JMU and NDSU are less than 24 hours from kickoff of the 2019 FCS National Championship, and the fans and teams are ready. The highly anticipated matchup will pit two teams against each other who have been dominant all season. Ahead of the game, The Breeze Sports editors and writers share their predictions for the game.
Noah Ziegler: If there’s any team that can take down the nearly impeccable dynasty of NDSU, it’s JMU. With a defense that boasts game-changing players from the defensive line to the secondary and an offense with weapons in every area, it’s no question why many are giving the edge to the Dukes. But, winning seven of the last eight FCS National Championships earns respect for the Bison. I’m a believer in not going against a team until I see them lose, and NDSU hasn’t lost in Frisco ever. NDSU wins, 24-21.
Catie Harper: It’s time to get even more excited than you probably already are — we’re only one sleep away from football. As for the game, this is going to be a defensive show, no doubt. Yes, the respective offenses have been great this season, but nothing compares to what these defenses have been able to do, so don’t expect a high score. JMU wins, 21-16.
Joshua Gingrich: Well, here we are: a powerhouse versus a powerhouse. The Bison’s defense has carried them this season, not yielding more than 21 points since September, while the Dukes have been dominant on both sides of the ball. JMU also hasn’t had a game separated by less than seven points since the beginning of October, while NDSU had to scrape by Illinois State in the quarterfinals. The Dukes will emerge with their third national title in program history. JMU wins, 29-21.
Madison Hricik: Ahead of Saturday, I can see the Bison taking an early lead in the game and continuing to lead into the half. However, JMU’s defense will figure out the NDSU offense in the second half to stop the Bison’s attacks and bring the Dukes back into the game. Ben DiNucci will bring JMU into field goal range, and Ethan Ratke will kick the game-winning field goal to secure the victory it for the Dukes. JMU wins, 31-28.
Savannah Reger: Unlike the semifinals, the game between NDSU and JMU will be a defensive battle, and it’ll be similar to their last matchup in 2018. NDSU’s only close games this season have come in low-scoring affairs, and the Bison have productivity problems when they play against a solid defense. John Daka and Ron’Dell Carter are going to give Trey Lance all he can handle. JMU wins, 20-17.
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