The East Tennessee State University football team traveled to face the top-ranked James Madison University on Saturday.

Coming into this game, Coach Carl Torbush knew it would be a tough task for his team to pull off an upset on the road.

“It was a tough week for the Bucs. We ran into the top-ranked FCS team, and they have a good enough team to play some FBS teams,” Torbush said. “The biggest disappointment of the game was the kicking game. It got us in a lot of trouble and we made some bad decisions.”  

In the first quarter, James Madison set the tone scoring three touchdowns, and the Bucs’ offense was not able to respond due to quick three and outs, so the Bucs trailed 21-0.

The Bucs’ defense did well in the second quarter, slowing down James Madison to only one touchdown. With less than two minutes remaining, the Bucs got their only touchdown of the game after Domenique Williams (Charlotte, North Carolina) picked off a pass for a pick six to bring the Bucs’ deficit going into halftime to 28-7.

Early in the third, James Madison got an early touchdown off a 41-yard punt return to bring their lead to 35-7.

The Bucs weren’t able to come back and took the loss at 52-10.

Most noticeably, the Bucs offense was not as efficient as in their home opener. Austin Herink (Cleveland, Tennessee) was not as sharp completing only 12 of 27 passes, which was a reflected in the Bucs running game, gaining less than two yards per carry.  

”Offensively we ran the clock like we wanted to but were unable to put up points,” Torbush said. “They have an outstanding defense but at the same time we have to be able to score points.”

On the defensive side of the ball, the Bucs shut down a rushing attack that ran for over 300 yards in their first game, limiting them to 122 yards.

“Defensively we did a great job of slowing the run, most impressively the amount of third down situations we put them in,” Torbush said.  

However, loading the box allowed for more one on one match-ups for the Bucs’ secondary which was shredded by James Madison’s quarterback Bryan Schor. Schor passed for over 300 yards and five touchdowns. He completed 25 of 33 passes to offset the Bucs’ limiting the run game.

The Bucs return to William B. Greene Jr.  Stadium on Sept. 16 at 1 p.m. against The Citadel, looking to bounce back from a tough loss.