Week 8 Saturday Six-Pack: Going Off The Grid

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RICHMOND AT JAMES MADISON

Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT

TV: Comcast SportsNet

Las Vegas Line: N/A

From the site of Gameday comes a showdown of two of the best in the FCS. No. 4 James Madison and No. 11 Richmond have set the early pace in the Colonial Athletic Association, a league dubbed “the SEC of the FCS” just a few years ago.

The CAA’s standing among FCS conferences has been shaken in recent years. The Big Sky and Missouri Valley have both come on strong in the last half-decade, but James Madison quarterback Vad Lee is a leading contender to represent the CAA as its second consecutive Walter Payton Award winner.

Meanwhile, with the North Dakota State dynasty looking as vulnerable as it ever has, James Madison could win the CAA its first national championship since Villanova in 2009.

It’s a long way from Harrisonburg to Frisco, however, and beating Richmond is an important step on James Madison’s path. The Spiders are undefeated since losing to Maryland Week 1, cranking up the defensive intensity each week. None of their last four opponents have broken 20 points.

Against Lee and the nation’s No. 3 rushing offense, however, Richmond’s defense will be pressed. The Spiders’ most realistic hope for an upset is to force Lee, who’s thrown 10 interceptions on the season, to give away a few more.

Richmond ranks sixth in the FCS with 10 picks on the season.

The Spiders might be able to snag a turnover or two, but Richmond lacks the firepower to keep pace with the Dukes. The electric atmosphere on James Madison’s campus will carry over to kickoff, and the Dukes maintain their flawless record in pursuit of a national championship.

PREDICTION: James Madison 34, Richmond 24