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League's best are bowl worthy, JMU coach says
James Madison coach Mickey Matthews took the opportunity Monday to beat the drum for the Colonial Athletic Association following his team’s 21-16 upset of Virginia Tech.
The Dukes played turnover -free football to topple the Hokies, who were ranked No. 13 in the nation in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Two days later, Matthews said “the top two or three teams” in the Colonial Athletic Association “are top 40 teams in the nation and are easily bowl teams” although the CAA is a Football Championship Subdivision league.
CAA teams have been giant killers before, last season scoring four upsets over FBS teams - most notably William and Mary’s win over Virginia that marked the beginning of the end for Cav s coach Al Groh.
Matthews had plenty to say during Monday’s weekly CAA media teleconference.
About Virginia Tech’s talent, “In some positions, we’re going to play better players in our league.”
About not being intimidated by Tech’s Lane Stadium: “I told our guys, ‘Don’t embarrass yourself because you see all that concrete and that pretty press box.’ “
About the good fortune of having a bye week this week: “I’m sure all our guys are busy signing autographs right now. Thank God we have an off week to regain their attention.”
Seems the only thing that caught Matthews off guard came Sunday morning.
“Craziest thing that happened after the game was my preacher at my church wore a purple JMU hat,” Matthews said. “We have a lot of Tech fans that go to my church, but they were kind enough to give me an ovation anyway.”
W&M coach focused on consistency, not foe
William and Mary coach Jimmye Laycock will never be caught supplying the opposition with bulletin board material, so it was hardly surprising that he offered milquetoast when discussing Saturday’s game at Old Dominion.
“Every game’s a big game,” Laycock said. “We’re trying to be consistent and do things that we do well. We need to take care of ourselves.”
About the only thing Laycock was revved up about was the start time. The 7 p.m. kickoff, dictated by television (CSN), isn’t his favorite.
“It just means you have to sit around all day and wait,” Laycock said. “Personally, I don’t prefer it. But night games create a great atmosphere for the fans. ”
The pressure seems to be mounting for Villanova to step up to the FBS and join the Big East. The defending FCS national champion would help the Big East penetrate the Philadelphia TV market. For now, it only seems to be giving Wildcats coach Andy Talley a big headache. “It’s another distraction and something I don’t want to deal with during the season,” Talley said. … Richmond coach Latrell Scott said Justin Rogers will continue to play on both sides of the ball. The preseason All-American defensive back already was returning punts and kickoffs; now he’s expected to see time at the offensive skill positions. … Delaware freshman running back Andrew Pierce posted his second 100-yard rushing game Saturday and has quickly become the frontrunner for CAA Rookie of the Year honors.
By Rich Radford, The Virginian-Pilot