CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WAVY) – This is a game that has been in the making for four decades.
On September 9, 2023, JMU football will cross the mountain to face Virginia. It will be the first meeting between the enemies of the state since 1983 – and the first with JMU as a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).
The JMU Athletics Department broke the news Thursday with a special video.
The Dukes are making the transition to FBS this season, with a full program at the Sun Belt Conferencealong with fellow new members Old Dominion, Marshall and Southern Mississippi.
JMU is 1-2 against the Cavaliers. They beat the Hoos 21-17 on September 18, 1982, 10 years into their program. UVA won on September 17, 1983 (21-14) and October 13, 1979 (69-9).
The Dukes are no strangers to upsets, having beaten Virginia Tech 21-16 at Blacksburg in 2010, a year the Hokies won the national championship. JMU is set for a rematch at Blacksburg in 2025.
Speaking of upsets, the JMU men’s basketball team also beat the UVA team this year for the first time, 52-49, in front of a full crowd at their new 8,500-seat arena.
UVA, which has a new head coach in Tony Elliott, went 6-6 on aggregate in 2021. JMU went 12-2 on aggregate in its final FCS season, losing 20-14 on the road to the eventual champion of the state of North Dakota.