriot Offensive Player of the Year and T.J. Holl was Defensive Player of the Year.
Dan Hunt is in his fifth season at the helm, where he’s 35-22 as head coach at Colgate. He’s won three Patriot League Coach of the Year honors and has been a part of the coaching staff since 1995.
DUKES ONE OF TWO CAA TEAMS LEFT
The CAA placed a FCS-record six teams in the tournament, but with five times playing on the opening weekend, only one advanced (JMU) as the league went a collective 1-4. Aside from JMU besting Delaware, Elon fell at Wofford, Towson dropped a home decision to Duquesne and Stony Brook lost at SEMO.
JMU and Maine are the lone two CAA teams remaining as JMU faces Colgate on the road and No. 7 seed Maine hosts Jacksonville State.
INT FOUR YEARS IN THE MAKING
In the fourth quarter of JMU’s win over Delaware, Charles Tutt intercepted his first career pass, ending his four-year wait for his first pick. Tutt also had a career-high three pass breakups.
RATKE RETURNS, TIES SEASON MARK
Ethan Ratke kicked his first field goal since week seven last week, knocking down his 15th kick of the season. That ties him with Cameron Starke (2011), John Coursey (1994) and Scott Norwood (1980) for most field goals in JMU single-season history.
Ratke is 15-of-17 for the season and is tied for sixth all-time at JMU with 29 career field goals. That is matched by senior kicker Tyler Gray.
DAKA WITH THE SAKA
Over the past two weeks, John Daka has emerged as one of the league’s top threats up front, registering two sacks against both Towson and Delaware. He now leads the team with 8.5 sacks this season, which is tied for third in the CAA. He has a TFL in each of the past 10 games and a sack in the past four.
WAYS TO WATCH THE GAME
Saturday's game will be streamed on ESPN3 and Watch ESPN (http://www.espn.com/watch). Jon Yardley will provide the call for the game with Bobby Carpenter on color commentary.
LISTEN ON THE JMU SPRINT BROADCAST NETWORK
All 11 regular-season games, as well as any postseason matchups can be heard online on the JMU Sprint Broadcast Network or on airwaves at WSVA 550AM and 92.1 FM. Dave Thomas is in his fourth season as the play-by-play man for the Dukes. He is joined by Clint Estes on color. The pregame show begins this week at noon, ahead of the 1 p.m. kickoff.
The winner advances to the FCS Playoffs Quarterfinals next week to face the winner of top-seeded North Dakota State and Montana State. That game will be played on either Friday, Dec. 7 or Saturday, Dec. 8 and will be broadcasted on the ESPN Family of Networks.