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.
South Carolina's loss to The Citadel, coupled with Georgia and Florida struggling in tight victories, was an embarrassment for the conference.
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