HARRISONBURG, VA., NOV. 17 -- The shoddy execution James Madison has displayed throughout the season near its opponents' goal line worsened today, as the Dukes dropped their season finale, 24-0, to Appalachian State.

James Madison penetrated inside the Appalachian State 25-yard line six times, but three interceptions, a fumble and two missed field goals by Mike Granuzzo (West Potomac High School) saddled the Dukes (5-6) with their first shutout loss since 1985.

"There's no question, when we got opportunities, we knew we were going to have to convert," James Madison Coach Joe Purzycki said. "The story of the game, really, became our inability to operate in the red zone {scoring area}. We had so much offense, but no points. And the game comes down to points."

The biggest blunder by the Dukes came late in the third quarter with the Mountaineers (6-5) ahead 14-0. Facing third down at the Appalachian State 4, James Madison reserve quarterback Tom Green (Oxon Hill) rolled to his right and threw the ball into the hands of linebacker Rico Mack, who then became the third player in school history to return an interception 100 yards for a touchdown and a 21-0 Mountaineers advantage.

James Madison outgained the visitors, 320-263, in total yards but couldn't convert enough at critical times to avoid ending their fifth straight season under Purzycki with a loss.

"I thought our defense did everything we expected," Purzycki said. "We thought we could win a 17-14 game."