Houston expects to get a pretty solid shot from NDSU (13-1) on Saturday, and wouldn't be surprised if the game turns out to be one for the ages.
"When you're the national champions and preseason No. 1 in the country, you have a target on your back and you get everybody's best shot", Houston said. NDSU took over at the JMU 47-yard line. NDSU head coach Chris Klieman announced the surprising move just hours before game time. JMU's defense matched NDSU with a three-and-out of their own, including a six-yard sack by redshirt junior defensive lineman Darrious Carter. One of his catches was crucial for 15 yards on the Bison's first scoring drive. "It's the next man up, play for your brothers, play for the man next to you on the field whether he's in pads or not in pads".
Fans are in "a fight right now for every ticket that's out there", Houston said. He caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from Schor with 2 minutes, 8 seconds to play in the fourth quarter against Weber State that tied the game and helped the Dukes rally from an 8-point deficit in the final three minutes. "They don't think we are good enough to be here".
JMU - Kyre Hawkins had 10 tackles.
The Dukes turned it over again on their next possession when receiver Riley Stapleton, after grabbing a long pass, fumbled and linebacker Jabril Cox returned it to the JMU 41. Cam Pedersen with the PAT.
A perfectly executed fake punt on 4th and 9 put James Madison in prime position to complete a comeback in the fourth quarter against North Dakota State.
NDSU 17 JMU 6 - Ratke makes a 21-yard field goal with 3 seconds left in the second quarter.
South Dakota State is the only team to beat North Dakota State this season, 33-21. After Schor hit redshirt senior wide receiver Terrence Alls for 12 yards, Schor and Marshall combined for 20 rushing yards over four consecutive plays to bring the Dukes to the 1-yard line.
JMU head coach Mike Houston says, "There are great players individually on both sides of the football, but I think the thing that stands out is that both units play so well together.I think it's going to be hard-hitting, extremely physical, and probably in the teens". They made the plays when they had to and we didn't.
But James Madison senior quarterback Bryan Schor is no slouch. It marked the first time the Dukes trailed by double digits this season.
A scrambling Schor, under heavy pressure and off balance, heaved it in the end zone and the ball fell incomplete.