The undefeated James Madison Dukes’ quest for college football immortality took a massive hit on Monday, losing one of the country’s top defenders for the season. Per Chris Vannini of The Athletic, star defensive end Jalen Green will miss the rest of the season due to injury.
Green leads the country with a laughable 15.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss. The six-foot-one pass rusher has an interception, a touchdown, and two forced fumbles.
James Madison Dukes: Elite Defense Loses Best Player
The James Madison Dukes allow just 19.6 points per game, the 27th-best mark in the NCAA. Jalen Green has led the charge with his ludicrous production. He leads the NCAA in sacks by 3.5. However, the Dukes will have to operate the remainder of their season without their standout edge rusher.
James Madison has a bevy of pass rushers that can help fill the void left by the injured Green. Former Rutgers defensive lineman Jamree Kromah is second in sacks (8.0) and TFLs (16.5). Meanwhile, sophomore Mikail Kamara is also amid a fantastic season, tallying 15.5 TFLS and 6.5 sacks. The Dukes have five other players with at least 1.5 sacks this season, with James Carpenter leading the way with 4.0.
JMU will get their first crack without Jalen Green next Saturday against a poor UConn Huskies squad. However, they finish the regular season with tough matchups against Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina.
James Madison: Ineligible for College Football Playoffs
A lot would need to break JMU’s way, but the Dukes cannot play in the College Football Playoffs, or any bowl game, for that matter. Per the NCAA rules, James Madison is ineligible for the postseason as they are in just their second season of transferring to the top level of college football. The rule has drawn much criticism in recent years but now has Virginia politicians writing letters to the NCAA.
Per Yahoo Sports’ Mike Broomberg, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares reached out to NCAA president Charlie Baker in a plea for his alma mater, JMU, to be postseason eligible. However, there is a more than certain chance the Dukes could finish the season undefeated and ranked in the top ten but sitting on their couches during bowl season.