If defense really does win championships, James Madison has to feel good about its chances for an FCS repeat.
The Dukes racked up five — count ‘em, FIVE — turnovers in the first quarter of Saturday’s semifinal matchup with South Dakota State. All came on SDSU's first five possessions of the game.
JMU finished the first stanza with three fumble recoveries, two interceptions and one FCS single-season record, as the first of Jimmy Moreland’s two first-quarter picks put the Dukes into rarified air:
#FCSPlayoffs: Jimmy Moreland INT is James Madison's third takeaway of the game and 36th of the season - the new high in the FCS.— FCS Football (@FCS_STATS) December 16, 2017
Let’s take a look at all five takeaways, and you can pick your favorite:
No. 1: A gigantic hit
No. 2: Some perfect timing
No. 3: Good post-INT celebration
No. 4: A never-say-quit attitude
No. 5: Jimmy Moreland, WR?
There’s a lot to like about all those turnovers: high motors on the forced fumbles and great ball tracking from Jimmy Moreland on his picks.
For the record, James Madison defensive coordinator Bob Trott probably didn't have a preference between any of the five. He likely just wanted his guys to keep it up.
So they did:
What a night for the Dukes.