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FCS Football News
In the FCS Huddle: Week 2 Preview
By Brandon Lawrence, FCS Associate
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - FCS teams did a great job of asserting their dominance in Week 1 against some highly touted FBS programs.
Towson set the bar high last Thursday night with a 33-18 upset of Connecticut, led by junior running back Terrance West's 156 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Throw in North Dakota State, Eastern Washington, Northern Iowa and Eastern Illinois as Top 25 preseason teams that sent their FBS opponents packing with some stellar team and individual performances.
Even McNeese State thrashed South Florida in a 53-21 decision, which landed the Cowboys in this week's national poll.
Our Week 1 picks weren't so hot, but the setback is rewarding if it means the gap between the FCS and FBS is slowly shrinking.
Week 2 features some more opportunities for FCS teams to make further statements against higher-ranked opposition. Central Arkansas, which routed new FCS program Incarnate Word in its season opener, has a fighting chance against a Colorado team that won its first-week matchup with intrastate rival Colorado State.
Former CAA Football standout Massachusetts makes a return appearance against ex- conference foe Maine. UMass has gotten used to taking beatings since joining the FBS a year ago, so a competitive matchup with a team it saw annually could provide some fireworks and an upset chance for the Black Bears.
Keep an eye on several individuals to have big weeks statistically, namely UNI's David Johnson, who rushed for 199 yards and two touchdowns and caught another two touchdown passes against Iowa State. Johnson will get a chance to run wild against Drake, which dropped its opening contest to NAIA Grand View.
West should continue his roll against Holy Cross, which gave up 117 yards to Bryant's Ricardo McCray.
And after a second-half collapse, look for Villanova and sophomore quarterback John Robertson to bounce back from a below-average performance against Boston College as the Wildcats prepare for a road test at Fordham. The Rams are coming off a victory against Rhode Island.
We'll also get our first look at No. 17 Stony Brook this weekend against Rhode Island in its first Colonial Athletic Association conference matchup. Lehigh and New Hampshire are both in action as Top-25 teams that were idle last week.
The following is a game-by-game breakdown for The Sports Network FCS Top 25 and other select games (all times ET):
Saturday, Sept. 7
Central Connecticut State (0-1) at No. 23 Lehigh (0-0)
Kickoff: 12:30 p.m.
What to know: CCSU couldn't get the offense going against James Madison a week ago, which will be a problem for the Blue Devils if that trend continues. Yes, James Madison was the superior team, but for CCSU to muster only 132 passing yards and 129 rush yards hopefully doesn't foreshadow the team's offensive production this season.
Lehigh enters Week 2 as one of the small handful of teams that was idle last week. The Mountain Hawks are trying to replace some key members of last season's squad, including quarterback Michael Colvin and receiver Ryan Spadola, who recently made the 53-man roster for the New York Jets.
But Lehigh is itching to return to the field after last year's end didn't result in a trip to the FCS playoffs. If All-Patriot League preseason selection Nigel Muhammad can cancel out CCSU's Rob Hollomon, the Blue Devils may struggle offensively for the second week in a row.
Prediction: Lehigh 34, Central Connecticut State 20
No. 17 Stony Brook (0-0, 0-0 CAA) at Rhode Island (0-1, 0-0 CAA)
Kickoff: 1 p.m.
What to know: This is Stony Brook's inauguration into CAA Football. And, fortunately for the Seawolves, it doesn't get much easier in terms of a conference matchup.
Let's give Rhode Island credit - the Rams scored 20 points or more just twice in all of 2012, and have half that total already after one game this season. Last week's loss to Fordham was actually a bit of a positive note for Rhody, as the Rams saw running back Robbie Delgado break the 100-yard mark for the first time in his career.
But, ultimately, it is Stony Brook. And Stony Brook will be a lot for the Rams to handle. Marcus Coker is one of the best ball carriers in the country, and he will be ready to take over the featured back role with no Miguel Maysonet as the depth chart topper. Look for Stony Brook to pound the ball on the ground and take it to the Rams.
Prediction: Stony Brook 42, Rhode Island 17
No. 5 Towson (1-0) at Holy Cross (0-1)
Kickoff: 1 p.m.
What to know: OK, we see you, Towson.
We knew the Tigers were good entering this season, but weren't too sure about their ability to handle another solid FBS opponent. Our concerns were laid to rest quickly as Towson jumped ahead of UConn in the first quarter and set West off to seal the deal.
Everyone talks about Towson's offense, but it's the play of the surprisingly underrated defense that will really speak volumes throughout the season. Yes, it's still very early, but there's already talk swirling about Towson being the team to unseat mighty North Dakota State.
Holy Cross shouldn't be much of a challenge for the Tigers, but sometimes it's those games no one even thinks about that turn into spoilers. The Crusaders had their hands full last week with the Northeast Conference's Bryant, which had trouble handling McCray out of the backfield. Expect a very healthy dose of carries for West and junior backup Sterlin Phifer.
Prediction: Towson 40, Holy Cross 20
Maine (1-0) at Massachusetts (0-1)
Kickoff: 2 p.m.
What to know: Although this is an FBS-FCS matchup, the two teams are more on an equal playing field because of UMass' recent elevation into the FBS ranks.
The former CAA program has been decimated over the past year by MAC schools and other non-conference opponents as a new FBS team. The Minutemen are off to a rough start this season with a 45-0 blanking at the hands of Wisconsin last week.
Maybe this matchup with Maine is exactly what the Minutemen need - to see a familiar foe in a familiar setting to get back on track. Wisconsin gained nearly 400 yards rushing on Massachusetts last week in the season opener, so Maine may have its game plan set: Get the ball to Rickey Stevens and let him and quarterback Marcus Wasilewski do the work.
The game should be pretty even, but, ultimately, the more scholarship players on UMass may swing the contest in the Minutemen's favor.
Prediction: Massachusetts 27, Maine 21
Tennessee State (0-1) at Florida A&M (1-0)
Kickoff: 2 p.m.
What to know: While Florida A&M cruised to a win over Mississippi Valley State on Sunday, Tennessee State's offense sputtered without starting quarterback Mike German later that day against Bethune-Cookman.
The Tigers couldn't find the end zone sans German, but managed to hold B-CU to 12 points and one trip to the end zone. Florida A&M has a pretty powerful offense, however.
Against MVSU, which boasted one of nation's top defenses in 2012, the Rattlers crossed the goal line three times on running plays, while also getting top receiver Lenworth Lennon involved through the air with 85 receiving yards.
German won't be available for this week's contest again, so the Tigers may be panicking to find other sources of point revenue besides the field goal kicker, Jamin Godfrey. It may be an intense, offensively stagnant game this week at Bragg Memorial Stadium, considering the Tigers still have a strong defensive unit.
Prediction: Florida A&M 17, Tennessee State 14
No. 11 New Hampshire (0-0) at Central Michigan (0-1)
Kickoff: 3 p.m. (ESPN3.com)
What to know: Despite five consecutive years of UNH defeating FBS opponents prior to the 2010 season, the Wildcats have not fared very well against upper- level teams since then.
UNH was downed by Pittsburgh in 2010, Toldeo the next year and embarrassed by Minnesota, 44-7, a year ago. This year, Central Michigan is up on the slate. The MAC school is recently well-known for producing left tackle Eric Fisher, the first overall draft selection by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2013 NFL Draft.
The Wildcats return a host of standout offensive players, but lost a significant amount of production on defense with the graduation of Matt Evans and Jared Smith. Andy Vailas will get the start for UNH at quarterback, but it will likely be a split job with Sean Goldrich again.
Central Michigan isn't a powerhouse FBS program and did just get demolished by Michigan, but the Chippewas may still be too much for UNH in its first game of the 2013 season. However, CMU will be without the services of starting quarterback Cody Kater and running back Zurlon Tipton. Still, the Wildcats defense will have its hands full.
Prediction: Central Michigan 33, New Hampshire 23
Virginia Union (0-0) at No. 25 Bethune-Cookman (1-0)
Kickoff: 4 p.m.
What to know: Bethune-Cookman survived its Week 1 matchup with defensively savvy Tennessee State with some defense of its own, but only found the end zone once for a 12-9 win.
This week should be less challenging for the Wildcats as they regroup offensively and try to get All-MEAC running back Isidore Jackson (12 carries, 56 yards) more involved in the plays.
B-CU struggled on third-down conversions against the Tigers, going a simple 4- for-14, but it was 3-for-3 on fourth-down tries. The Wildcats totaled 260 yards of offense, which isn't much at all, especially considering quarterbacks Jackie Wilson and Brodrick Waters combined to throw for fewer than 100 yards. Bethune- Cookman should bounce back to its Top-25 form against Virginia Union.
Prediction: Bethune-Cookman 28, Virginia Union 10
Drake (0-1) at No. 9 Northern Iowa (1-0)
Kickoff: 4 p.m.
What to know: UNI leapfrogged its way into the Top 10 this week after delivering a surprise loss to FBS Iowa State. Led by Johnson and sophomore signal caller Sawyer Kollmorgen, the Panthers racked up 457 total yards and outgained the Cyclones by 47 yards.
Now the Panthers turn their attention to Drake, which lost to NAIA Grand View, 21-16. The Bulldogs couldn't keep Vikings quarterback Derek Fulton from picking their defense apart, as Fulton dished out 291 passing yards and a touchdown. Drake also had a problem generating a run game, managing just 29 yards on the ground, which included a Gary Scott touchdown.
UNI, a top-tier Missouri Valley Football Conference team, has two not-so- significant matchups standing in the way of facing current Top-25 program McNeese State, followed by a trip to Fargo to face North Dakota State on Oct. 5.
But the Panthers won't be looking too far down the road. If UNI wants to return to the FCS playoffs again, the program will need every win it can get to not be overshadowed in such a strong conference.
Prediction: Northern Iowa 38, Drake 14
Ferris State (0-0) at No. 1 North Dakota State (1-0)
Kickoff: 5 p.m.
What to know: There's a not insignificant chance that had NDSU fallen to Big-12 co-champion Kansas State, we'd be talking about Eastern Washington as the top-ranked team in the FCS this week. But the Bison, per usual, rose to the challenge and defeated the Wildcats, 24-21.
It was a come-from-behind effort that coach Craig Bohl's squad executed, and with 28 seconds remaining in the game, Brock Jensen scrambled for a 1-yard scoring run to give North Dakota State the win.
Now the Bison turn and face Ferris State - known for its hockey program - but wouldn't mind playing ultimate spoiler for the rest of the FCS.
Bohl's squad, though, is smarter than to overlook its next opponent. Look for the Bison defense, which held Kansas State to a mere 41 yards rushing last Friday, to continue its stingy play this weekend, while Jensen improves on his average 165-yard, two-touchdown and one-interception performance.
Prediction: North Dakota State 44, Ferris State 7
No. 15 Richmond (1-0) at North Carolina State (1-0)
Kickoff: 6 p.m. (ESPN3.com)
What to know: Last week, when Richmond blanked VMI, 34-0, the Spiders didn't allow the Keydets to convert a single third-down attempt. The Keydets were 0- for-12 in that department.
That's an important thing to note defensively. But perhaps the stat the Spiders will look to duplicate against North Carolina State is in the run defense category. Richmond allowed the Keydets to just 39 yards on 20 carries (less than two yards per carry). That will have to continue this week against an N.C. State team that scored four times on the ground against Louisiana Tech in a 40-14 Wolfpack beatdown of the Bulldogs.
Richmond has the offense to do some damage against a solid N.C. State defense, especially after impressive performances by Michael Strauss and Ben Edwards, but is it enough to compete with the Wolfpack on a production level? This is one FCS-FBS matchup we don't foresee an upset.
Prediction: North Carolina State 30, Richmond 16
Furman (0-1) at No. 24 Coastal Carolina (1-0)
Kickoff: 6 p.m.
What to know: Last weekend, Furman lost to Coastal's fellow Big South competitor Gardner-Webb, 28-21. The Paladins held a 21-7 lead into the third quarter and gave it away on two rushing touchdowns from Juanne Blount and a passing score midway through the fourth quarter.
So the Paladins could rightfully be a bit deflated heading into this contest against Coastal Carolina, and it would be almost deadly for Furman's playoff chances to drop this upcoming contest in a Southern Conference with no Appalachian State or Georgia Southern headed to the postseason.
Coastal got some great production from running back Lorenzo Taliaferro, who gained 151 yards on the ground (including a touchdown) and caught two passes for seven yards and a touchdown. He'll be the focal point in the offense this season for sure, and he'll make all of his touches count.
Prediction: Coastal Carolina 28, Furman 17
No. 8 Villanova (0-1) at Fordham (1-0)
Kickoff: 6 p.m.
What to know: Here's what Villanova knows about its Week 1 loss to Boston College: Jamal Abdur-Rahman is the game-changer the Wildcats thought he would be.
Abdur-Rahman sat out last season after being handed a year-long suspension, but came back in an explosive way against the Eagles Saturday by scoring two touchdowns - one on a 47-yard run off a fake punt and the other on a 27-yard pass from Robertson.
The Wildcats struggled in the second half of the game Saturday after being up 14-7 at halftime, and didn't manage a point past the halfway mark.
Fordham laid a beating down on Rhode Island. But remember, it was Rhode Island. The 26 points Rhody scored against Fordham in Week 1 were more than the team's single-game high a year ago (24). You can never lose sight of Carlton Koonce, though. And Michael Nebrich had himself an effective night last Thursday, passing for 267 yards and four touchdowns.
We know the Wildcats are better than their second-half effort against BC and should rebound well against Fordham.
Prediction: Villanova 30, Fordham 15
No. 16 Wofford (0-1, 0-0 SoCon) at The Citadel (0-1, 0-0 SoCon)
Kickoff: 6 p.m. (ESPN3.com)
What to know: Not only was Baylor the better team Saturday down in Waco, Texas, but the Bears wanted Wofford to know it.
Terriers kicker Kasey Redfern booted a 22-yard field goal midway through the third quarter, which served as the only score Wofford mustered in the 69-3 trouncing. Junior running back Lache Seastrunk provided the main spark for the Bears, totaling 111 yards and two touchdowns rushing.
Wofford's biggest void is learning to live without Eric Breitenstein. The Terriers managed 173 yards on the ground last Saturday, split between 12 different ball carriers.
Now Wofford clashes with Southern Conference foe The Citadel in what could be an early season predictor of the conference title winner. Both teams are coming off losses (The Citadel to Charleston Southern), with Samford the only 1-0 conference team still eligible for the title. It's still very, very early on in the season, but this game could seriously affect one program's playoff hopes.
Prediction: Wofford 24, The Citadel 19
North Carolina A&T (0-0) at No. 21 Appalachian State (0-1)
Kickoff: 6 p.m.
What to know: The most important thing moving forward for Appalachian State is now the health of senior quarterback Jamal Londry-Jackson. The signal caller told The Sports Network on Sunday he hit the turf a lot in Saturday's season- opener against Montana and wound up pinching a nerve that caused his left arm to go numb.
Londry-Jackson can't be taking too many beatings like that. It's a weird scenario because his senior year technically doesn't count in FCS circles as App State transitions into the FBS. But there's still a season to be played, and the health of a player is always vitally important.
Londry-Jackson expects to play against North Carolina A&T, which was idle in Week 1. We'll get our first look at standout cornerback and return specialist D'Vonte Graham against ASU, but we expect this to be the Mountaineers' show.
Prediction: Appalachian State 35, North Carolina A&T 18
No. 20 James Madison (1-0) at Akron (0-1)
Kickoff: 6 p.m. (ESPN3.com)
What to know: Akron, a Mid-American Conference program, didn't have such a great start to the season in Week 1. The Zips dropped a 38-7 decision to Central Florida, which gained 476 total yards on the Zips defense.
Akron also turned the ball over twice and drew six penalties Thursday. James Madison isn't a bottom-tier FCS team, and if the Zips continue to poison their play with mistakes, the Dukes will take advantage.
Central Florida's Storm Johnson rushed for 99 yards and two touchdowns last Thursday, and we expect Dae'Quan Scott to have similar success. Against Central Connecticut State, Scott carried the ball 15 times for 120 yards and returned a punt for a touchdown.
This could easily be one potential FCS upset that will build on Week 1's eight FCS-over-FBS victories.
Prediction: James Madison 28, Akron 21
Saint Francis (Pa.) (0-0) at No. 10 Georgia Southern (1-0)
Kickoff: 6 p.m.
What to know: Saint Francis, a Northeast Conference team, was idle last weekend, which may or may not have helped it prepare for Georgia Southern.
On the plus side, the Red Flash got to see the Eagles in action against Savannah State while preparing for them this week. The downside: the Red Flash have to open their season against a ferociously good Georgia Southern team.
It's that simple. The game will come down to whether the Red Flash can stop (or at least limit) Georgia Southern's run attack, which is darn near impossible. In Week 1, senior quarterback Jerick McKinnon contributed one passing touchdown, 107 rushing yards and a rushing score, while junior fullback Dominique Swope turned in a 100-yard, two-touchdown performance. Everyone knows the run is coming, yet no one can stop it.
Nothing should change this week as Georgia Southern will continue its success running the ball.
Prediction: Georgia Southern 54, St. Francis 16
No. 6 South Dakota State (1-0) at North Dakota (1-0)
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
What to know: Both North Dakota and South Dakota State handed their opponents pretty sizeable losses last weekend, and now square off in Grand Forks, which will culminate the week-long Potato Bowl festivities with a tailgate before the game. As a side note, North Dakota holds a 37-10 record in Potato Bowl games dating back to 1966.
The Potato Bowl USA teams UND with the Red River Valley potato growing industry and provides the community with a full week of entertainment. North Dakota has won 10 straight Potato Bowl games, and 17 of the last 18. But the last time UND faced the Jackrabbits in this contest was in 1997.
South Dakota State got significant production from Zach Zenner, the team's 2,000-yard back last season, against Butler, which surprised no one. The defense did an outstanding job of limiting Pioneer Football League 2012 Offensive Player of the Year Matt Lancaster to 140 passing yards (with one rushing touchdown) and running back Trae Heeter to 17 yards on the ground.
The contest will be closer than each of the competitors' last matchups, but North Dakota's Potato Bowl win streak will likely come to an end.
Prediction: South Dakota State 37, North Dakota 21
Alabama State (0-1, 0-0 SWAC) at Jackson State (0-1, 0-0 SWAC)
Kickoff: 6 p.m.
What to know: It's only Week 2 of the FCS season, but there's a lot at stake here, when you take a step back and look at the big picture.
These two teams in the preseason were predicted to finish 1-2 in the Southwestern Atlantic Conference, but both lost to start the season. Jackson State, the SWAC's preseason East Division favorite, dropped the contest to Tulane, while Alabama State lost to Jacksonville State.
Alabama State got some decent production from running back Isaiah Crowell and receiver DeMario Bell, but there wasn't a whole lot for the JSU Tigers to hang their hats on production-wise. Zachary Pendleton caught three passes for 95 yards, which was the standout stat.
These early season conference games will matter greatly once we get down to closing time, and in this one the Alabama State running game should prevail.
Prediction: Alabama State 23, Jackson State 18
No. 4 Sam Houston State (1-0) at Texas A&M (1-0)
Kickoff: 7 p.m. (ESPN3.com)
What to know: If you were a defensive player going against Johnny Manziel right about now, wouldn't you just relish the chance to hit him as hard as you can?
The thing that stood out most in last week's Texas A&M win over Rice was not the fact Johnny Football sat out the first half, nor his play when he was on the field. It was his attitude. His fake-signing autographs in the air and his gestures toward the scoreboard to a Rice player only plays up the fact his arrogance is at an all-time high. But he's still a darn good football player.
Sam Houston State and A&M met last year, with the Aggies breaking out to a 47-0 lead midway through the third quarter. But the Bearkats didn't go quietly, running up 28 unanswered points before the game ended, 47-28.
This year, Sam Houston has its key offensive pieces back, but hardly a defense that can contain the Aggies offense. Look for Brian Bell and Timothy Flanders to put up some points, but, ultimately, it will be the Johnny Football show yet again.
Prediction: Texas A&M 49, Sam Houston State 24
No. 14 Eastern Illinois (1-0) at Southern Illinois (0-1)
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
What to know: Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and receiver Erik Lora were on display Saturday against Mountain West opponent San Diego State. The duo hooked up 10 times for two scores in the Panthers' 40-19 rout of the Aztecs.
Eastern Illinois seems to already be close to midseason form, getting production from both the passing and running game Saturday, with the defense forcing the FBS program to commit five turnovers. Eastern Illinois has the fast track to the Ohio Valley Conference championship.
Southern Illinois dropped a tight game with FBS Illinois, getting a steady performance from quarterback Kory Faulkner (312 yards, three touchdowns). But the Missouri Valley Football Conference squad recently announced starting running back Mika'il McCall was dismissed from the team for disciplinary reasons, and backup Ken Malcome wasn't very productive in his first week.
Eastern Illinois should keep rolling with some solid all-around play.
Prediction: Eastern Illinois 45, Southern Illinois 28
Western Oregon (0-0) at No. 2 Eastern Washington (1-0)
Kickoff: 7:05 p.m. (SWX)
What to know: Was Eastern Washington's win over Oregon State the most impressive of any FCS-FBS matchups in Week 1? That's up to you to decide. But we can all agree that, if it weren't for NDSU's last-minute touchdown, Eastern Washington might be the nation's top-ranked team.
Vernon Adams launched himself into the Walter Payton Award discussion with a six-touchdown, 518-total yard performance against the Beavers. He was named the FCS national offensive player of the week, for obvious reasons.
Western Oregon, which is playing its season opener, serves as one of the breaks in the Eagles' tough schedule. The last thing coach Beau Baldwin wants his team to do is look ahead to Toldeo, though. Expect the Eagles to take care of business in this matchup and maybe conserve some of their starters for a quarter or so.
Prediction: Eastern Washington 50, Western Oregon 14
No. 7 Central Arkansas (1-0) at Colorado (1-0)
Kickoff: 8 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
What to know: Central Arkansas didn't have much trouble with new FCS program Incarnate Word last Thursday as the Bears jumped out to a 51-0 lead in the fourth quarter. Starting quarterback Wynrick Smothers completed 27-of-31 pass attempts, and wasn't needed to finish up the contest. But the Bears got scoring from every which direction, including a blocked punt for a score and a kick return of 93 yards.
A season ago, Colorado would have been lucky to have a chance at defeating Central Arkansas. The Buffaloes were as bad as it gets for an FBS team, winning just one game at Washington State in 2012.
But this year is a bit different. Connor Wood shredded Colorado State with 400 passing yards and three touchdowns with the help of top receiver Paul Richardson (208 yards, two touchdowns). So the Buffaloes are already a much better-looking team.
Central Arkansas has a good chance if the Buffaloes of 2012 show up to play. Otherwise Smothers will have to play other worldly to match Wood's production. This is also the first time the Bears have ever faced a Pac-12 opponent.
Prediction: Colorado 35, Central Arkansas 28
No. 3 Montana State (1-0) at SMU (0-1)
Kickoff: 8 p.m. (ESPN3.com)
What to know: Can we just take a minute and reflect on how huge this game WOULD HAVE BEEN had Montana State kept its early season matchup with North Dakota State?
But alas, plans change. And when the opportunity to play Southern Methodist came up, the Bobcats' athletic staff couldn't pass up the exposure and monetary value of this game. And who knows, maybe there will be a playoff match between MSU and NDSU (fingers crossed?).
SMU dropped its first contest to Texas Tech and appeared to be a relative one-trick pony (yes, pun intended). Garrett Gilbert led the way for the Mustangs with 388 passing yards and 53 rushing. The problem was finding the end zone.
Montana State, which has 13 native Texans on its roster, is a very talented program. But can one of them, quarterback DeNarius McGhee, stay one step ahead of an ACC defense? We'll find out on Saturday. It could be close.
Prediction: SMU 28, Montana State 20
Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-1) at No. 18 McNeese State (1-0)
Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. (CSN-Houston)
What to know: McNeese State pulled probably the most eyebrow-raising upset in the first week with a 53-21 clobbering of South Florida. The Cowboys, picked to finish third in a talented Southland Conference, rocketed up into the Top 25 as a result.
And it wasn't just a "squeak by" win. After the Bulls scored first, the Cowboys dominated. Receiver Nic Jacobs hauled in 122 yards and two touchdowns, both from starting quarterback Cody Stroud. The success of the Cowboys offense doesn't bode well for the Golden Lions, who were decimated by Arkansas State last Saturday.
Pine Bluff didn't put a point on the board until late in the fourth quarter, when linebacker Jer-Ryan Harris recovered a fumble and took it the remaining 37 yards to the end zone. Four (that's right, four) Arkansas State running backs gained over 100 yards rushing against the Golden Lions.
If McNeese State can drop 53 points and 424 total yards offensively on South Florida, Pine Bluff doesn't seem like much of a challenge.
Prediction: McNeese State 49, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 18
No. 12 Cal Poly (1-0) at Fresno State (1-0)
Kickoff: 10 p.m. (ESPN3.com)
What to know: Fresno State and Rutgers went punch-for-punch offensively last week and eventually the Bulldogs came out on top after an overtime period, 52-51. Rutgers went for the two-point conversion to try to win it after what would have been the game-tying touchdown and extra point. The conversion failed, and that's how it ended.
As impressive as Cal Poly was in its first game - a 38-16 win over San Diego - handling Fresno State is a completely different story. Quarterback Derek Carr's impressive five-touchdown, 456-yard passing display put him up near the top of the pack nationally. And Mason Mills managed to do a solid job against the Big Sky Conference team, throwing for 230 yards and two touchdowns on 29- of-36 passing.
Vince Moraga, in his first game as the starter for the Mustangs, didn't put up the numbers you'd love to see against the PFL Toreros. His 15-of-21 passing day was OK, but he didn't throw for a touchdown, and, to be fair, the offense ran through Kristaan Ivory first and foremost.
It's really a win-win situation for Cal Poly. A loss is a blip on the radar against a very talented FBS team, whereas a win is monumental going forward.
Prediction: Fresno State 48, Cal Poly 24
Last Week's Record: 14-10 (.583)
Season Record: 14-10 (.583)
09/05 10:35:34 ET