Entering Week 2, Football Championship Subdivision teams were 0-42 against Football Bowl Subdivision opponents in Week 1. Well, that changed this past weekend three FCS-over-FBS upsets: Southern Illinois over Northern Illinois; Fordham over Buffalo; and Idaho over Nevada.
The Salukis really dominated NIU from start to finish in a game that was never in doubt. In fact, they looked more like the MAC team than the Huskies did.
Fordham's high-octane offense from the Bronx outpaced the Bulls, putting the rest of the Patriot League on notice. I'm a big fan of how coach Joe Conlin, one of the more underrated coaches in the FCS, runs his program
But let's focus on the Idaho game for a second. The Vandals were 6-point favorites over the Nevada Wolf Pack, and if you want to talk about a contest that was never in doubt, it was this one. Remember, FCS teams operate with 63 scholarships compared to 85 at the FBS level. Led by their sensational QB Gevani McCoy, the Vandals dominated Nevada 33-6.
Could the Vandals make it 2-0 vs. the FBS this weekend as they travel to take on the Cal Bears? We shall see.
In other news, the Ivy League kicks off its 2023 season this weekend. Expect to see a team or two coming from the Ancient Eight creep their way up the top 25 in subsequent weeks.
|1. South Dakota State||2-0||It took a late fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Mark Gronowski to Griffin Wilde for the Jackrabbits to hold off the Bobcats of Montana State.|
|2. William & Mary||2-0||While their offense didn't have its best day, the Tribe's defense was able to lead from the front vs. Wofford. The Terriers were limited to 1 of 11 on third downs and held to 3.1 yards per pass attempt and rushing attempt.|
|3. North Dakota State||2-0||The Bison offense needed explosive plays, and it got them against Maine -- primarily from the quarterback position. Reserve signal-caller Cole Payton had a 61-yard touchdown run and finished 102 yards rushing on just eight carries.|
|4. Montana State||1-1||The Bobcats looked to be in control of the game against South Dakota State up until the last two minutes. You have to play a full 60 minutes against the No. 1 team in the country.|
|5. Sacramento State||2-0||It was the Kaiden Bennett show vs. Texas A&M-Commerce. The junior quarterback led the team in passing and rushing with more than 100 yards on the ground. A huge matchup is on the horizon against Stanford and former Hornets coach Troy Taylor.|
|6. Idaho||2-0||Not only were the Vandals favored against Nevada on the road, they dominated that game from start to finish. Quarterback Gevani McCoy completed 71% of his passes for 313 yards and two touchdowns in a 33-6 rout of the Wolf Pack.|
|7. Holy Cross||1-1||The Crusaders almost pulled off the shocker against Boston College, but a late turnover sealed their fate. Either way, this team will be a serious contender in the FCS the rest of the way.|
|8. Incarnate Word||1-1||The Cardinals flew out to a 42-0 lead against Northern Colorado in a game that was never in doubt, ultimately winning 42-7. That sets the table for a big matchup this weekend against Abilene Christian.|
|9. Weber State||2-0||The Wildcats were underdogs coming into the Northern Iowa game and made some excellent second-half adjustments to pull away from the Panthers 34-17.|
|10. Montana||2-0||Montana only needed its run game against Utah Tech, rushing for more than 260 yards at 4.6 yards per clip. I also loved the Grizzlies' aggressiveness on defense, forcing four Trailblazer turnovers.|
|11. New Hampshire||1-1||The Wildcats nearly pulled off the upset against Central Michigan of the FBS. It may be time to put quarterback Max Brosmer, who's off to an outstanding start to the season, in the Payton Award conversation.|
|12. Southeast Missouri State||1-1||It's good to see SEMO look like SEMO again. Quarterback Payton DeLaurent and running back Geno Hess are back to having the games we expect from them.|
|13. North Carolina Central||2-0||The Aggie-Eagle Classic against North Carolina A&T was close until NCCU took control in the second half, thanks in part to a stellar defensive effort.|
|14. North Dakota||2-0||The Fighting Hawks opened up the season with back-to-back home wins and now take their show on the road this upcoming weekend against Boise State.|
|15. Southern Illinois||2-0||Game ball for last weekend's upset over Northern Illinois has to go to a Salukis defense that kept the Husky offense sputtering and turnover-prone the entire game.|
|16. Southeastern Louisiana||0-2||After back-to-back FBS losses, the Lions are thankful to be playing their first FCS opponent of the season this weekend. Unfortunately, it'll be another tough road test as they travel to Eastern Washington.|
|17. Furman||1-1||Furman takes on Kennesaw State, which is transitioning from the FCS to the FBS this season, so this could be a big measuring stick opportunity for the Paladins.|
|18. UC Davis||1-1||Outmanned vs. Oregon State, the Aggies now turn their attention to Southern Utah.|
|19. Central Arkansas||1-1||The upcoming matchup vs. North Dakota State will definitely have a playoff feel to it. The Bears have more than enough to make things interesting in Fargo.|
|20. Samford||1-1||Western Carolina had the Bulldogs searching for answers that they would never find. The defense gave up 546 yards of total offense, and the offense couldn't string together enough drives to keep pace.|
|21. Florida A&M||1-1||At one point, it looked as if the Rattlers were going to pull off the upset against South Florida. Turning their attention to West Florida, it'll be key for quarterback Jeremy Moussa to take better care of the football.|
|22. Mercer||2-1||Whenever the Bears get wide receivers Devron Harper and Ty James involved, good things tend to happen. Harper and James led Mercer in rushing and receiving, respectively, in their win over Morehead State.|
|23. Rhode Island||1-1||I attended the Rhode Island-Stony Brook game on Friday and came away impressed with how potent and explosive the Rams passing attack was with super senior QB Kasim Hill at the controls.|
|24. Gardner-Webb||1-1||Thanks to Narii Gaither's 120-yards rushing, the Runnin' Bulldogs were able to sprint past Elon. Looking forward to this week's matchup vs. Tennessee State.|
|25. Youngstown State||1-1||There wasn't much the Penguins could do against Ohio State last weekend. They'll look to get back on the winning track against Robert Morris.|