WHERE: Bridgeforth Stadium, Harrisonburg, Virginia

KICKOFF: 4 p.m. Saturday

WEB: FloSports

ALL-TIME SERIES: James Madison leads, 13-5.

LAST MEETING: Sept. 23, 2017, won by James Madison, 28-10.

LAST WEEK: Maine lost to Delaware, 34-24; James Madison defeated Morehead State, 68-10.

KEY STAT: James Madison has won 18 consecutive home games.

OUTLOOK: This one will all come down to the running game so expect a tough, physical game. Maine needs to run the ball better than it did in its opening loss (gaining just 48 yards and averaging 2.2 yards per rush) to take some of the pressure off QB Joe Fagnano and his crew of talented receivers, led by Andre Miller, Devin Young and Michael Monios. This might be the week speedy Freddie Brock becomes the lead back but also look for Zavier Scott, a breakaway threat whenever he touches the ball, to become more involved.

The Black Bears also have to slow down a potent James Madison running game, which piled up 345 rushing yards last week, averaging 7.7 yards per carry. JMU has a stable of quality backs as Kaelon Black rushed for 100 yards and Latrele Palmer 98. That puts  the pressure on Maine’s front seven once again. Linebackers Ray Miller and Adrian Otero had outstanding games last week in limiting Delaware’s powerful running game to 141 yards and 3.2 yards per rush. Maine also has to do better on third-down opportunities. The Black Bears were only 2-of-12 against Delaware and need to maintain possession and keep the ball away from JMU’s stellar offense this week.

OF NOTE: Maine could get two injured players back for the game, defensive back Robby Riobe (who was third on the team with 25 tackles in the spring season) and linebacker Darius McKenzie. … Former Black Bear defensive back Jordan Swann, who played in 17 games for Maine, transferred to James Madison and is the Dukes No. 1 punt returner and back-up cornerback. … James Madison is ranked either second (FCS Coaches Poll) or third (STATS Perform Top 25) in national polls. … The Dukes have own eight of the last nine games between the schools; Maine’s last win came in 2011, 25-23 in overtime in Harrisonburg. … Two former Maine assistants are now at James Madison – defensive coordinator Corey Hetherman and cornerbacks coach Matt Birkett.


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