JMU Football on Practice Field for FCS Championship Game

Annette Crawford
January 6, 2018

The Dukes were heavy underdogs in the win.

The forecast on for Saturday's FCS championship game between James Madison and North Dakota State in Frisco is for mostly sunny conditions with a high of 57 degrees and southeast wind of 12 miles per hour.

The NDSU Bison football team has been ready for Saturday's game for almost a year. Whether deserved or not, the Dukes will use their experience with being underestimated in the past to attempt to earn their second-straight FCS National Championship. They won 27-17 at North Dakota State in the 2016 semifinals. They have a 26-game victory streak. They beat all but two opponents by double digits this season.

"We have, in my opinion, faced the best from each team each week", Houston said. "I felt like teams were extremely geared up to play us, week in, week out". The Bison are first in total defense, the Dukes third.

"I don't have to".

"And we also heard it was going to be 6:00 and then we heard 5:00 and then they turned around and told us nope, and then we found out because it was on the radio that the blocks were open you can go in", said Gene Gadberry of Hillsboro, North Dakota. "I don't have to say a word to them".

JMU Football on Practice Field for FCS Championship Game
JMU Football on Practice Field for FCS Championship Game

How is the undefeated top seed an underdog at home in the semifinals? Houston may have exaggerated by a couple of points the line for Saturday's game, but how are the Dukes generally viewed as underdogs in the final, at this neutral site? "It just so happens it's James Madison, whom we have a ton of respect for".

We were able to catch up with a few of them earlier today.

If JMU required a tad more inspiration in its quest to win back-to-back national titles, there you have it.

Aaron briefly talks with VOA's Joe Korkowski about the excitement of the FCS title game, playing for the Bison and more in the following audio clip.

But James Madison senior quarterback Bryan Schor is no slouch.

The Dukes lead the country in scoring defense, allowing just 11 points per game. "We got a group of guys to go with so I'm excited for it", said Croy Goehner, who is in Frisco for the first time. "These are times that you'll talk about for the rest of your life as a player".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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