HARRISONBURG, Va. -- DeAndre' Smith returned an interception 86 yards for a score to assure James Madison a 31-21 victory over Villanova Saturday.
Villanova, trailing 24-14 midway through the fourth quarter, had a new set of downs at James Madison's 20, when Smith picked off the pass.
The Wildcats (4-5, 3-3 Colonial Athletic) missed another scoring opportunity early in the final quarter, driving to the JMU 29. The Dukes defense thwarted that effort too as the Wildcats missed on a 46-yard field goal attempt. Stephon Robertson led the defensive charge for JMU with a career-high 16 tackles, keeping Villanova scoreless in the second half until late in the fourth when John Robertson passed to Earnest Pettway for a score.
James Madison (6-3, 3-2) opened the scoring when Kalid Abdullah ran in from the 6. Villanova matched scores each time until the Dukes took the lead for good on Cameron Starke's 30-yard field goal.
Michigan State's roster is largely built of interchangeable parts, but they don't make many parts that fit the mold of Malik McDowell.
In 100 days, the ACC will face an unusually important opening weekend, with its two top national contenders facing huge nonconference tests.
Nick Chubb continued to rehab is knee but is apparently ahead of schedule. Still, the staff is going to be very cautious with his return this fall.
Michigan has a number of contenders for "most indispensable" status, but one stands out for being more difficult to replace than any of the others.
Are Oklahoma's Josh Heupel and TCU's Trevone Boykin among the top five quarterbacks in Big 12 history? A case can be made for both players.
NC State has been transfer-quarterback heavy since Dave Doeren took over, with Boise State's Ryan Finley the latest transfer to come aboard.
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