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JMU Football on Practice Field for FCS Championship Game

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The JMU football team is on the practice field in Frisco, Texas The JMU football team is on the practice field in Frisco, Texas
The Bison will be looking for payback, after the Dukes ended their championship run last season The Bison will be looking for payback, after the Dukes ended their championship run last season
Senior quarterback Bryan Schor will play his last game with James Madison in the FCS finals on Saturday Senior quarterback Bryan Schor will play his last game with James Madison in the FCS finals on Saturday
FRISCO, Tx (WVIR) -

By the time they hit on the field on Saturday, it will have been three weeks since the James Madison football team last played a game.

Defending national champion JMU will be taking on North Dakota State in the FCS Finals this weekend.

The game is being held in Frisco, Texas for the eighth year in a row.

It's not quite as cold as it was last year in Texas, as the temperatures were in the high 40's on Thursday, and it's expected to be in the mid-50's on Saturday for the FCS national championship game.

It's #1 vs. #2 showdown.

Top-seeded JMU is trying to become just the fourth school ever to win back-to-back FCS championships.

Both James Madison and North Dakota State practiced Thursday in Frisco, and the first 30 minutes of practice was open to the media.

These teams have the top defenses at the FCS level..

The Dukes lead the country in scoring defense, allowing just 11 points per game.

The Bison lead the nation in total defense, allowing just 237 yards per game.

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."

NDSU head coach Chris Klieman says, "I don't know what type of game its going to be.  You would think it's going to be a defensive battle, a little bit, but both teams, offensively, have some explosive players."

Both teams have experienced quarterbacks.

Easton Stick is in his second season as the Bison' starter.

Stick is one of the country's most efficient passers, and the 6-foot-2, 221-pound junior ranks third in yards per completion.

JMU senior defensive end Andrew Ankrah says, "If you give him time in the pocket to throw dropback passes, he'll make you play.  He's a big quarterback.  Probably the best we've seen all year, and it's going to be a great competition."

North Dakota State won five-straight FCS national titles, until JMU beat them in the semifinals to end the streak last season.

Now North Dakota State is back in the finals, and looking to prove last year was a fluke.

"Oh no doubt," says Houston.  "That's their thing.  I promise you, they wanted this match-up.  There's no doubt.  And we're excited about it too."

Klieman says, "They got different players, just like we got different players.  I know this: our guys are excited to come back and play in the national championship.  It just so happens it's James Madison, whom we have a ton of respect for."

JMU senior quarterback Bryan Schor says, "This is the reason why we play football.  You play it to get into these games, and have these moments with your teammates, and it's going to be a great game."

James Madison is undefeated at 14-0.

North Dakota State is 13-1, with the lone loss coming to South Dakota State, a team JMU beat by 35 points this year in national semifinals.

The Dukes and Bison will play for the FCS National Championship on Saturday at 12 PM Eastern in Frisco, Texas.