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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

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In-Game Blog: Richmond at James Madison

4th Quarter, 0:00- The clock runs out, and JMU wins by a final score of 31-7. The Dukes up its record to 4-1 (2-0 CAA), while the Spiders fall to 3-2 (0-2 CAA).

4th Quarter, 3:19- Even the JMU band is starting to leave the stands, as the Dukes look to run out the clock on this inevitable victory.

4th Quarter, 8:24- JMU tacks on another three points, adding a 44-yard field goal to up its lead to 31-7. The kick is Dukes' kicker Cameron Starkes's career long.

4th Quarter, 10:41- Corp fumbles on third down as he is hit from behind. A Richmond lineman recovers, but the Spiders are still forced to punt, which JMU returns back to the UR 34.

4th Quarter, 11:59- James Madison continues to pile it on with its ground attack, bringing its lead to 28-7 on another long touchdown run, this time for 49 yards, by Anderson.

4th Quarter, 12:49- Rain continues to fall on Bridgeforth Stadium, and all fans are beginning to file out of the stadium. Meanwhile, another costly Richmond penalty stops any chance at momentum, forcing another punt.

4th Quarter, 14:44- Richmond's luck doesn't get any better, as a perfect punt is downed at the UR 1-yard line by JMU. Corp is able to find Edwards open for a first down, though, to gain some breathing room.

3rd Quarter, 0:00- JMU lets the clock run out on the third quarter, facing a punting situation, but not before they switched the field position, out across midfield. The Dukes look to have this game in hand. Optimistic Spider fans may point to last week's almost-comeback against New Hampshire in the fourth quarter as proof they can still win, but there are some big differences between this game and last week's. JMU is a stronger opponent historically, and one that is built on the run, which will allow it to run down the clock easier. Also, last week, despite being down, Richmond was still moving the ball and scoring, which is not the case here at all.

3rd Quarter, 3:54- The offensive woes continue for Richmond, again failing to earn a first down. They punt it away to give JMU the ball on its own 19.

3rd Quarter, 4:53- The Spiders get some help thanks to a few penalties on a JMU offensive lineman, and force a punt. Richmond's offense begins its next drive at midfield.

3rd Quarter, 8:17- Corp gets sacked for the fifth time in this game on 2nd down, bringing up a 3rd an 19 for the Spiders. He throws incomplete and the team must punt.

3rd Quarter, 9:32- Corp finds receiver Stephen Barnette near the sideline on a 3rd and 9 for Richmond's only first down of the half so far. The offense needs to answer with some points here to stop JMU's momentum.

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3rd Quarter, 10:28- It's James Madison's Homecoming game, and the students appear confident enough in their school's lead to go enjoy the rest of their days, as the student section is starting to look empty after beginning the game packed.

3rd Quarter, 10:28- James Madison adds to its lead as tailback Jordan Anderson runs free through the middle 45 yards for the touchdown. Adding the extra point, the Dukes now lead 21-7.

3rd Quarter, 13:15- Richmond again fails to convert a first down with decent field position. On 4th down, they attempt a fake punt, but punter Nick Hicks's throw goes right to a JMU defender, who returns the interception to the JMU 32.

3rd Quarter, 14:54- Spiders get off to a good start in the second half, as a short kickoff is taken down the sideline by Ben Edwards to the JMU 42-yard line.

Halftime: A few thoughts: This may seem obvious for every game, but Richmond really needs to get its offense going in the second half if they want to win this game. 46 total yards on offense for a half isn't going to get it done, and this seven-point deficit could be a lot worse had it not been for the early punt block. For the offense to get in any kind of rhythm, it's going to need a better effort by its offensive line. The unit has a couple starters missing from this game, such as Mark Speir, but Corp hasn't had any time to throw when he's dropped back.

On defense, the problem is that the unit isn't taking enough advantage of its opportunities. James Madison is without its starting QB due to suspension and starting running back, who suffered an unknown injury early in the second quarter. The defense dropped a few possible interception opportunities, and needs to capitalize on those to compensate for its lack of offensive production.

2nd Quarter, 0:00- Richmond takes a knee following a JMU punt to head into halftime down 14-7. Some observations on the Spiders' first half in a few minutes.

2nd Quarter, 1:18- Three straight unproductive plays leaves Richmond with a 4th and 11, which they go for, but Corp is hit and fumbles. Richmond recovers, but turns it over on downs to give JMU the ball on its own 37.

2nd Quarter, 3:31- As has often been the case this season, the defense makes a big play to make up for a lack of offensive production. On 3rd down, freshman linebacker Aaron Roane hits Edwards in the backfield forcing a fumble, and freshman lineman Justin Williamson recovers at the JMU 33.

2nd Quarter, 4:09- Corp goes down again, this time on 3rd and 10, forcing the Spiders to punt. JMU calls for a fair catch on its own 38.

2nd Quarter, 5:01- Richmond return man Wayne Pettus picks up some nice yardage on the kickoff return, giving the Spider offense the ball on their own 40.

2nd Quarter, 5:09- On 2nd and goal, Edwards leaves the pocket and makes a defender miss on a run down the middle, diving for the end zone. The touchdown puts the Dukes ahead 14-7.

2nd Quarter, 7:42- Pass interference called on safety Cooper Taylor gives JMU a 1st down out across the Richmond 30-yard line.

2nd Quarter, 7:47- A sack and a couple run stops by the Dukes gives them great field position on the UR 43 following the punt.

2nd Quarter, 9:49- The teams exchange 3 and outs, and a good punt by JMU leaves Richmond on its own 9-yard line.

2nd Quarter, 12:29- Great pass by Edwards gives JMU a 1st and goal from the 5-yard line, and backup tailback Jauan Latney takes it in from their around the right side of the field. Score now tied in Harrisonburg, 7-7.

2nd Quarter, 14:54- James Madison picks up the first down on a pitch play. They have a first down at the UR 22.

1st Quarter, 0:00- First quarter comes to an end with the Spiders still up 7-0. JMU looks like it's starting to get its running game going, with a few nice runs on this drive that has them at about the UR 28-yard line, though they'll face a 4th and 3 to start the second quarter.

1st Quarter, 3:02- Richmond momentum stopped by a false start penalty, and they are unable to gain another first down. Kick-catch interference penalty on the punt return gives the Dukes the ball on their own 38.

1st Quarter, 5:40- Redshirt freshman tight end Hunter Westfall makes a nice catch for another Spider first down, but takes a hard hit below the knee. He's down on the field with a bad looking injury. The press box personnel are cringing at the replay.

1st Quarter, 6:54- Spiders riding the backs of their usual stars Gaskins and receiver Tre Gray out of trouble near their own end zone. Two first downs has the ball out near their own 30.

1st Quarter, 9:01- Richmond's defensive game plan looks like it's focused on stopping Scott and they are doing their job thus far, forcing another JMU punt. The Dukes get this one off and make a great play to pin the Spiders on their own 4-yard line.

1st Quarter, 10:66- Break in the action as a sideline official goes down. He appears to get up fine though as JMU faces a 3rd and 8 that they convert on a pass across midfield.

1st Quarter, 11:22- Solid return by the Dukes, as they start their drive at their own 43.

1st Quarter, 11:29- On 3rd down, fullback Kendall Gaskins refuses to be denied and bulls his way through a couple defenders for the touchdown. That puts Richmond ahead 7-0, as they take the early lead as they have all season.

1st Quarter, 12:16- Richmond's defense forces a JMU punt and the Spiders block it. Deshawn Holmes got a hand on it and Evan Joseph picked it up and returned it to the JMU 3-yard line.

1st Quarter, 14:12- Edwards's first pass is complete for a first down out to the JMU 45.

1st Quarter, 14:54- JMU starts with the ball, returning the opening kickoff to their own 30. Look for a heavy dose of Dukes' star running back Dae'Quan Scott.

Pregame- Canons going off here on the field. As the smoke blows away in the wind, the clock shows this game is about to be under way, just over 2 minutes from kickoff. Richmond is looking to rebound from a tough, home loss last week versus New Hampshire. JMU is certainly not the best opponent to come back against, but the Dukes' starting quarterback is suspended for this game. Look for Richmond's defensive line, though missing a few starters, to put pressure on JMU's redshirt freshman Jace Edwards in his first collegiate start.

Pregame- Welcome back to our live football blog, where today, the Richmond Spiders take on in-state foe James Madison in Harrisonburg, Va., at Bridgeforth Stadium. Kickoff is about 13 minutes away, and the JMU band is currently entertaining the nearly full stadium. Some pregame thoughts to come.

Contact staff writer David Weissman at david.weissman@richmond.edu

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