James Madison may hail from the FCS, but it has a track record of making things close with FBS teams. The Dukes have beaten three teams from the other side of Division I since 2010, which ranks second among FCS teams over that span.
On Saturday, JMU traveled to West Virginia to take on the Mountaineers in what proved to be a sloppy yet exciting contest through the end. But then, late in the fourth quarter, things started to get weird.
The Dukes were down 20-13 with three and half minutes left in the fourth quarter and no timeouts when they faced a 4th-and-8 situation from their own 22-yard line. But rather than go for the first down, JMU head coach Curt Cignetti trotted out the punt team—leaving college football fans pretty confused to say the least.
James Madison just punted down seven with no timeouts and two and a half minutes left because the real victories in life are the friends you make along the way— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) August 31, 2019
Why won’t FCS teams let us love them https://t.co/VjxklXxXxJ— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) August 31, 2019
The state of WVU’s offense in 2019: 2 1/2 mins to go, no timeouts left, JMU choosing to punt.— Fake Bob Huggins (@FakeBobHuggins) August 31, 2019
Me when Harry O’Kelly punted it and didn’t run it pic.twitter.com/CGMAZg8Q4Q— Jack Fitz (@fitzalltheway) August 31, 2019
JMU got the ball back with a little less than a minute to play, but a holding call and a Mountaineers sack ended the Dukes’ chances of leaving Morgantown with a victory.
Yet even though the game ended, the strange events continued to unfold. West Virginia players gave first-year head coach Neal Brown a Gatorade bath to celebrate the win—a tradition typically reserved for games that end with trophy ceremonies.
WVU acting like they beat Alabama today. Gatorade bath for Neal Brown after an FCS team came into your house and gives you fits? The way they looked I’m not sure they win another game in the Big 12.— Jordan (@temporarystairs) August 31, 2019
WVU really gave their coach a Gatorade bath?— Bobby Broyles (@BobbyBroyles) August 31, 2019
It’s only Week 1, folks. If James Madison and West Virginia are any indication, this season is going to be an interesting one.
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