Polk and Ravenel

Brandon Polk and Devin Ravenel celebrate after a touchdown in the first half.

JMU football is around 24 minutes into its third contest of the season, but with a weather delay, the Dukes will head to the third quarter immediately following the conclusion of the second quarter. The Dukes hold a commanding 28-3 lead over visiting Morgan State. 

The good: The JMU defense

For the third week in a row, the JMU defense has been nearly unbeatable. The Dukes entered today’s game allowing only 113 rushing yards and 356 through the air. Opponents have also only managed to average 13.5 points per game against the Dukes’ defense so far in 2019. 

In the opening two quarters, Morgan State couldn’t break through JMU’s defense in any way. When it looked like the Bears would earn a first down off a fourth-and-one on the first drive, redshirt senior linebacker Dimitri Holloway ripped the ball out of the running back’s hand, forcing and recovering the fumble. 

The JMU defense didn’t let up after that. Morgan State only gained three first downs during the first half of play and only notched 56 yards rushing and 51 passing.

The bad: Morgan State’s defense

There were times during the opening 30 minutes that the Dukes seemed like they might’ve been slowing down, but each time they came firing back. Redshirt senior quarterback Ben DiNucci went 11-for-15 to start the game for JMU, mainly targeting redshirt senior wide receiver Brandon Polk. The first-year Duke hauled in four receptions for 58 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown.

JMU put up 156 yards passing before the delay. The Dukes also continued their diverse rush attack against the Bears, with three different running backs along with DiNucci seeing multiple carries. Redshirt freshman Solomon Vanhorse continues to be the main face of the attack for JMU, as he recorded 48 yards off seven attempts.

The Dukes found themselves in the endzone four times during the first half. Morgan State also failed to force the Dukes into a three-and-out situation in the first 30 minutes. JMU had strong starting field possession, never starting farther back than its own 25-yard line. 

The ugly: Mother Nature

The weather couldn’t hold out until halftime, as the game entered a delay due to lightning with just over six minutes remaining in the half, and the Dukes up 28-3. JMU is set to return to action following a performance from the Marching Royal Dukes.

Contact Catie Harper at breezesports@gmail.com. For more football coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter @TheBreezeSports.

Pat Summitt, Erin Andrews and Lindsay Czarniak were three names that inspired me growing up. Here I am now at JMU, Czarniak’s alma mater, taking steps to live out my dream. As Pat would say, “I’m going to keep on keepin’ on, I promise you that.”