JMU’s Schor continuing to improve at quarterback

HARRISONBURG – Coming into pre-season camp, James Madison University junior quarterback Bryan Schor was in a battle with junior transfer Connor Mitch for the starting spot. Seven games into the regular season, there’s no doubt that Schor is the leader of the JMU offense.

Schor threw for a career-best 334 yards and five touchdowns last week against New Hampshire.

JMU head coach Mike Houston said that Schor has shown improvement with each game this season.

“I think that goes back a lot to his work ethic,” Houston said. “Certainly he’s a talented athlete. Very intelligent player, he knows our offense inside and out. But with his work ethic and his competitive drive to never be satisfied with a past performance, I don’t worry about him getting too much of an ego or getting complacent. Because he’s probably his own worst critic in that he always feels like he can play better.”

The last two years Schor was the backup behind JMU 2016 graduate Vad Lee. When Lee suffered a season-ending injury last year, Schor was thrust into the starting role. He threw for 847 yards and seven touchdowns and ran for 276 yards and six touchdowns.

He said that one of the biggest things he learned from Lee was how to perform in big games.

“There was never a stage that was too big for Vad Lee,” Schor said at JMU’s weekly press conference on Tuesday. “(The guy he was) at SMU was the same guy he was the first week. So that’s something that I’ve taken into my game a little bit is that no matter where you are, no matter who you’re playing you’re still the same person. You’re still playing with the same guys. Just to not let any stage kind of affect the way that you’re going to play. It’s the same thing each week.”

This season Schor has helped lead the Dukes to a 6-1 start and first place in the Colonial Athletic Association.

The Dukes are averaging 44.4 points and 514.9 yards per contest.

One of the keys to the offense has been the play of the offensive line, which has been successful in both run and pass blocking. Schor hasn’t been sacked in the last three games.

“I definitely give a lot of praise to those guys,” Schor said of the offensive line. “I have a really tight relationship with them and I really hope they know that I appreciate them. It’s no coincidence that our offense has played so well the last couple weeks, and we haven’t given up a sack in those last couple weeks. Definitely a lot of praise to those guys. I hope they get the recognition they deserve.”

Schor said he’s also getting more and more comfortable with his receivers.

JMU has a lot of depth at wide receiver, and Schor said the play-making ability of his receivers makes his job easier.

The Dukes expected New Hampshire to focus on stopping the run, which allowed Schor and the passing game to be a bigger part of the offense this past week. Schor said they knew going into the game what to expect.

“I was really excited,” Schor said. “I think all week we had a really good practice, and we felt really comfortable with the scheme that we were going to see. I think going into it I was really excited, and I think that carried over to a lot of the guys on our offensive side.”

The Dukes have just four regular season games left and have a bye this week. Schor said that he’s very happy with how the team has played so far this season.

“I think mentally we’re in a pretty good spot right now – we’re pretty comfortable,” Schor said. “We’ve had games that have challenged us on offense. We’ve had games that have challenged us on special teams and defense. As a team we’ve really come together and we’ve had those team wins. Couple weeks ago back up in Maine we struggled offensively, and our defense just kind of gutted one out and just got us in a position where we could win.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com.