James Madison Dukes, who ended their 2021 spring season with a 5-0 record, will welcome the VMI Keydets in their first-round game on Saturday. It comes as a surprise that the Dukes aren't the number one overall seed in the FCS Playoffs.
Meanwhile, VMI Keydets are making their first appearance in the FCS Playoffs. They captured their first SOCON title in 43 years. VMI will put their 6-1 record on the road on the line when they face James Madison Dukes.
VMI Keydets vs James Madison Dukes: How to Watch | FCS College Football Playoffs
Date: April 24, 2021.
Time: 2 PM EST.
How to watch: ESPN 3.
VMI Keydets vs James Madison Dukes: Head-to-Head | FCS College Football Playoffs
Dukes and Keydets will meet for the 14th time on Saturday. James Madison have a 10-3 head-to-head series lead over the Keydets. VMI have lost their last five games against James Madison, heading into Saturday's playoff matchup.
VMI Keydets vs James Madison Dukes: Team News | FCS College Football Playoffs
VMI Keydets are led in offense by redshirt freshman quarterback Seth Morgan. Morgan has appeared in six games for the Keydets this season and has thrown for 1,088 yards and eight touchdowns. He has contributed on the ground as well, with 198 rushing yards and two touchdowns in 45 carries.
Seth Morgan has received a lot of help from Jakob Herres and Michael Jackson. Herres has caught 67 passes for 807 yards and seven touchdowns this season for the Keydets. Meanwhile, Jackson has caught 32 passes for 362 yards and three touchdowns.
The Keydets are led in defense by their two linebackers, Connor Riddle and Stone Snyder. Riddle has registered 72 total tackles, ten tackles for loss, five sacks and one interception. Snyder has tallied 76 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, and eight sacks from his linebacker position.
James Madison Dukes
The James Madison Dukes are led by quarterback Cole Johnson. Johnson has passed for 907 yards and four touchdowns. He has also rushed for 49 yards and one touchdown in 20 attempts this season.
The Dukes have received contributions from their two running backs, Percy Agyei-Obese and Jawon Hamilton. Ageyi-Obese has rushed for 381 rushing yards and five touchdowns in 69 attempts, while Hamilton has rushed for 278 rushing yards and four touchdowns in 52 attempts this campaign.
On the defensive side of the football, the James Madison Dukes are led by their two seniors, Kelvin Azanama and Mike Greene. Azanama has registered 34 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks, while Greene has tallied15 total tackles, eight tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks this season.
VMI Keydets vs James Madison Dukes: Projected Starters | FCS College Football Playoffs
QB: Seth Morgan.
RB: Rashad Raymond.
WR: Jakob Herres, Michael Jackson, Max Brimigion.
TE: Jon Tobin.
James Madison Dukes
QB: Cole Johnson.
RB: Percy Agyei-Obese, Jawon Hamilton.
WR: Kris Thornton, Antwane Wells Jr., Scott Bracey.
TE: Clayton Cheatham.
VMI Keydets vs James Madison Dukes: Predictions | FCS College Football Playoffs
This first-round matchup may be the best game of the weekend. The Dukes and Keydets are both having great spring campaigns, and that could carry over to Saturday as well.
The VMI Keydets' quarterback has been playing with tremendous confidence and could make history again when the Keydets lock horns against James Madison.
Prediction: VMI Keydets 24-21 James Madison Dukes.