There’s a whole lot to work on and change after the first game under new head man Neal Brown, but James Madison is the absolute real deal. The Dukes have one of the best teams in the FCS and were going to bring a fight to a rebuilding Mountaineer squad, but the offense has to be a whole lot better in a bit hurry with a trip to Missouri up next.
Austin Kendall threw a ton – completing 27-of-42 passes for 260 yards and two scores – and he didn’t make many mistakes, but the O just didn’t go anywhere. The JMU defense was all over the place, especially against the run. WVU has explosive weapons, but it only gained 34 yards on 24 carries.
West Virginia is not supposed to gain just 294 yards. However, the defense generated a terrific pass rush, it kept the Dukes out of the end zone after the first quarter, and it forced three takeaways – the Mountaineers were a +3.
Well that worked out just fine. Texas Tech had no problems in the first game under Matt Wells, scoring 28 first quarter points and rolling at will offensively. Alan Bowman took target practice, completing 40-of-55 passes for 436 yards and two scores.
This was supposed to be a light scrimmage, and that’s exactly what happened with the running game gashing away at will with big holes in the quick attack. The key was Bowman’s decision-making. He had time to work, he was accurate, and his receivers were rolling on the move.
The cupcake world tour continues with UTEP up next. What needs tweaking? The pass rush didn’t do a whole lot, and the O wasn’t quite sharp enough in the third quarter, but that’s nitpicking. Texas Tech wanted the offense that rolled under Wells at Utah State, and for a week, it did just that.
How right out of the gate, the Baylor offense fired away with the short-to-midrange passing game and got in plenty of work in the light scrimmage. There was no reason to air it out or do anything crazy with a big early lead, but next week against UTSA, the Bears should open it up a bit more, and then tune up again against Rice.
Charlie Brewer didn’t come up with anything big, but he made a whole lot of midrange throws. He completed 21-of-31 passes for 199 yards and three scores, and Gerry Bohanon came in and kept it all going in garbage time. It helped that there was no pressure whatsoever in the backfield.
The defense brought plenty of pressure and didn’t have any issues after giving up an early scoring drive, but it was just okay on third downs and didn’t have to deal with any real stress. As long as the Bears are able to generate the plays behind the line on a regular basis, the improved controlled offense will take care of the rest.