James Madison Dukes 2022 College Football Preview

James Madison Dukes 2022 College Football Preview

July 16, 2022

2021 Recap (FCS)

Record – 12-2

ATS – 9-5

The Dukes booked yet another impressive season but fell in the FCS semifinals to the eventual champs from North Dakota St (L 20-14). That marked the fourth time in the last six seasons (!) that James Madison had won twelve or more games. They would have loved to finish their impressive FCS existence with a championship campaign but it wasn’t mean to be.

Let’s see how things shape up for year one of the FBS experience.

James Madison Dukes 2022 Outlook


The Dukes rode the arm of star QB Cole Johnson LY and put up a very impressive 38.3 PPG. Johnson threw for over 3,700 yards and posted a remarkable 41-4 TD to INT mark and will be greatly missed in 2022. Former Colorado St Ram QB Todd Centeio was a fine pickup who features decent mobility and an acceptable 23-12 career TD to INT mark. The offense boasts legit #1 options at WR in Kris Thornton (83, 1,097, 13 TD LY) and at RB with Latrele Palmer (947, 5.0, 3 TD). The offensive line returns three starters including stud RT Nick Kidwell and looks pretty solid. Overall, this has the feel of an ‘average’ Sun Belt offense.


James Madison has been fantastic on this side of the football for a while and haven’t allowed more than 16.5 PPG in any of the last five seasons. Last year they allowed just 89 YPG on the ground, 54% completions, and tallied 41 sacks. There could be a bit of trouble on the horizon as the Dukes return just four starters and will be working with a new DC in 2022. The DL should be the strength of the stop unit (which is what we like to see) given the return of Isaac Ukwu (9 sacks, 16.5 TFL LY) and the addition of DT Jamare Edwards from Marshall. The LB unit looks like a BLACK HOLE after the departure of leading tackler Diamonte Tucker-Dorsey in May, but the secondary should be fine given the return of FS Sam Kidd and the addition of a few Power 5 bodies. At the risk of repeating ourselves, James Madison will likely be ‘average’ on defense this year, but note that there’s risk to the downside.

Special Teams

RUH ROH. James Madison will be without star PK Ethan Ratke (29/32 FG LY) and must also work in a new punter. Thankfully, KR Solomon Vanhorse is back in the mix and he took a kickoff back to the CRIBBY WHIZZIE HIZZY in 2021 (17, 27.6, TD).

Schedule Analysis

Overall – It looks pretty good. The Dukes start with a pair of winnable games (MTSU, Norfolk St) and only have one non-conference BODY BAG GAME (at Lua-Vuh). They get a great draw from the West by missing both the Cajuns and Troy.

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – November 12 – at Old Dominion

This will be James Madison’s fourth road tilt in just over one calendar month, and depending how the season is going, it could be a spot where they’re caught sleepwalking.

Season Win Total

Over 6 -105

Under 6 -125


Lean: Under

Seven wins would be a fine accomplishment according to our legendary SUN BELT INSIDERS.

MEGAmazing Tidbits

James Madison first fielded a football team in 1972.

HC Curt Cignetti led the Dukes to three consecutive Colonial Athletic Association titles from 2019 thru 2021.


“Welcome to the party, pal!”  <John McClane> <Die Hard, 1988>

It’s time for James Madison to put the BIG BOY pants on and join the FBS. The Dukes have posted a fantastic 101-28 (.783) win-loss record over the L10Y and should be a great fit for the FBS ranks. Can they do damage in 2022? It’s hard to know how these guys will do in year one of Sun Belt play, but our best guess is that they finish around the .500 mark and pull a big upset along the way.

Good luck, Dukes!

Want more James Madison Football ?









Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *