FCS Roundup: #5 JMU hosts Rhode Island and Tribe hosts Maine

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — After both teams had bye weeks, both James Madison and William & Mary return to the field Saturday to continue their CAA schedules. The #5 Dukes host Rhode Island for homecoming. The Rams are 1-7 overall and 0-5 in the CAA. Madison will have to stay focused on the Rams instead of looking ahead to its biggest game of the year Saturday November 5th at #6 Richmond.

William and Mary went into its bye week with its first CAA win, a homecoming victory over Delaware. The Tribe host Maine Saturday. The Black Bears are 3-1 in the CAA and still have a chance to win the conference title. The Tribe can spoil that.


The following is additional information directly from James Madison University:

HARRISONBURG, Va. – Following its open weekend, No. 8 James Madison returns to action this Saturday, Oct. 29 when it hosts Rhode Island for Homecoming. Kickoff is set for a 3:30 p.m. kick at Bridgeforth Stadium. The game is sponsored by the Virginia Lottery and the 2016 season is presented by CarMax.

Saturday’s contest will be streamed live and free on MadiZONE HD SportsNet, presented by the JMU Alumni Association.

Saturday marks the 12th meeting all-time between JMU and Rhode Island, but the first since 2012. The Dukes own an 8-3 record versus the Rams and have won six straight in the series — by a combined 196-108. JMU is 5-1 all-time against URI at home, with the lone loss in Harrisonburg coming back on Sept. 22, 2001 – a 16-12 setback. It was also Rhody’s last win against JMU.

Last time the teams met, JMU cruised to a 32-7 victory at Rhode Island on Sept. 22, 2012. In that game, Justin Thorpe was 26-for-40 for 340 yards and two touchdowns. Renard Robinson had three catches for 78 yards and a touchdown, and Brian Barlow caught five passes for 62 yards and a score. Ten different players recorded at least one reception in the win.

JMU led 8-7 but reeled off 24 straight, including two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to put the game away.

JMU enters the second half of conference play this weekend and is one of two teams tied atop the standings, being joined by Stony Brook at 4-0. Four others are in the hunt for the 2016 CAA title, as six teams are only separated by just one game.

Following the Dukes and Seawolves are Richmond (4-1), Villanova (4-1), New Hampshire (4-1) and Maine (3-1). JMU has notched wins at Maine and New Hampshire and still has road outings against Richmond and Villanova in November. JMU and Stony Brook do not play this season, which means there is a mathematical chance for two teams to finish 8-0 in the league play for the first time in conference history.

Since the league schedule expanded to an eight-game conference slate in 1988, only seven teams have gone unbeaten, most recently in 2014 when New Hampshire won the league title.

Following a career performance and a conference road win, Bryan Schor was named Colonial Athletic Association Football Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season back on Oct. 17. Schor amassed career bests of 334 yards of total offense and five total touchdowns in JMU’s 42-39 win at New Hampshire on Oct. 16. He completed 18 of 27 passes for 264 yards and four touchdowns, both career highs. Schor also rushed for 70 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries (5.8 ypc).

He has thrown for more than 200 yards in four games this season and has scored touchdowns through the air and on the ground on three occasions. Through seven games, Schor is 103-for-152 (67.8 percent) for 1,324 yards and 10 touchdowns, and he has run for 385 yards and eight scores.

Schor leads the CAA in total offensive touchdowns (18) and pass efficiency (158.7 rating) and is second in total offense per game (244.1), tied for third in passing yards per game (189.1) and fourth in rushing touchdowns (8).

Khalid Abdullah has quickly surged as one of the most effective backs in JMU history, ranking in the top eight in five separate offensive categories.

Through 40 career games, Abdullah ranks tied for fourth with 30 rushing touchdowns, needing just two to tie for the record and three to own it outright. He is also tied for fourth in total touchdowns (32), fifth in rushing yards (2,723), sixth in rush attempts (490) and eighth in in scoring (192).

The Rams enter Saturday’s game with a 1-7 record, including an 0-5 mark in CAA play. They have lost three straight after falling 28-21 to Maine last weekend at home.

Rhody averages 12.9 points per game while conceding 33.8 to its foes. During conference play it has been limited to 9.6 points per game and just three total points in its two CAA road games. Jordan Vazzano has passed for 692 yards, three touchdowns and eight interceptions, completing 38 percent of his passes. T.J. Anderson and Harold Cooper have combined for 566 rushing yards and five touchdowns, while Harold Buckner III and Khayri Denny have collectively produced 44 receptions for 601 yards.

Jim Fleming is in his third season at the helm of the URI program and is 3-28 during his time in Kingston. He also led Sacred Heart in the early 2000’s, going 21-1 in two seasons for a 24-29 career record as a head coach.