A quietly great storyline of the 2023 season has been the dominance of James Madison. The Dukes are 9-0, and would be the favorites for the G5's New Year's Six Bowl spot if not for the rule barring them from postseason play due to their jump from FCS to FBS prior to last season. They're one of my favorite teams in the country to watch each week, namely because their defense is so nasty. JMU leads the nation in fewest yards rushing allowed (59 per game), sacks (41), and tackles for loss (92).
While it's a by-committee approach –seven Dukes defenders have at least four TFLs– the star of the show is defensive lineman/edge rusher Jalen Green. The senior from Baltimore, MD has arguably been the best game-wrecker in the sport, leading the nation in tackles for loss (21) and sacks (15.5). He's been so dominant that it looked like he had a real shot at breaking Louisville legend Elvis Dumervil's single-season sack record (20) set back in 2005. Unfortunately, JMU coach Curt Cignetti announced today that his season is over, due to a non-contact knee injury against Georgia State on Saturday.
It's a terrible break in what's been such a special season for Green and JMU, so here's hoping to a speedy recovery, and I know I'll be rooting for him in whatever comes next!
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