2021 FCS Season Preview: James Madison

College Sports Journal Projection: 1st

James Madison appeared to be well on its way to another appearance in the title game in Frisco at halftime of their spring semifinal game against Sam Houston. But then the wheels fell off and the Dukes fell short of their fourth title appearance in five seasons.

While the Dukes struggled through the first part of the spring, they hit their stride in the playoffs.

The Dukes return to action in the fall with a Frisco or Bust mentality. They are loaded throughout the entire lineup and have Cole Johnson returning to be the starting quarterback. A strong JMU defense looks even stronger coming into the fall. Will it translate onto the field? Also of note: Kicker Ethan Ratke is 4 field goals away from setting the all-time FCS record for made field goals.

Impact Players

RB Percy Agyei-Obese is back for one last ride. He went over 1000 yards in 2019 and over 700 in the spring and is in range of entering the upper echelon of JMU backs with a strong season

WR Antwane Wells was just a freshman in the spring and will be so again in the fall. But he played like a seasoned veteran in the playoffs with four of his six touchdown catches. He should be the feature receiver in the fall for the Dukes.

DT Mike Greene will be back at his normal tackle position on the defensive line this year after playing outside in the spring out of necessity. He still shared CAA defensive player of the year honors and is one of the best defenders in the entire FCS.

Key Game: September 18th at Weber State

Worst Case: The Dukes falter against a couple of tough road opponents and have to play in the first round of the playoffs

Best Case: Everything clicks as the team is expecting and the Dukes raise the trophy in Frisco.

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