MONDAY HUDDLE: James Madison makes another pitch for bowl-eligibility

Hokies on the cusp of bowl-eligibility, William Byrd wins again in the playoffs

James Madison running back Ty Son Lawton (7) warms up before the first half of an NCAA college football game against Troy, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, in Troy, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt) (Vasha Hunt, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Huddle up! Here’s a look back at this weekend on the gridiron, with three key takeaways from the state’s football scene -- and a glimpse at what’s to come next week.

James Madison stays unbeaten, makes another plea for bowl-eligibility

There have been few better stories in college football than James Madison, which is unbeaten and has worked its way to No. 18 in the national rankings after a 10-0 start.

However, the Dukes technically are ineligible for postseason play right now due to a two-year transition window going from an FCS program to an FBS one.

That doesn’t mean James Madison isn’t trying to get into the postseason.

For the second time this year, James Madison’s athletic department has sent a letter to the NCAA requesting for a one-year transition waiver that would allow the Dukes to compete in a bowl game.

The first request sent in April was denied.

If the the second request is denied, there is a way James Madison can compete in a bowl game.

If there aren’t enough teams at 6-6 or better to fill the 82 bowl slots at the end of the year, James Madison could be selected for a spot.

Given what the Dukes have done, it would certainly be deserved.

Hokies eye bowl-eligibility after big win at Boston College

This was one great response by Virginia Tech.

Following a 34-3 loss at Louisville the week before, the Hokies rebounded in a big way at Boston College, earning a 48-22 win.

Kyron Drones had his best game yet, throwing for 219 yards and two touchdowns and running for 135 yards on 20 carries for a Virginia Tech offense that amassed 600 yards of total offense.

Now sitting at 5-5 with two games left, Virginia Tech either needs to either beat N.C. State at home or win at Virginia to qualify for a bowl game.

That might not ordinarily seem like much, but following an 8-loss season in 2022 and throwing Drones into the fire as a first-year starting quarterback, getting to the postseason would mark good progress.

William Byrd ends drought in playoffs

William Byrd emphatically ended a playoff drought on Friday, winning its first playoff game since 2016 with a 45-21 win over Pulaski County.

Israel Hairston rushed for 164 yards and had four total touchdowns to help William Byrd improve to 10-1 on the season and earn a second-round game in the playoffs.

Next up for William Byrd will be a home contest against 9-2 Lord Botetourt in the second round.

About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.