If you placed a bet on Howard before last week’s game at UNLV, well, we hope you’re enjoying your vacation to Hawaii this week.
The rest of us will focus on Week 2 of the college football season.
With the wild and wacky FCS off to a great start, more subdivision teams are ready to settle in against each other starting this week – No. 2 North Dakota State at No. 7 Eastern Washington is the headliner – but five teams in Athlon Sports' FCS Power Poll and some of the other power programs are facing FBS opponents in another terrific lineup of games.
Here are the Week 2 FCS games of the week:
Note: All times ET
Saturday, Sept. 9
UT Martin (1-0) at Ole Miss (1-0), noon
UTM didn’t play three FBS teams for nothing last season (OK, the three losses killed the playoff resume), so the experience will serve quarterback Troy Cook and Co. quite well. The Skyhawks’ 1-23 all-time record against the FBS (including a 76-3 loss to Ole Miss two years ago) might be enough to catch the Rebels sleeping in past noon.
Pick: UT Martin
No. 5 Jacksonville State (1-0) at Georgia Tech (0-1), 12:30 p.m.
Speaking of catching teams napping, Georgia Tech has a short week of preparation, having lost 42-41 to Tennessee Labor Day night, and the Yellow Jackets are facing the Ohio Valley Conference’s best team. The Gamecocks' defense is formidable, although it’s never easy adjusting to a triple-option offense.
Pick: Georgia Tech
No. 6 Richmond (0-1) at No. 25 Colgate (1-0), 1 p.m.
CAA Football programs New Hampshire and James Madison couldn’t stop Colgate running back James Holland in the FCS playoffs two years ago. But Richmond also has excellent running backs, and Kyle Lauletta, having opened the season with a school-record 546 passing yards and five touchdowns against Sam Houston State, gives the Spiders a decided edge at quarterback. He won't face Colgate All-America defensive Pat Afriyie (right leg injury).
No. 8 Villanova (1-0) at Temple (0-1), 3:30 p.m.
Temple allowed three different Notre Dame players to rush for more than 100 yards and a touchdown last week, so the Owls are vulnerable to Villanova’s excellent run-pass mix in this backyard rivalry. It should be close in the fourth quarter.
Delaware (1-0) at Virginia Tech (1-0), 3:30 p.m.
Delaware has been underachieving far too long – even last week’s 22-3 win over Delaware State was a bit of a struggle – so the Blue Hens are seeking to make a statement under first-year head coach Danny Rocco. Joe Flacco was the quarterback the last time they beat an FBS opponent (59-52 over Navy in 2007)
Pick: Virginia Tech
No. 10 Wofford (1-0, 1-0 SoCon) at Mercer (1-0, 0-0), 4 p.m.
Mercer upset Chattanooga at home two years and this looms even larger in the competitive Southern Conference. In its opener, Wofford’s answer for losing last year’s conference rushing leader Lorenzo Long was to divide the carries – four running backs had between eight to 13 attempts. The Terriers’ quarterbacks pose a rushing threat as well.
No. 2 North Dakota State (1-0) at No. 7 Eastern Washington (0-1), 4:05 p.m.
There’s been two prior meetings between these national powers and both went to overtime, including NDSU’s 50-44 win at the Fargodome last year. The Bison didn’t have an answer for EWU quarterback Gage Gubrud last year, so the Eagles probably won’t rack up 36 carries, as they did in their season-opening loss to Texas Tech. The Bison are simply better overall.
Pick: North Dakota State
No. 14 Western Illinois (1-0) at Northern Arizona (0-1), 7 p.m.
Like North Dakota State-Eastern Washington, this is another dandy matchup in the eight-game Challenge Series between the Big Sky and Missouri Valley conferences (five games this week). Western Illinois quarterback Sean McGuire matched NAU standout Case Cookus pass for pass in last year’s 34-20 Leathernecks’ win, but the visitors might want to run the ball after Arizona rolled up 506 rushing yards on the Lumberjacks.
Pick: Western Illinois
No. 17 Chattanooga (0-1) at LSU (1-0), 7:30 p.m.
Well, they do call it Death Valley after all. With the Mocs having lost to Jacksonville State already, the schedule maker wasn’t kind on first-year head coach Tom Arth. Quarterback Nick Tiano is trying to make it hard for Alejandro Bennifield (four-game suspension) to get his job back.
Montana (1-0) at Washington (1-0), 8 p.m.
Every week, Griz defensive coordinator Jason Semore and his staff are awarding two boxing-style “production belts” to the defensive players who have the best performances. Defensive end Tucker Shye and linebacker James Bank were the Week 1 heavyweights. This week, they’re playing an FBS opponent for only the third time since 2006.
No. 3 South Dakota State (1-0) at Montana State (0-1), 8 p.m.
Not to be outdone by rival Montana, the Bobcats are playing a heavyweight opponent at the same time Saturday night. They couldn’t stop Washington State’s passing (40 of 48), and it’s getting tougher with South Dakota State quarterback Taryn Christion, tight end Dallas Goedert and wide receiver Jake Wieneke coming to town.
Pick: South Dakota State
Last Week’s Record: 13-1 (.929)
Season Record: 13-1 (.929)
— Written by Craig Haley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Haley has covered the FCS level since 1999 and is the national writer for www.fcs.football. He appears frequently on radio shows and podcasts to discuss everything FCS. Follow him on Twitter @CraigHaley.
(Photo courtesy Richmond Athletics)