CSJ’s 2018 Week 1 Game Preview: James Madison at North Carolina State

James Madison at North Carolina State
When: Saturday, September 1st, 12:00 PM EDT
Where: Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC
TV/Streaming Coverage: ESPNU, WatchESPN App (ESPNU subscription required)

James Madison: CSJ’s 2018 Preview Capsule

James Madison has its sights set on a third straight trip to Frisco, Texas in the first weekend of 2019. They enter the season as the top dog in the CAA and the #2 ranked team in the FCS.

Key Player: DBs Jimmy Moreland and Rashad Robinson. NC State has the best quarterback in the ACC and three excellent receivers returning to a solid offense from 2017. The task to shut down the passing game of the Wolfpack will fall on the two excellent senior DBs for James Madison. JMU likes to play man to man on the opposing wide receivers to allow the defensive line and linebackers to get after the quarterback. Moreland and Robinson may be the two best corners in the entire FCS, but this will be a strong challenge for them.

Fantasy Bonus Baby: RB Marcus Marshall took a year to get comfortable in the James Madison system after transferring from Georgia Tech. As the season wore on, Marshall got better. He has had a full off season and camp in the Madison program and will be ready to lead the running back stable in 2018. Keeping the ball out of Ryan Finley’s hands will lay at the feet of Marshall to grind the game out and keep the Dukes offense on the field.

North Carolina State: CSJ’s 2018 Preview Capsule

NC State has one of the better offenses in the ACC. While they lost quite a bit on defense, the Wolfpack still have a very solid team and should be one of the teams a step behind Clemson and Miami in the ACC.

Key Player: QB Ryan Finley is the best quarterback in the ACC. He is very smart with the football and spreads the offense around well to each of his receivers. Finley just needs to play mistake free football to get the result that NC State is looking for.

Fantasy Bonus Baby: WR Kelvin Harmon is the top receiver in the NC State offense. He had 69 catches for 1017 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2017. Harmon will be matched up with Robinson or Moreland but should still have over a hundred yards receiving and add in a touchdown.

Fearless Prediction: James Madison is no pushover, so NC State wont have an easy day on Saturday. The Dukes will hang with the Wolfpack for a while, but the depth that the additional scholarships allow for and FBS team will win out in the end. North Carolina State 37, James Madison 24