Sep 1, 2012; Morgantown, WV, USA; Marshall Thundering Herd running back Martin Ward (29) is tackled by West Virginia Mountaineers linebacker Isaiah Bruce (31) and safety Karl Joseph (top right) in the first half at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-US PRESSWIRE
The James Madison game comes at an opportune time for the Mountaineers. The offense is clicking early this season, however, the defense looked flawed at best in the season opener.
The Dukes run heavy offense will be a perfect match-up for the Mountaineers defense that was stout against the run.
The game should give the WVU defense a great opportunity to hone their pass rush capability against a team that struggles to throw the football. I look for the Mountaineer pass rush to dominate the Dukes lesser talented offensive line. Isaiah Bruce will rack up 2 sacks and 15 total tackles.
WVU will jump out to an early lead, putting the second string offense in for the entire second half. WVU wins 63-19.
I look for Andrew Buie, the backup RB, to have a big game this weekend. JMU’s defense usually plays an 8 man front to stop the run, but they will eventually have to move out of that to try to slow down our passing game, and that will open the run up.
Buie had an impressive game against Marshall on limited carries (6 carries for 80 yards and a TD), and I think he’ll see a little more action this week. I think Holgorsen will go to the running game a lot after the passing game has opened it up, and Buie will get a lot of carries in the 2nd half after the game is put away. I predict 110 yards and a 2 TDs for the sophomore.
WVU wins 55-20
Holgorsen thinks that JMU will provide a better test than that school down in Chuck Landon country, but the success of Saturday’s contest will lay in whether Holgo can keep the team out of the Charles Town track on the way over to Landover. I am forecasting that the offense may show a bit of timing issues with the awkward week two, bye week, but the defense will look marginally better. JMU may have jumped up and bitten the Chokies a couple years ago, but in the modern world of 1-AA teams beating 1-A squads, we are still dealing with a relative rarity. Mountaineer’s cruise in this one, so stop by and visit with the HailWV bloggers at the tailgate after the game for some celebration beers.
*note, I refuse to use FBS/FCS cause its BS.
WVU wins 58-24
Everyone that knows me is fully aware that I am not a fan of these powder-puff, non-conference matchups; this is clearly a result of WVU’s struggles to get pumped up for such games in the past. However, I think this year is different. I fully believe the mindset under Holgorsen is unlike anything Mountaineer players and fans have ever experienced.
The term “swag” has been used quite extensively throughout sports in the past few years, and this WVU squad seems to possess a fair amount of it. Now, whether or not that is a good or bad thing and how much “swag” is appropriate can forever be debated, but I wholeheartedly believe it will help us in this game.
James Madison will head to FedEx field ready to play. They have nothing to lose by putting it all on the line. This game is similar to the Marshall game in that regard, minus the obvious animosity. Look for the JMU offense to come out strong yet conservative; however, Coach Matthews will not be afraid to test the young WVU defense even if offensive standout Dae’Quan Scott is held out of the game. The WVU defense will give up some ground in the early goings before settling down and getting more comfortable.
Keep an eye on safety Karl Joseph, linebackers Doug Rigg and Isaiah Bruce, and defensive end Will Clarke in this one; I anticipate strong contributions from all four because JMU will be forced to put the ball in the air after they experience the efficiency of the MountainAir offense. Will Clarke will shine with 2 QB hurries, 1 sack, and 3 tackles.
Game prediction: You’ll never see score predictions from me, but I believe JMU puts up a good fight before succumbing to the WVU offense just before the half. Let’s GO!