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UConn football crushed by James Madison, 44-6

The Huskies were overmatched against one of the newer FBS programs in the country.

NCAA Football: James Madison at Virginia Hannah Pajewski-USA TODAY Sports

UConn football visited the James Madison Dukes and left with a 44-6 drubbing at the hands of the home team, an undefeated squad currently ranked No. 21 in the country.

JMU overcame a slow start, leading just 3-0 after one quarter, before getting its first touchdown in the second quarter and breaking it wide open with 17 points in the third quarter. UConn’s offense didn’t do much, gaining fewer than 100 yards in each quarter, while its defense gave up a lot of big plays — James Madison finished with an impressive 8.4 yards per play.

The Huskies gained 56 yards on their first drive but then had a five-play turnover on downs followed by a four-and-out before notching a field goal that made it 13-3 in the second quarter. The two teams traded field goals early in the third quarter to make it 16-6 before four straight touchdowns by the Dukes.

JMU Quarterback Jordan McCloud finished with 457 passing yards and four touchdowns as two receivers, Elijah Sarratt and Rayonte Brown, combined to haul in 22 catches for 362 yards, with Brown grabbing two touchdowns, one for 80 yards in the first quarter and another for 55 in the third.

UConn falls to 1-9 while JMU is now 10-0, but at least the Huskies got to see what a premiere program at their level looks like. The school moved up to the FBS ranks last year, joining the Sun Belt and basically picking up where it left off at the FCS level: as a power. This year, it could win the Sun Belt and has an argument to be the best team outside of the “power five.” They should be in the mix for the New Year’s bowl bid that comes with that honor, but they’re controversially banned from postseason participation due to NCAA rules about programs moving up.

Next week, the Huskies get a November tune-up opportunity against a Sacred Heart team that holds a 2-8 record in the FCS ranks but did just beat in-state and Northeast Conference rival CCSU, 31-24. The contest will take place at noon at Rentschler Field and is the final home game of the season.