Virginia to honor slain football players before facing James Madison in home opener

James Madison (1-0) at Virginia (0-1), Saturday, noon ET (ESPNU)

Line: James Madison by 6, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Virginia leads 2-1.


The Dukes had a greatly successful first year in the FBS and would have won the Sun Belt Conference title had they been eligibile. They crushed eventual campion Coastal Carolina 47-7 in their final game. The Cavaliers are coming off a 49-13 loss to No. 9 Tennessee and playing their first home game since three players were killed last November.


Virginia's run defense against the Duke's ground game. JMU ran for 261 yards in its opening 38-3 victory against Bucknell when its passing game struggled early, while Virginia allowed 287 yards and five rushing touchdowns to Tennessee.


James Madison: QB Jordan McCloud. The Arizona transfer came on in the third quarter after starter Alonza Bennett III struggled and went 7 for 11 for 144 yards and two TDs. He will start this week against a veteran defense.

Virginia: QB Anthony Colandrea. If starter and veteran (Monmouth transfer) Tony Muskett can't play because of an injured shoulder, the true freshman will get the start. He came on in the third quarter at Tennessee and was 2 for 7 for 12 yards and ran twice for 17 yards.


This is the first meeting of the programs separated by just 58 miles in 40 years. ... Bucknell was limited to four yards in the second half of the Dukes' 38-3 victory last week. ... JMU has won 17 consecutive games against Virginia schools. ... Transfer WR Phoenix Sproles played for three national champions at North Dakota State. ... The Cavaliers will have to maintain focus on a weekend with a series of remembrances for their slain teammates planned. ... The Cavaliers have won five consecutive home openers. ... The game will be the 500th at Scott Stadium.


AP college football: and