Defensive Dominance Propels #6 JMU Past #21 Delaware in FCS First Round

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HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Sixth-ranked James Madison limited Delaware to a pair of field goals and 185 total yards en route to a 20-6 triumph in the first round of the 2018 NCAA FCS Playoffs on Saturday evening at Bridgeforth Stadium/Zane Showker Field.

The Dukes improve to 9-3 on the year after conceding the fewest points in a single playoff game in program history. The Blue Hens season ends at 7-5.

JMU allowed just 69 rushing yards, limiting Delaware to just 2.8 yards per carry. The Blue Hens converted just 2-of-14 on third down and the Dukes registered five sacks and 10 tackles for loss with a pair of interceptions.

The Dukes dominated the first half defensively, as UD gained just 52 yards of offense with two first downs, grabbing a 12-3 halftime lead.

In the second half, JMU forced two turnovers on downs and produced a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions to seal the win.

Jimmy Moreland posted a season-high 10 tackles with 2.5 for loss and a half sack. Landan Word and Dimitri Holloway each had eight stops and 1.5 tackles for loss.

John Daka tied his career high with 2.0 sacks, while Paris Black and Darrious Carter both added another.

Charles Tutt recorded his first career interception in the fourth quarter and added a career-high three pass breakups, while Wayne Davis secured the win with a late-game interception, the second of his career.

Offensively, Ben DiNucci was 23-of-31 for 223 yards and a touchdown.

Three receivers tallied five catches in the win, as Kyndel Dean had a game-high 64 yards, while Riley Stapleton and Jake Brown each had 43 yards. Brown tacked on his second career touchdown catch in the third quarter and Stapleton’s second grab was the 100th of his career.

Trai Sharp led the game with 42 rushing yards, DiNucci had 29 and Marcus Marshall ran for 28 yards and a score.

JMU advances to next weekend’s FCS Second Round, where it faces No. 8 seed Colgate. That game will kick off on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 1 p.m. in Hamilton, N.Y., and will be streamed on ESPN3.