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James Madison dominates a hapless Georgia Southern, 41-13

The Dukes continue to show they are the team to beat in the Sun Belt, dumb FBS rules be damned.

NCAA Football: James Madison at Virginia Hannah Pajewski-USA TODAY Sports

James Madison put on an absolute clinic on Saturday afternoon, manhandling Georgia Southern by a 41-13 margin and getting revenge for last season’s defeat in Statesboro.

Dukes quarterback Jordan McCloud was absolutely surgical against an Eagles defense that looked like it tapped out a few drives into the game. The JMU signal caller ended his day 20 of 31 for 259 yards and 3 touchdowns with no interceptions; an absolutely stellar outing adding to his resume.

Elijah Sarratt was on the receiving end of a few of those throws, finishing as this game’s leading receiver in yardage with 5 catches for 105 yards and a score when all was said and done.

NCAA Football: James Madison at Virginia
James Madison’s defensive front absolutely dominated the Eagles offensive line on Saturday.
Hannah Pajewski-USA TODAY Sports

James Madison’s defense was smothering Southern’s overmatched offensive line as well, notching three sacks and putting consistent pressure in the face of GS quarterback Davis Brin, who turned in another game to forget against a good opponent.

JMU’s pressure also turned into two interceptions off Brin and one from Georgia Southern backup QB J.C. French, who threw a pick on his first pass attempt in relief, as Brin had taken a huge shot from an unblocked blindside defender just a play earlier.

I have taken the time to compliment, or to use a wrestling term, “put over” JMU as much as I can. The rest of this article will be use to lambaste the Georgia Southern Eagles, so the James Madison praise ends here.

The Dukes will look to keep rolling next Thursday night at Marshall.

What the hell, Georgia Southern?

To quote legendary Buccaneers coach John McKay, “we didn’t tackle well today but we made up for it by not blocking.”

The Eagles not only looked unprepared today, but the coaching staff consistently made head scratching decisions, something that has become a staple of the Clay Helton era thus far.

Wide receiver screens were absolutely not working, yet offensive coordinator Bryan Ellis kept going to them anyway.

Throwing to tight end Keaton Upshaw up the seam was working, so what does Ellis and company do? Stop doing it immediately.

Defensively, the team quit after about the second drive. What most, including myself, thought was an improved unit from a year ago is still as garbage as it was last year and had looked good beating up on bad to mediocre competition this season, save the Wisconsin game.

NCAA Football: Georgia Southern at Wisconsin
Georgia Southern’s defense quit after a few drives against James Madison on Saturday.
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

But to make up for it, the offense got worse, so we’ve got that going for us.

Davis Brin is not that guy. Gone is the precision of Kyle VanTrease, and enter Brin, overshooting receivers’ heads left and right when he does have time to throw on the rare occasion.

The Eagles play again next Saturday at home against UL Monroe, although it won’t be appointment viewing for anyone after this type of performance.