Chapel Hill, NC (WWBT)- Last season marked the one of the highest points of James Madison's football program with a win at Virginia Tech. The Dukes entered Chapel Hill with hopes of repeating the feat against another ACC school, but North Carolina had other ideas.
Tar Heel quarterback Bryn Renner set an ACC record for accuracy in his first start, leading UNC to a 42-10 thrashing of James Madison. Renner completed 22-of-23 pass attempts for 277 yards and two touchdowns. His only mistake was a second quarter interceptions by JMU's Dean Marlowe. The Tar Heels jumped out to a 21-0 lead before Justin Thorpe was able to complete a touchdown pass to Daniel Brown to get the Dukes on the board. North Carolina added another score to put the Heels ahead, 28-7, at the break. After JMU kicked a field goal in the third, UNC scored a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter, as Renner rushed for a score and completed his second TD pass to Dwight Jones to cap off the scoring.
Despite the loss, Thorpe had an efficient day, completing 11-of-15 passes for 152 yards and the touchdown. The Varina product also rushed for 24 yards in his first game since last year's season opener, in which he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first half. Jordan Anderson was James Madison's leading rusher with 40 yards.
James Madison will hold its home opener against Central Connecticut State next Saturday at 6:00 pm. It will mark the first game at the newly renovated Bridgeforth Stadium. The project expanded the seating capacity in the facility from 10,000 to 25,000.