JMU Stays At No. 1 In CAA Power Rankings

Greg Madia, Publisher
Dukes of JMU
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Daniel Lin/DN-R

HARRISONBURG – The Colonial Athletic Association kicks off its first full week of league play with five conference games on Saturday.

This past week, the conference went 10-1 in non-conference games.

Each week, the DN-R will put out its CAA power rankings to reflect which squads are trending in the right direction, and which ones aren’t.

Here’s our power rankings following Week 3:

1. James Madison

Record: 3-0

Last Week: Win, 75-14 vs. Norfolk State

This Week: Saturday vs. Maine

JMU outscored its three non-conference opponents 161-38, and heads into league play as the overwhelming favorite to win the CAA. The Dukes will do so without leading rusher Cardon Johnson, though, who coach Mike Houston said, suffered a season-ending injury last week in the team’s 75-14 win over Norfolk State.

2. Villanova

Record: 2-1

Last Week: Win, 59-0 vs. Lafayette

This Week: Saturday at Albany

Villanova’s defense recorded a shutout for the third straight season as the Wildcats limited Lafayette to just 77 yards of total offense. Villanova also scored two touchdowns on defense – a 35-yard interception return by Jaquan Amos and a 27-yard return by Keeling Hunter – in a 36-point second quarter.

3. Richmond

Record: 2-1

Last Week: Win, 68-21 vs. Howard

This Week: Saturday vs. Elon

The Spiders had their offense rolling as quarterback Kyle Lauletta threw for 321 yards and six touchdowns in a win over Howard. Richmond has now scored at least 48 points twice this season.

4. New Hampshire

Record: 2-1

Last Week: Loss, 51-26 at Holy Cross

This Week: Saturday vs. Rhode Island

New Hampshire followed up its win over FBS Georgia Southern with a loss at Holy Cross. The biggest problem for New Hampshire was its 3-of-17 third-down conversion rate. The Wildcats couldn’t move the chains, but will try to bounce back this week as it hosts Rhode Island.

5. Maine

Record: 1-1

Last Week: Idle

This Week: Saturday at James Madison

Maine used its bye week to start early on preparation for James Madison. Last year, Maine took a lead into the fourth quarter against the Dukes before JMU rallied to win. Maine coach Joe Harasymiak said winning close games is something his program must start doing.

6. Albany

Record: 2-1

Last Week: Win, 28-14 vs. Monmouth

This Week: Saturday vs. Villanova

Running back Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks ran for 63 yards and a touchdown for Albany in his season debut after he was held out of the first two weeks due to injury. The Great Danes could take a huge step this week in contending for a CAA title, if they can upset Villanova.

7. Stony Brook

Record: 2-1

Last Week: Win, 45-7 vs. Sacred Heart

This Week: Saturday vs. Towson

For a team that had offensive problems last year, Stony Brook seems to have found a bit more success this season. Quarterback Joe Carbone threw for three touchdowns and as a team, Stony Brook rushed for 294 yards in its win over Sacred Heart.

8. Elon

Record: 2-1

Last Week: Win, 19-17 vs. Charleston Southern

This Week: Saturday at Richmond

Elon has knocked off two good teams in back-to-back weeks, with a victory over Charleston Southern this past Saturday and Furman in Week 2. Running back Malcolm Summers rushed for 178 yards and a touchdown against the Buccaneers.

9. Delaware

Record: 2-1

Last Week: Win 41-14 vs. Cornell

This Week: Idle

Delaware forced Cornell into five first-half turnovers and the Blue Hens offense scored 27 points off those Big Red miscues. In a bye week, coach Danny Rocco is off to a 2-1 start in his first season at the school.

10. William & Mary

Record: 2-1

Last Week: Win, 30-9 vs. Bucknell

This Week: Idle

The Tribe led Bucknell just 10-9 at halftime but used 20 unanswered points to pull away in a lopsided win. In two games against FCS competition, William & Mary has given up just 15 points.

11. Rhode Island

Record: 1-2

Last Week: Win, 17-10 vs. Harvard

This Week: Saturday at New Hampshire

Coach Jim Fleming’s club picked up its first win of the year, knocking off Ivy League Harvard, which won seven games last season. Rhode Island looks improved and Central Florida transfer quarterback Tyler Harris has seemed to be a stabilizing force for the Rams.

12. Towson

Record: 2-1

Last Week: Win, 16-14 at Saint Francis

This Week: Saturday at Stony Brook

Towson has the worst scoring offense in the CAA through three games, but its defense has held up against FCS competition shutting out Morgan State in Week 1 and limiting St. Francis to just 14 points this past weekend.

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