For the eighth time in College GameDay history, the most popular pregame show in college football heads to an FCS school this Saturday. The James Madison Dukes will take center stage this week, playing host to the Villanova Wildcats.
James Madison enters this game as the No. 1 team in the country and has only been lightly tested so far this season. The Dukes haven’t dropped a game to an FCS opponent since December 2015, and will look to continue the streak here.
What to Know
The Dukes lead the all-time series against the Wildcats 14-11 and have won the last two meetings.
Mike Houston has been incredible since stepping into the job in Harrisonburg. Houston took over the team at the start of the 2016 season and is 19-1 as a coach, with the lone loss coming against North Carolina last season. He is an old-school coach whose philosophy is to run the ball and win with defense.
Houston has a competent quarterback in Bryan Schor. Schor isn’t putting up the numbers he was last season, but is still completing a high percentage of his passes and moving the chains with his arm when need be. He will be tested by a Villanova defense that has twice as many interceptions as passing touchdowns allowed on the year.
Villanova has a major concern heading into this game. Star quarterback Zach Bednarczyk is expected to miss a month because of a knee injury suffered against Towson last week. Bednarczyk had completed over 70 percent of his passes and hadn’t thrown an interception this season, so not having him against the best team in the country is huge.
That puts redshirt freshman Jack Schetelich in the spotlight. Schetelich has not performed well in Bednarczyk’s absence, with five interceptions on just 25 pass attempts. He has completed just eight of those passes, so expect James Madison to put eight or nine in the box to prove that he can hit his receivers.
Check back later in the week as we bring you a more in-depth preview on this game.
Previous College GameDay Visits to an FCS school
2002: Harvard at Pennsylvania
2005: Southern vs. Grambling
2008: Hampton at Florida A&M
2013: Delaware State at North Dakota State
2014: Incarnate Word at North Dakota State
2014: Yale at Harvard
2015: Richmond at James Madison
2017: Villanova at James Madison