Preparations begin for JMU football's title defense

Published: Aug. 2, 2017 at 6:51 PM EDT
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James Madison is hoping to lift its second consecutive national championship trophy in January. On Wednesday, the Dukes took their first step towards that goal of a repeat title.

There was plenty of familiarity for the Dukes as they begin preparations for the season, which kicks off Sept. 2 at East Carolina.

Mike Houston enters his second year at the helm and said his players looked a lot sharper Wednesday than they did a year ago -- even though they were only in helmets on Day 1.

"And we focus on being better tomorrow than we were today," Houston said. "And we're just trying to keep that consistent path throughout preseason camp and getting better each day and getting ready for September 2nd because this team hasn't won a game yet this year. There's nothing that's been accomplished."

After a summer of workouts and drills, the Dukes were just excited to be back on the field.

"I think one thing that we focus on is just embracing that one day. You're out here today. You can't focus on what you're doing months from now. You can't focus on what you're doing two months from now," senior quarterback Bryan Schor said. "You got to focus on getting better today. Going out to every drill you're at and competing in that drill."