Both Curt Cignetti and Ricky Santos said it.
“I thought Shane was a play ahead most of the night with the play-calling,” Cignetti, the James Madison coach, said about his offensive coordinator, Shane Montgomery, on Monday during the Colonial Athletic Association coaches teleconference.
JMU scored touchdowns on six straight possessions during its 54-16 romp of New Hampshire on Saturday.
“They had a really good game plan,” Santos, the Wildcats interim coach, said.
The Dukes scored 24 more points than any other opponent of UNH scored previously on the Wildcats’ defense this fall. JMU’s 537 total yards were also the most New Hampshire has yielded all season.
And Montgomery involved as many offensive skill players as he could, too.
JMU quarterback Ben DiNucci was named CAA Offensive Player of the Week on Monday for his 293 passing yards and three total touchdowns. Running back Percy Agyei-Obese and wide receiver Brandon Polk set career-highs for rushing yards and receiving yards, respectively. Slot receiver Jake Brown had four catches, which is the most he’s had in a game since Week 2 against St. Francis. Wide receiver Riley Stapleton had four grabs and tight end Dylan Stapleton recorded his first touchdown reception of the year. Even backup tight end Drew Painter made a catch.
“They established the run early,” Santos said. “And that makes you put an extra safety in the box or overhang with the SAM linebacker a little bit tighter.
“But Ben was really efficient knowing when he had to kick out those little perimeter attachments and Brandon Polk was lights out. [DiNucci] would throw the ball 10 yards horizontally and [Polk or Brown] would take it for a 20-yard gain. So I think [DiNucci] did a good job of taking what the defense gave him and their playmakers on the perimeter did a really good job with the run after the catch and yeah, anytime, you can have a tight end that is that dynamic it poses some matchup problems.”
Cignetti said the 12-yard touchdown grab for Dylan Stapleton that extended the lead to 23-10 came on a play the Dukes didn’t score on earlier in the year.
“We ran that against that West Virginia down in the red area,” Cignetti said. “And we got the coverage we wanted and he ran a really nice route, Ben threaded the needle and that was a big touchdown for us at that time in the game.”
- DiNucci was named CAA Offensive Player of the Week by the conference on Monday. DiNucci accounted for 293 passing yards and three total touchdowns in the Dukes’ win over UNH on Saturday. About DiNucci, Cignetti said: “He was in total control and I thought he played really well.”
- Cignetti said cornerback Rashad Robinson did an excellent job of staying in one-on-one coverage and spur Wayne Davis applied pressure in the backfield during UNH’s second attempted trick play that led to an interception for Adam Smith.
- JMU hosts Richmond on Saturday and Cignetti said Richmond quarterback Joe Mancuso is the player they rely on. Mancuso not only leads the Spiders in passing, but rushing, too. Cignetti said Mancuso is doing a great job of executing the Richmond offense.