With the postponement of Bryant vs. Rhode Island on Feb. 27, only two CAA teams competed. In another short rendition of Power Rankings, let’s look at James Madison and Elon again, as both teams discover they have much to learn before CAA play next week.
To look at all CAA Preseason Power Rankings, please view the CAA preseason power rankings from two weeks ago, and as teams kick off their spring season, they’ll be added accordingly.
1. James Madison (2-0, 0-0 CAA)
The Dukes against Robert Morris didn’t look like the Dukes against Morehead State. To put it clearly, JMU escaped the Colonials as they collapsed in the first half. Redshirt senior quarterback Cole Johnson threw three interceptions in the second quarter, and all three resulted in red zone opportunities for Robert Morris. The Dukes were lucky at halftime when the score was only 16-16. The Colonials had all the opportunities and weapons to make it higher.
JMU figured itself out in the second half and looked more like the Dukes from Week 1. Senior running back Percy Agyei-Obese finished the game with two touchdowns and redshirt senior running back Jawon Hamilton led the team with 74 yards. Redshirt junior wide receiver Kris Thornton had a team-high 65 yards and a touchdown.
The Dukes learned to compete against every opponent with the same approach and the danger of underestimating other teams. The only reason the Dukes are No. 1 is because they worked together and won the second half. JMU begins CAA play next week at Elon and kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.
2. Elon (1-1, 0-0 CAA)
After barely escaping Davidson last week, Elon couldn’t hold on against Gardner-Webb in Week 2. The Phoenix started well on the road, and were up 17-0 by the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, Elon went up 20-7 and held that score by halftime. Its matchup was the complete opposite of JMU’s — Elon came crumbling down in the second half instead of the first. The Phoenix were shut out in the third and fourth quarters, while Gardner-Webb punched in 35 points during the same time span. The Bulldogs won the game, 42-20.
Elon had no receiving touchdowns, and its only touchdowns came from the run game. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Joey Baughman had a rushing touchdown and 130 yards in the loss, and Baughman led the team in rushing.
There was no big reason for why Elon collapsed — Gardner-Webb just got the best of the team. Baughman didn’t throw an interception and there were no forced fumbles. Elon needs to sort things out before next week’s matchup against James Madison and figure out what it needs to do to win as it did in Week 1. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m in Elon, North Carolina.
UPDATE (March 3, 12:00): Baughman suffered an injury on Feb. 27, 2021 vs. Gardner-Webb and his status for Elon's matchup against James Madison is to be determined.
Contact Savannah Reger firstname.lastname@example.org. For more football coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter @TheBreezeSports.