James Madison will try Saturday night to show that last season's 21-17 upset of Virginia was no fluke.
There's a major difference this time around, however, as the undefeated Cavaliers are full of confidence and, this time, they say they're ready for the sixth-ranked Division 1-AA Dukes.
"After what they did to us last year, it isn't going to be tough for us to get excited about this game," said Virginia guard Jim Dombrowski. "They beat us last year because they surprised us. We beat them, 69-9, the only other time we played (1979) and we just didn't take them very seriously. That isn't going to happen again."
Madison, which beat Appalachian State in its opener last week, will be without running back Warren Marshall, who fractured his collarbone in the opener. He gained 691 yards with a 5.7 average and scored nine touchdowns as a freshman last season.
He'll be replaced Saturday by Larry Bland, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound senior from Clinton, Md. Bland has carried 32 times in his career, 16 coming last week.
Madison's veer offense features talented quarterback Jon Roddy and all- America wide receiver Gary Clark.
The two combined for an 80-yard scoring play in last year's game and Clark, Madison's all-time leading receiver, caught six passes for 130 yards and scored on a 29-yard reverse last week.
"He's a big-league receiver," said Virginia safety Rick Riccardi. "He's the best one we've gone against. He's a big-play guy. He gets open deep and they throw to him a lot."
"This is obviously a big game for us," said Madison Coach Challace McMillin. "We can't afford to make a lot of mistakes and we have to keep Virginia from controlling the football."
Virginia Coach George Welsh said he was impressed with Madison last year and still is impresed. "They may be quicker than we are," he said, "and almost their whole team is returning. We have to play well to win, but even if we do play well, it's going to be tough. I have to give them (the Dukes) credit. They have good coaching and good players."
In other games of local interest, Navy (0-1) will be trying for its first victory at Mississippi State (1-0) Saturday night and Howard (0-2) will play its first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game against Bethune-Cookman (1-0) in the Gator Bowl.
In key national games, top-ranked Nebraska is at Minnesota, No. 2 Oklahoma hosts No. 6 Ohio State, Texas is at Auburn and, in a possible Rose Bowl preview, Michigan plays at Washington.