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Blue Hens face JMU in NCAA playoffs Saturday

The University of Delaware football team hopes to make a big splash in its first post-season game since 2010.

The Blue Hens tangle with their Colonial Athletic Association rival James Madison in the opening round of the NCAA FCS playoffs.

Delaware and JMU are two of six teams from the Colonial Athletic Association to make the 24-team playoff field.

And while the two did not face off during the 2018 regular season, UD head coach Danny Rocco says he and JMU head coach Mike Houston are familiar with each other's teams.

“We’ve seen each other on tape quite often as we would have common opponents.  And even though our offensive and defensive coaches might be kind of studying the opposite side of the ball, [JMU] coach Houston and myself, we’re just kind of watching the game, looking at both sides of the ball," said Rocco. "We’ve seen them on tape a lot and obviously they’re really good.”

The 8-3 Dukes enter the playoffs ranked 6th in the nation with wins in their last two games.

And Rocco says that ranking is well deserved.

“[They’re] very talented, very well coached," said Rocco. " I’ve been saying this since Mike’s come into the league, they’re very disciplined.  And they’re a hard football team to beat.”

Delaware is ranked #21 with a 7-4 record after losing its last two regular season contests.

James Madison has won the last 3 meetings between the two teams, including a 20-10 victory in Newark last year.

Saturday’s game is a 3 p.m. kick-off in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.