Dukes, Blue Hens hoping to follow Richmond's lead
After starting off their seasons with a pair of easy wins, the competition is about to become a little steeper for James Madison and Delaware.
The 11th-ranked Dukes visit high-powered North Carolina (3:30 p.m. ET) and the Blue Hens travel to Wake Forest (6:30 p.m. ET) on Saturday for the last two of five 2016 matchups involving CAA members and ACC schools.
Expect points to be plentiful in JMU's third-ever meeting with the Tar Heels. The Dukes have racked up a Division I-leading 136 in blowout home victories over overmatched foes Morehead State and Central Connecticut State, while North Carolina (1-1) averaged 40.7 per game during an 11-win 2015 campaign under spread offense guru Larry Fedora. The Tar Heels had 17 in the final 12 1/2 minutes to pull away for a 48-23 win at Illinois last week.
In contrast, defense has been the early calling card for Delaware and Wake Forest (2-0). The Blue Hens have held both Delaware State and Lafayette under 200 total yards, and the Demon Deacons limited Duke to 37 rushing yards in last Saturday's 24-14 win to achieve their first 2-0 start since 2012. Delaware's run-based offense has churned out 671 yards on the ground through the first two weeks, though it will be without top back Wes Hills after he injured his elbow on the initial drive of last week's 24-6 victory at Lafayette.
The Blue Hens will attempt to end a six-game losing streak to FBS opponents and earn their first such win since Joe Flacco led the way in a 59-52 shootout over Navy in 2007. Under coach Dave Brock, UD has been outscored 154-21 in losses at Navy, Pittsburgh and North Carolina over the previous three seasons.
JMU lost 42-10 in Chapel Hill during Fedora's first season in 2012 but does own two wins over the ACC, most notably its 21-16 upset of nationally ranked Virginia Tech in 2010. The Dukes also dealt American Athletic Conference inhabitant SMU a 48-45 defeat last September.
The CAA went 1-2 against the ACC during opening weekend, with Richmond's defeat of Virginia following William & Mary's 48-14 setback at N.C. State and Villanova's 28-7 loss to Pittsburgh.