Bucs stumble against James Madison, 45-7November 15, 2003
by Scott McCain, CSU Sports Information
|Robert Adams rushed for 74 yards and a TD|
HARRISONBURG, VA. - The Dukes of James Madison ran for 272 yards against an undermanned Charleston Southern defense en route to a 45-7 victory in front of 7,403 fans at a cold Bridgeforth Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Charleston Southern (1-10, 0-3 Big South) committed three turnovers to James Madison's one, while JMU (6-5, 4-4 Atlantic 10) held nearly a seven-minute advantage in time of possession.
Redshirt freshman Alvin Banks gained 84 yards on the ground for the Dukes on 15 attempts, while teammate Pervis Binns added 74 yards in ten tries. Charleston Southern's attack revolved around true freshman Robert Adams, who rushed for a team-high 74 yards and a touchdown.
"James Madison is a very good football team," head coach Jay Mills said at the postgame press conference. "They've been close to winning each game, and are not far off from being excellent. I see them as a team to beat next year in the A-10."
JMU outgained Charleston Southern 447 yards to 199, and outrushed the Bucs 272 to 109. The passing game favored the Dukes also, as redshirt junior Matt LeZotte completed eight-for-13 for 174 yards and two touchdowns. CSU's Collin Drafts passed for a subpar 90 yards on 14 completions, was sacked twice, and threw two picks.
"There's no question that today's game was won and lost in the trenches. JMU's size and strength upfront paved the way," Mills said. "We did not have a good start defensively, and the margin for error was too small today to give away three turnovers."
James Madison scored three touchdowns in the first quarter, the first off a Buccaneer turnover. JMU's Trey Townsend snagged Collin Drafts' pass at the Buc 38, and Alvin Banks capped a seven-play drive with a nine-yard run to open the scoring. On the next Madison drive, LeZotte on second down threw a bomb to senior Alan Harrison, who turned to make the catch at the CSU 30 and eluded one Buccaneer on the way to a 61-yard touchdown. After throwing a 38-yard pass to Harrison, LeZotte called his own number from one yard out to give the Dukes their third touchdown on three possessions.
Charleston Southern responded with its only touchdown drive of the day, an 89-yard effort fueled by seven Adams runs for 49 yards. Adams scored on a four-yard scamper off left tackle, and Darren Swiggett's point after drew the Buccaneers to within 14 with 14:38 left in the half. A David Rabil field goal from 37 yards and LeZotte's 19-yard toss to Nic Tolley pushed the CSU deficit to 31-7 going into intermission.
"That drive was one of the times we didn't shoot ourselves in the foot," Mills elaborated. "Everyone did their jobs, and we were able to move 89 yards. Robert had a big game for us, and Travis Mays contributed also. There's a good rotation and a healthy competition in the backfield."
In the third quarter, JMU drove 67 yards to score off Maurice Fenner's one-yard run. Threatening on their next possession, the Dukes moved the ball to the CSU 20 until Pervis Binns was drilled by freshman receiver-turned-cornerback Jomare Turner, coughing up the ball where Juwan Lawson recovered to stop a potential Madison score.
"Jomare played a great game for us, on offense, defense and special teams," Mills said. In the third quarter when he was asked to step in and play defense--because we didn't have anyone else--he responded with the big play, separating the running back from the ball. There was a stretch there when he was on the field for every down."
JMU's final score came on a drive that saw the offense convert on two third downs and a fourth down. Raymond Hines carried four times in a row to close the scoring drive, punching it in from the CSU 1 to take a 45-7 lead all the way to the final horn.
"We're a young program that is trying to get some exposure to a higher level of football, so that our kids can see what it takes to be successful," Mills explained. I've always believed that it's not where you start; it's where you finish. We have a ways to go, but we'll get there."
Charleston Southern closes its season at home against Coastal Carolina next Saturday at 1:30.Related Item: Box Score