The Tribe will host the James Madison University Dukes tomorrow in yet another showdown between the two rivals under the lights at Zable Stadium.
p. The Dukes come to Williamsburg ranked 16th nationally in the FCS, boasting a 6-3 overall record and 4-2 CAA record. The Tribe, coming off a loss to Hofstra University, is 4-5 overall with a 2-4 CAA record. The team is prepared, however, to take on the challenge of facing a team that is fighting to make the playoffs.
p. “We’re going to do everything we can to beat a team that looks great this year,” senior tackle Brad Stewart said. “It’s going to be an exciting game.”
p. The Tribe defense will have to contend with JMU quarterback Rodney Landers, who poses a threat in both the running and passing games. He averages 154.9 yards per game through the air, and an additional 91.4 yards per game on the ground.
p. On the offensive side of the ball, junior quarterback Jake Phillips will have to keep his eye on Dukes safety Tony LeZotte. Laycock said that the team will alter some of their blocking schemes in order to keep LeZotte from disrupting the team’s offense.
p. “[LeZotte] has just a great knack for getting to the football,”
Laycock said. “He recovers well, he reads well … he’s tough.”
p. Tomorrow night will mark the final home game for Tribe seniors, as they play at Zable for the last time. While Stewart
feels a sense of sadness, he thinks that this finality will work in the team’s favor.
p. “It will probably be emotional,” Stewart said. “But it’s kind of a motivating factor in that, ‘this is it. Let’s let it all hang out’ … It should be fun to look back at what we’ve done and enjoy this last game.”
p. The fact that the Tribe is facing one of its most bitter rivals has Stewart confident that the team will come out focused tomorrow night.
p. “There’s no love lost on the field,” Stewart said. “It’s a pretty physical game the whole time. The week leading up to it is usually pretty intense, and usually people are pretty focused on what we have to do.
p. “And I know, as a senior, we’re going to be focused this week.”