W&M winning formula faces test at No. 5 JMU

W&M winning formula faces test at No. 5 JMU
October 12, 2012, 6:15 pm
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The Tribe take their two-game winning streak and new found offense on the road against the fifth-ranked Dukes tomorrow at 3:30 on CSN!

Piling up points and yards in recent weeks has turned William - Mary form a winless football squad to one victorious in two straight games. Expect James Madison's stingy defense to put the Tribe's new found formula to the test.

William - Mary (2-4, 1-2 CAA) looks to extend its winning streak to three games on the road Saturday (3:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet) against the fifth-ranked Dukes (4-1, 2-0), also winners of two straight overall and undefeated in four FCS contests.

Over the last two games against Georgia State and at Penn, the Tribe averaged 34.5 points and 396.5 yards. Each victory came with a different quarterback leading the attack.

Brent Caprio, injured last month against Maryland, returned to the starting role against the Quakers with aplomb, completing 18-of-28 passes for 220 yards with two touchdowns in the 34-28 win. Sophomore Raphael Ortiz rushed for two touchdowns against Georgia State, but returned to the bench last week.

Regardless of which passer takes snaps at JMU's Bridgeforth Stadium, the Dukes CAA-leading scoring defense will be waiting. James Madison is allowing only 13.8 points, a total made even more impressive considering the Dukes surrendered 42 to West Virginia in their only non-FCS game. JMU is particularly forceful against the run, allowing only 102.2 rushing yards per game, also tops in the conference.

Linebacker Stephon Robertson earned national accolades after posting a career-high 15 tackles in last week's win over Towson. Redshirt-freshman defensive lineman Alex Mosley earned CAA Rookie of the Week honors after posting a career-high seven tackles and a generating a force fumble against the Tigers. His second career start came in JMU coach Mickey Matthews' 100th career victory.

Picking up nine turnovers courtesy of the defense and special teams during the two-game streak certainly helped W-M's cause. Senior outside linebacker Jabrel Mines tallied nine tackles including 1.5 for loss while forcing and recovering a fumble against Penn.

Stopping the Dukes passing attack, directed by junior quarterback Justin Thorpe, is the primary focus for Mines and company this week. Thorpe, who sports a 15-4 record against FCS opponents, has completed passes to 13 different receivers this season with senior tight end Brian Barlow (15 receptions, 225 yards) serving as his primary target.

James Madison leads the overall series 19-15, a record which includes three straight home wins two consecutive overall, both by six points.