William & Mary fell at No. 2 James Madison, 51-0, in both teams’ conference opener on Saturday in Harrisonburg.
JMU (3-1, 1-0) used good starting field position during the first half en route to building a 17-0 lead at the intermission. The Dukes’ opening three scoring drives, which included a pair of touchdowns and a field goal, combined to cover just 76 total yards.
W&M (1-2, 0-1) forced a pair of turnovers in the first half and marched inside the Dukes’ 30-yard line twice but turned the ball over on downs on both occasions.
JMU posted a touchdown on the opening drive of the second half and outscored W&M, 34-0, during the final 30 minutes to help secure the league-opening win.
Running back Jaret Anderson led the Tribe with 35 yards on eight carries, while wideout DeVonte Dedmon totaled three catches for 29 yards.
Defensively, safety Isaiah Laster recorded a career-high 11 tackles while safety Gage Herdman totaled seven tackles with an interception. Defensive end Carl Fowler posted 2.0 TFL.
Inside the numbers
Although W&M controlled the time of possession, 31:48-28-12, JMU outgained the Tribe, 444-132. The Dukes were especially effective running the ball and owned a 247-55 advantage on the ground.
JMU converted 9 of 15 on third down, while W&M was just 1 of 15. Additionally, the Dukes held a 24-7 advantage in first downs and punted just once.
Cardon Johnson led JMU with 83 yards on 20 carries, while Marcus Marshall (7-65) and Trai Sharp (11-42) both scored touchdowns.
Quarterback Ben DiNucci completed 17 of 23 passes for 160 yards with two touchdowns to lead the Dukes’ passing attack. Riley Stapleton totaled eight catches for 78 yards, while Dylan Stapleton also hauled in a touchdown catch.
The loss was just the third setback against FCS opponents during the month of September for W&M dating back through 2009 … Fullback Tyler Crist converted a fourth-and-4 at the W&M 41 with a fake punt that covered 27 yards on the ground during the second quarter … The Tribe converted 2 of 4 attempts on fourth down … Jake Johnston’s lone kickoff was a touchback.
The Tribe will return to action when it hosts Colgate for its home opener at 6 p.m. Saturday at Zable Stadium.