Appalachian State Ends James Madison’s Undefeated Season with Overtime Victory
Appalachian State pulled off a stunning upset, snapping James Madison’s 10-game win streak and ending their bid for an undefeated season with a thrilling 26-23 overtime victory at Bridgeforth Stadium on Saturday. Here’s everything you need to know about the game:
JMU’s Ranking and Bowl Eligibility
James Madison entered the game ranked No. 18 in the AP Top 25. However, as a second-year FCS-to-FBS transition team, they are ineligible to appear in the College Football Playoff rankings. Despite this, JMU is still likely to secure a bowl game spot due to a lack of eligible 6-6 teams.
The Game Recap
The Dukes trailed the Mountaineers for most of the game but managed to tie the score at 20 with less than a minute remaining in regulation, forcing overtime with a successful 2-point conversion. App State’s Kaedin Robinson sealed the victory with an 8-yard touchdown reception in overtime.
App State quarterback Joey Aguilar had an impressive performance, completing 28-of-46 passes for 318 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. JMU’s Jordan McCloud threw for 289 yards, one touchdown, and an interception on 27-of-46 passing.
Implications for JMU
While James Madison is not fully bowl-eligible according to NCAA rules, they are still likely to secure a bowl game spot due to the lack of eligible teams. However, the loss dashes their hopes of an undefeated season and any chance of claiming a national championship title.
Virginia attorney general Jason Miyares, a JMU alum, had threatened legal action against the NCAA over JMU’s bowl eligibility waiver denial. It remains to be seen if this loss will impact the potential lawsuit and JMU’s chances of playing in a New Year’s Six game.
Implications for App State
With James Madison ineligible for a bowl game (pending the potential lawsuit), the race for the Sun Belt East division is likely between Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, and either Georgia Southern or Old Dominion. App State’s victory keeps them alive in conference play with a 5-2 record. Coastal Carolina also has a 5-2 record and holds the tiebreaker over App State due to a previous win. The game between Georgia Southern and Old Dominion will also impact the division standings.
App State will face Georgia Southern next week, while Coastal Carolina will play James Madison.
James Madison’s second waiver attempt for full bowl eligibility was denied by the NCAA Division I Board Administration Committee earlier in the week. Virginia attorney general Miyares then sent a demand letter to the NCAA, threatening legal action if James Madison football was not granted a full bowl eligibility waiver. The team is ineligible for full bowl eligibility due to being in its second year following the transition to FBS.
Highlight of the Game
— App State Football (@AppState_FB) November 18, 2023
(Photo: Troy Babbitt / USA Today)