The following comes directly from JMU:
HARRISONBURG, Va. – After receiving a first-round bye, fourth-seeded James Madison opens the 2016 NCAA FCS playoffs with a rematch against Colonial Athletic Association foe New Hampshire inside Bridgeforth Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 2 p.m.
Saturday marks the 17th meeting all-time and between JMU and New Hampshire and the second meeting this season, as JMU held off UNH 42-39 in Durham back on Oct. 15. The series is tied at 8-8 and separated by just nine points as UNH has outscored JMU 410-401 dating back to the first meeting in 1982. JMU is 4-3 at home in the series, but lost in the previous home outing to UNH, 28-14, on Oct. 16, 2010.
Last time the two met, JMU built a 30-point lead and eventually fended off the Wildcats for a 42-39 win at UNH. It was JMU’s first win in Durham since a 42-23 triumph on Oct. 14, 2006. Terrence Alls and Brandon Ravenel each caught two touchdown passes, as Bryan Schor threw for 264 yards and four scores while rushing for 70 and a touchdown.
JMU led 42-12 with 10 minutes to play but UNH reeled off 27 straight before the Dukes recovered an onside kick with 1:15 left to preserve the team’s first win at UNH in eight years.
SCOUTING NEW HAMPSHIRE
The Wildcats enter Saturday’s second round game with an 8-4 record, including a 6-2 mark in CAA play, finishing tied for second in the league. UNH advanced in the playoffs with a dominant 64-21 victory against Lehigh last Saturday.
Dalton Crossan rushed for 184 yards and two touchdowns, while Trevon Bryant ran for 113 and two scores. Adam Riese passed for 273 yards and three touchdowns, and the UNH defense came up with four turnovers in the win.
UNH averages 29.1 points per game while allowing foes to score 21.8 per outing, which ranks third and fourth, respectively, in the CAA. The ‘Cats have the league’s third-ranked offense (388.4) and rushing defense (135.9).
Crossan leads the rushing attack with nearly 1,200 yards this season, to go with eight touchdowns. Trevor Knight and Riese have combined to pass for over 2,400 yards and 20 touchdowns, as Neil O’Connor has been the lead target, reeling in 767 receiving yards and six scores.
UNH’s secondary is solid with Casey DeAndrade, Pop Lacey and Prince Smith, who have produced 10 of the team’s 17 interceptions.
Sean McDonnell is the long-time head coach for the Wildcats, holding a 141-82 overall record, now in his 18th season. He has led the Wildcats to a nation-leading 13 straight FCS playoff appearances, including the semifinals in 2013 and 2014.
SCHOR HEADLINES ALL-CAA SQUAD
JMU won three major awards and produced 14 All-CAA honorees in a vote by the league’s head coaches.
Bryan Schor headlined the league, as he was voted CAA Offensive Player of the Year, while Rashard Davis was named CAA Special Teams Player of the Year and Mike Houston was tabbed CAA Coach of the Year.
A program-record 10 players were named to the All-CAA First Team. Joining Schor (QB) and Davis (PR) were Khalid Abdullah (RB), Brandon Ravenel (WR), Jonathan Kloosterman(TE), Mitchell Kirsch (OL), Aaron Stinnie (OL), Andrew Ankrah (DL), Taylor Reynolds (CB) and Raven Greene (S).
Making the All-CAA Second Team were Matt Frank (OL), Gage Steele (LB) and Gunnar Kane (P), while Terrence Alls (WR) rounded out the Dukes on the All-CAA Third Team.
It is the first time since 2008 JMU won three major awards and third team ever in a single season.
CHAMPS EARN FIRST-ROUND BYE FOR SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR
JMU’s advanced to the postseason for the third straight year and earned a national seed and first-round bye for the second consecutive season, which is a first for the program.
The No. 4 Dukes will host a playoff game at home for the third year running and are seeking their first playoff win since 2011 and first at home since the 2008 campaign.
JMU is the lone team in FCS to go 10-0 against the FCS, with its lone loss coming to ACC-foe North Carolina. The Dukes won two games against top-10 teams in the STATS FCS Top 25, and notched three wins on the road against playoff teams – a feat no other team accomplished.
JMU’S POSTSEASON HISTORY
JMU is headed to the playoffs for the 13th time in the 45-year history of the program. The Dukes are 9-11 all-time in the playoffs, highlighted by their 2004 national championship, in which they won three true road games to advance to Chattanooga, where they beat Montana 31-21 on Dec. 17, 2004.
JMU’s matchup with New Hampshire marks the third time JMU is pitted against a conference foe and is also a regular-season rematch. Previously, JMU defeated William & Mary 48-34 on the road in the 2004 semifinals and Villanova 31-27 at home in the 2008 quarterfinals.
A win this weekend would vault the Dukes into the FCS quarterfinals for the third team in school history (2004, 2008).
DUKES VERSUS PLAYOFF SQUADS
JMU earned a top-4 seed by virtue of going undefeated in CAA play for just the second time in program history. The Dukes beat the CAA’s other three playoff teams – Villanova, New Hampshire and Richmond – all on the road.
In JMU’s history, it has previous playing experience with 10 of the other 23 playoff teams, but has only faced six of them in the playoffs. JMU has wins over Lehigh (2004), Wofford (2008) and Villanova (2008) and losses to Samford (1991), Youngstown State (2006) and North Dakota State (2011).
This Saturday will be JMU’s third playoff game to be played on December 3, with previous meetings at Marshall (L, 21-35) in 1994 and at North Dakota State (L, 14-26) in 2011.