James Madison Shocks Va Tech, 21-16
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Drew Dudzik ran for two touchdowns and threw for another Saturday and James Madison handed No. 13 Virginia Tech its second loss in six days, 21-16.
Dudzik scored on second-half runs of seven and 12 yards as the Dukes (2-0) became only the second team from the Football Championship Subdivision to beat the Hokies. Richmond did it in 1985, a year after the Spiders dropped down to the Football Championship Subdivision.
The Hokies (0-2) began the season with national championship aspirations, but the offense that was supposed to be their strength did less against the Dukes than against No. 3 Boise State on Monday night. They lost that game 33-30 on a TD with 1:09 remaining.
The Hokies’ rebuilt defense also struggled to make stops when it needed them most.
James Madison coach Mickey Matthews joked this week he’d arrive at Lane Stadium with 60 players the Hokies didn’t want; he left with several that Virginia Tech could have used.
Chief among them was Dudzik, who completed 5 of 8 passes for 121 yards, including three huge third-down conversions in the second half. The Hokies also helped on both of the Dukes’ second-half scoring drives with personal fouls for tackling players out of bounds.
Dudzik also ran 12 times for 35 yards, and went in virtually untouched on both of his scoring runs. The latter came with 13:45 remaining, and while Virginia Tech drove deep into Dukes territory twice thereafter, Tyrod Taylor’s fourth-down pass to Jarrett Boykin in the end zone was broken up by Leavander Jones. Darren Evans fumbled on the next series.
Taylor also fumbled once, and threw a second-half interception.
The Hokies looked strong early, driving 94 yards in 17 plays to Taylor’s 9-yard TD pass to Boykin on their opening series. Taylor had an 18-yard scramble on third-and-6 in the drive, but Virginia Tech managed only two field goals and 104 yards the rest of the half.
The Dukes did even less and had just 91 yards at the break. But they were right in the game because 77 of them came on one play, a swing pass that Jamal Sullivan took down the left sideline for a touchdown on a third-and-17. It was the second play of 70-plus yards allowed by the Hokies this season, and both came on third down.