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Mitchell Northam | | October 10, 2019

No. 2 James Madison vs. No. 7 Villanova: Preview, how to watch FCS clash

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All eyes in FCS are on the Colonial Athletic Association this Saturday, as a sold-out Top 10 match-up is set for Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Traditional FCS power No. 2 James Madison will host undefeated No. 7 Villanova. The outcome of the game could not only impact who takes home the CAA title this year, but it could have implications for seeding when the FCS Playoffs roll around.

The Wildcats are led this season by running back Justin Covington, who’s rushed for 727 yards this year, the second-most in all of FCS. The Dukes have a versatile offense, ranking sixth in scoring and sixth in yards per-game.

Here’s everything you need to know about this CAA match-up.

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James Madison vs. Villanova: Preview, how to watch

The Basics

Kickoff: 1:30 p.m. EST | Live Stats

Where: Bridgeforth Stadium in Harrisonburg, Virginia

Watch: Curt Dudley and Dorian Brooks will have the call on MASN2 in local markets. The game will also be broadcast by FloSports.

Listen: James MadisonVillanova

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Last meeting

James Madison has won its last four meetings against Villanova, including a commanding 37-0 victory last season in Pennsylvania. D’Angelo Amos returned a pair of punts for touchdowns for the Dukes. JMU quarterback Ben DiNucci threw for 171 yards and scored a rushing touchdown. On defense, the Dukes had 13 tackles for loss and held the Wildcats to 157 total yards.

Villanova hasn’t beaten James Madison since 2014, when they took a 49-31 victory powered by four passing touchdowns from John Robertson.

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The match-up

James Madison vs. Villanova
2/2 Rankings (STATS/Coaches) 5/7
16 All-time series wins 11
5-1 (2-0 CAA) 2019 Record 6-0 (3-0 CAA)
9-4 2018 Record 5-6
Curt Cignetti
(5-1; first)
(Record; Season)
Mark Ferrante
(16-12; third)
15 FCS Playoff Appearances 12
2 (2004, 2016) FCS National Championships 1 (2009)
52nd (226.5) Passing Offense (yards per-game) 66th (207.2)
6th (268.2) Rushing Offense (yards per-game) 15th (235.7)
10th (16.8) Defense (points allowed per-game) 20th (20.7)

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  • James Madison is 15-24 all-time against teams ranked in the top five of the STATS FCS poll.
  • Villanova is 3-1 against James Madison when both teams are ranked in the top five of the STATS FCA poll.
  • James Madison is third in the country in third down conversion percentage (56.1) while Villanova is sixth (52.3).
  • Villanova is tied for the lead in the nation in defensive touchdowns with three.
  • JMU quarterback Ben DiNucci, who transferred in from Pitt, is third in FCS in completion percentage with a 72.4 percent mark.
  • Villanova quarterback Daniel Smith ranks second in FCS points responsible for with 138.
  • James Madison has rushed for more than 300 yards in each of its past two games.
  • Villanova punter Nathan Fondacaro is fifth in yards per punt, with an average of 46.9 yards.
  • James Madison has won five straight after a season-opening 20-13 loss at FBS West Virginia.
  • Villanova ranks last in the CAA in passing defense, allowing 269.3 yards per game.
  • This will be Villanova’s fifth road game of the season. This is the third time in four weeks that Villanova has played a ranked opponent.

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