Saturday, April 13

Dukes Trounce Blue Raiders in FBS Debut, 44-7




7

Middle Tenn.
MTS

0-1, 0-0

44

james madison
JMU

1-0, 0-0

Middle Tenn.
MTS

0-1, 0-0

7

44

james madison
JMU

1-0, 0-0

Score By Quarters
Team

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

F
MTS
Middle Tenn.
0 0 7 0 7
JMU
james madison
0 twenty-one 16 7 44

Game Recap: Football |

HARRISONBURG, Va. – James Madison kicked off a new era of college football in style, as Todd Centio amassed nearly 400 yards and tied the program’s single-game passing touchdown record to lead the Dukes to a dominant 44-7 victory against Middle Tennessee on Saturday night at Bridgeforth Stadium.

The Dukes (1-0) outgained the Blue Raiders (0-1) by a wide margin, racking up 548 yards of total offense while allowing just 119.

Making his JMU debut, Centeio was excellent through the air, going 21-of-33 for 287 yards and six touchdowns, matching Cole Johnson’s JMU single-game mark. He also led the game in rushing, with 14 carries for 110 yards, averaging 7.9 per rush.

Chris Thornton tied a pair of career highs, making 12 receptions for 155 yards on his way to scoring three touchdowns. Reggie Brown also had a career night, as he made five catches for 78 yards and a pair of scores, both in the second quarter to open the game’s scoring.

Defensively, JMU was paced by Jailin Walker‘s eight tackles, while Taurus Jones had seven stops, 2.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a recovery. Josh Sarratt also finished with seven tackles, isaac ukwu had a two tackles for loss with a sack, and both jamree kromah and Jalen Green had 1.5 TFL.

The Dukes scored the game’s first 37 points in of 19:19 between the second and third quarters, holding MTSU’s air-raid offense without a point until its lone touchdown late in the third quarter.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • After a scoreless first, which featured multiple fourth-down stops between the two teams, Todd Centio opened the second quarter with a 20-yard strike over the middle to Reggie Brown for the game’s opening touchdown. JMU 7, MTSU 0 (14:55 2nd).
  • Centeio once again found Brown on a 29-yard dart in the corner of the end zone to double the lead. JMU 14, MTSU 0 (6:49 2nd).
  • On the ensuing drive, Centeio went to the air again, connecting with Chris Thornton on a 7-yard touchdown toss. JMU 21, MTSU 0 (3:05 2nd).
  • Centeio opened the second half with his fourth TD on a 35-yard pass over the middle to Thornton. JMU 28, MTSU 0 (13:16 3rd).
  • Centeio tied his career high in passing touchdowns with a 19-yard stripe to Thornton, the third consecutive touchdown catch for JMU’s leading receiver. JMU 35, MTSU 0 (10:47 3rd).
  • Xavier Cockley made a great read on a pass in the end zone and brought down the receiver for a safety. JMU 37, MTSU 0 (10:36 3rd).
  • The Blue Raiders got on the board with a 26-yard pass from Chase Cunningham to Yusuf Ali in the left corner of the end zone. JMU 37, MTSU 7 (3:31 3rd).
  • JMU closed the scoring with a 9-yard touchdown catch by Ravenel from Centeio. JMU 44, MTSU 7 (6:49 4th).

GAME NOTES

  • JMU rushed for 261 yards, gaining 5.0 yards per carry, while holding MTSU to just 12 yards on the ground. In addition to Centio, Percy Agyei Obese ran for 82 yards on 5.5 per carry.
  • The Dukes finished 9-of-17 on third down, while limiting the Blue Raiders to 4-of-16. That is the 50th straight game JMU has held a team to 50% or less on third.
  • The Dukes dominated time of possession by a 36:55 to 23:05 margin.
  • JMU also got a boost in field position from Sarratt, who averaged 13.0 yards per punt return. The Dukes had an average starting field position of their own 36, as opposed to MTSU’s own 21.
  • Centeio became the first JMU quarterback to rush for 100 yards since Nov. 17, 2018 when Ben DiNucci had 104 at Towson.
  • His 397 yards of total offense was also just 30 yards shy of a Bridgeforth Stadium record.
  • JMU out-gained MTSU by a 137-16 margin in the first quarter, controlling 11:36 of the clock. At half, JMU had tallied total yards to MTSU’s 24, which included -14 rushing.
  • JMU had an attendance of 23,074 for its season opener, which included 8,680 in the student section alone.
  • The Blue Raiders were led by Chase Cunningham, who was 18-of-32 for 116 yards and a touchdown. Yusuf Ali provided eight catches for 60 yards and the only score.

UP NEXT

JMU remains at home next Saturday, Sept. 10 when it hosts Norfolk State. Kickoff is set for 4 pm at Bridgeforth Stadium and will be streamed live on ESPN3.


jmusports.com

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