(STATS) – It's been about the offense at No. 5 James Madison this season, but the defense delivered both a 20-7 win over No. 9 Villanova and the CAA Football championship on Saturday.
The Dukes (9-1, 7-0), who have lost only to ACC member North Carolina in coach Mike Houston's first season, earned their second straight CAA title and their first outright crown since 2008. They collected the conference's automatic qualifier for their third straight postseason appearance.
Junior quarterback Bryan Schor was knocked from the game in the second quarter with an injury, but Khalid Abdullah (33 carries, 101 yards) ran for a touchdown in each half and Tyler Gray kicked 21- and 27-yard field goals in the second half.
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JMU entered the game ranked second in the FCS in scoring offense (49.1 ppg), but the tempo was more to Villanova's liking. The Wildcats (7-3, 5-2) had been No. 3 nationally in scoring defense (14.9 ppg).
But JMU intercepted Villanova quarterback Zach Bednarczyk four times. Bednarczyk scored on a 56-yard run in the second quarter.
STATS FCS TOP 25 SCHEDULE=
SATURDAY, NOV. 12
All Times ET
No. 17 Youngstown State 21, Southern Illinois 14
The Penguins (7-3, 5-3 Missouri Valley) moved a step closer to their first playoff bid in 10 years, breaking a 14-14 tie on Hunter Wells' 10-yard touchdown pass to Darien Townsend with 4:59 remaining.
Jody Webb rushed for 167 yards on 21 carries in the win.
Albany 36, No. 21 New Hampshire 25
New Hampshire's bid for a 13th consecutive playoff bid took a hit as it fell to 6-4. Albany sophomore Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks carried the ball 39 times for a program-record 298 yards and three second-half touchdowns.
The Great Danes (6-4, 3-4 CAA), who were behind 22-0 in the first half, scored the final 22 points after trailing 25-14 in the third quarter.
No. 5 The Citadel (9-0, 7-0 Southern) at VMI (3-6, 1-5), 1:30 p.m.
Idaho State (2-7, 1-5 Big Sky) at No. 3 Eastern Washington (8-1, 6-0), 6:35 p.m.
No. 1 Sam Houston State (9-0, 7-0 Southland) at Northwestern State (1-8, 0-7), 7 p.m.
FRIDAY, NOV. 11=
Penn 27, No. 24 Harvard 14
Penn (6-3, 5-1 Ivy) broke a 14-14 tie on Alek Torgersen's 2-yard touchdown pass to Justin Watson with 15 seconds remaining. Taylor Hendrickson recovered a Harvard fumble two plays later and returned it 18 yards for a score as time ran out.
The Quakers' second straight win over Harvard (7-2, 5-1) created a tie for first place in the Ivy League.