#6 JMU Beats Elon 63-14 to Finish Undefeated in Conference Play
Rashard Davis returned a punt for a TD for the third time this season
JMU finished the regular season 8-0 in conference play
JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS MEDIA RELEASE:
HARRISONBURG, Va. – Freshman quarterback Cole Johnson threw for two touchdowns in his first career start, and sixth-ranked James Madison rolled to a 63-14 Colonial Athletic Association victory against Elon on Saturday afternoon at Bridgeforth Stadium/Zane Showker Field.
The Dukes (10-1, 8-0 CAA) completed the eight-game CAA slate with an undefeated record for just the second time in school history, and the win over the Phoenix (2-9, 1-7 CAA) marked JMU's fourth season with 10 or more wins all-time.
Johnson was 12-of-13 for 274 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 23 yards to total 297 yards of total offense. Senior running back Khalid Abdullah went over the century mark for the eighth time this season, rushing for 125 yards and a score. Junior Taylor Woods and sophomore Trai Sharp each ran for an identical 80 yards and a touchdown, while Woods threw his first career touchdown pass in the wildcat formation.
Senior Domo Taylor paced the receiving corps with four receptions for 114 yards and two touchdowns – both career highs. Senior Rashard Davis took a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown in the fourth, tying the program's single-season record of three. The Dukes now have four as a team, which ties the team's 2008 single-season mark.
The Dukes out-gained Elon 699 to 337, which included a 16-of-17 mark for 337 yards through the air and 362 on the ground (7.7 yards per carry). The Dukes averaged 10.9 yards per play and 19.8 yards per pass attempt. JMU was 4-for-7 on third down while holding the Phoenix to a 5-of-14 mark.
UP NEXT JMU, the outright CAA champions, will find out its path to the national championship during the NCAA FCS Playoffs Selection Show, which airs Sunday at 11 a.m. on ESPNU. The Dukes are likely to receive a national seed and first-round bye for the second consecutive season. JMU's run in the 2016 playoffs will be presented by Excel Heating and Cooling.
DOUBLE-DIGIT WINS This year marks the fourth season in JMU history with 10 or more wins, and the second with double-digit victories during the regular season. The last was in 2008 when the Dukes went 12-2 (10-1 in the regular season) and made the FCS semifinals as the No. 1 seed. JMU also totaled double-digit wins in 1994 (10-3) and the national title season of 2004 (13-2).
DAY OF FIRSTS In addition to Cole Johnson's first career start and touchdowns and Domo Taylor's first-ever 100-yard game, multiple Dukes notched career firsts. Hunter Etheridge threw his first career touchdown pass to Robbie Walker, which was also Walker's first career touchdown catch. Freshman tight end Nick Carlton caught his first two career passes for 41 yards in the fourth quarter.
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