HARRISONBURG, Va. – James Madison Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne announced Wednesday the 2018 football schedule, which features five home games and a road matchup at Atlantic Coast Conference foe NC State.
“This schedule presents great opportunities for our program,” Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne said. “With the CAA’s rotating schedule format, we welcome Stony Brook and Towson back to our schedule. In terms of home games, we will host two of this season’s top CAA opponents in Elon and Stony Brook as well as traditional rival William & Mary. NC State will be one of the best FBS opponents we’ve faced in several seasons. Our road games occur in key alumni areas in Richmond, Norfolk, Philadelphia and Baltimore, which should help to maximize our recruiting exposure as well as the number of fans who have an opportunity to watch JMU football in 2018.”
“I’m excited about the 2018 schedule coming out, as we have a couple new conference opponents in Towson and Stony Brook, so it’ll be good to see those guys,” Head Coach Mike Houston said. “We have William & Mary and Richmond really early in the season, which is something different for our alumni and football team. We look forward to the challenges next season, but we still have business to take care of first in 2017.”
The Dukes open the 2018 campaign on Sept. 1 when they travel to Raleigh, N.C., to face ACC-opponent NC State. It will mark the 11th straight season JMU has faced a FBS team, as it looks to win its third game in four years at FBS competition.
“Being back in North Carolina playing at NC State in the opener should be a great task and an exciting challenge for us,” Houston said. “We’ve played some great teams in my time at JMU and NC State may be the best. They are one of the top teams in the ACC this year and it has a lot coming back next year, so we’ll be playing a top-25 FBS program. We have a pretty big challenge ahead of us to open the 2018 season.”
Following the opener, JMU heads across the Commonwealth to Norfolk, Va., on Sept. 8 for its second matchup in as many seasons against Norfolk State out of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The Dukes close the non-conference slate on Sept. 15 when they open the home portion of the schedule at Bridgeforth Stadium/Zane Showker Field against Robert Morris out of the Northeast Conference.
The Dukes open Colonial Athletic Association play on Sept. 22 when they host William & Mary. They close out the month with the short trek to the capital city to battle Richmond on Sept. 29. It will be the first time since 1993 that JMU and Richmond will meet during the opening month of the season.
JMU plays three times in October, including twice at home. The Dukes host Elon on Oct. 6 for Family Weekend before traveling to Villanova on Oct. 13. After a bye week on Oct. 20, JMU returns home to face Stony Brook on Oct. 27 for Homecoming.
The Dukes open the final month of the regular season with their furthest road trip of the year at New Hampshire on Nov. 3. They host Rhode Island on Nov. 10 for Senior Day before closing the 11-game slate on Nov. 17 at Towson.
The 2018 playoffs begin Nov. 24 and Dec. 1 with the first and second rounds. The quarterfinals are set for Dec. 7 and 8 and semifinals for Dec. 14 and 15. The 2019 NCAA Division I national championship game will be played Jan. 5, 2019.
The Dukes are currently ranked No. 1 nationally and are riding a program-record and NCAA Division I-best 20-game win streak. JMU returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 4 at Rhode Island, as the Dukes are seeking their 16th consecutive conference win, which would break the CAA’s all-time record.