When is an FCS team knocking off an FBS foe not an upset? When the former involves the best that level had to offer last year and the latter is coming off a three-win season.
James Madison, the defending FCS champions, went into Greenville Saturday and beat East Carolina quite handily by the score of 34-14. And, not only did they beat the Pirates handily on the road, they, literally, pounded them into the ground, with the Dukes rushing for 422 yards (9.6 yards per carry). ECU, meanwhile, was held to 2.7 YPC on its 30 rushing attempts.
All told, JMU outgained ECU 614-372 on offense in the first game of Scottie Montgomery‘s second season as the Pirates’ head coach. Last season, Montgomery debuted with a 3-9 mark in replacing the beloved Ruffin McNeill; this outcome certainly won’t help the head coach’s cause amongst the fan base.
ECU and those fans can, though, take some comfort in the fact that they aren’t the first, and likely won’t be the last, FBS team to be taken out by JMU.
Most famously, JMU knocked off Virginia Tech in 2011, while also beating SMU in 2015. In 2009, they took Maryland to overtime before ultimately falling to the Terps for good measure.
They have at least two future games with FBS teams scheduled — North Carolina State in 2018 and West Virginia in 2019. So, yeah, good luck to those Power Five teams.