Week 2 provided some great entertainment with some upsets over FBS teams, some overtime thrillers, and a few barn burners. Below you will find the 12 games that you have to watch in Week 3.
|Saturday, Sept 17||Time(CST)||TV|
|North Dakota State||@||Iowa||11:00am||ESPN2|
|Coastal Carolina||@||Jacksonville State||1:00pm||STREAM|
|Eastern Kentucky||@||Ball State||2:00pm||ESPN3|
|Eastern Illinois||@||Illinois State||2:00pm||ESPN3|
|James Madison||@||North Carolina||2:30pm||ACCN|
|Cal Poly||@||South Dakota State||6:00pm||ESPN3|
|Northern Iowa||@||Eastern Washington||6:05pm||STREAM|
- The 5-time defending FCS champions head to Iowa City to take on a highly ranked Iowa Hawkeyes team. The Bison don’t look quite as crisp as they have at times in their 6-year run, but they are winning games. The program has a history of defeating FBS teams so this is a game you need to keep an eye on.
- Jacksonville State opened with a D-II school (North Alabama) and then had the tough task of heading to Baton Rogue to take on LSU. This game against Coastal Carolina (transitioning to FBS) should give us a better idea of where the Gamecocks are in terms of replacing the pieces they lost from last year’s runner-up squad.
- Last year Ball State struggled to defeat their FCS opponent, VMI, on their way to a 3-win season. Eastern Kentucky is typically a strong FCS team with 2016 a bit of a question mark right now after an FBS loss and a win over an NAIA school. I think EKU has a good chance to grab the FBS win in this match-up.
- This in-state rivalry between Eastern Illinois and Illinois State is typically a close game and both teams are coming off of FBS wins in Week 2 (EIU: Miami(OH) ILSU: Northwestern). This game will be huge when playoff seeds and at-large bids are awarded.
- An early CAA battle between Towson and Villanova could leave one team on the ropes, with their playoff hopes looking thinner and leave them down a game early in the CAA race. Towson is coming off of a 7-point win over St. Francis, and Villanova squeaked past Lehigh, both winning with less than 5 minutes left in the game. This could be another close one.
- James Madison has skated their way to 2-0 with wins over what could politely be called “lesser competition”. This week they get their first challenge of the season when they head to Chapel Hill to take on the North Carolina Tarheels. It could be a tough challenge, but I expect the Dukes to keep it close for most of the game.
- Delaware is in a similar boat to James Madison, but they came into 2016 lower expectations. The Blue Hens are 2-0 after wins over some teams most of us would expect them to beat. Wake Forest should tell us a little bit more about where Delaware’s season will head in 2016.
- South Dakota State shocked people in Week 1 when they took TCU all the way to the end. Cal Poly is traditionally a strong team and will bring their triple option attack to Brookings. This should be a good one and it continues Week 2’s MVFC vs. Big Sky Challenge which provided 4 great games.
- Dartmouth had a great year in 2015, but it happened to be a year they took a break from their in-state battle with New Hampshire. UNH seems to be slow getting things rolling but they do have a 2 week head-start on the Big Green. I expect this game to be close.
- Liberty hung with Virginia Tech for quite a while in their first FBS match-up of the season and I think the Hokies are more than likely a better squad than SMU. SMU lost their FCS game to James Madison last year. I wouldn’t be shocked if the FCS teams from Virginia continued winning against SMU in a close battle this weekend.
- Furman is in an early hole at 0-2, 0-1 in the SoCon, but they seem to be playing good football. Chattanooga hasn’t been challenged yet. I expect the Paladins to give Chattanooga a good battle because they need this game badly if they want to have a chance at the post season.
- UNI and EWU both are coming off of tough Week 2 battles. Northern Iowa struggled offensively against Montana, but the difference in the game was a punt return TD. The Eagles battled North Dakota State neck and neck, but 3 interceptions ended their day with an overtime loss. Last year the teams played a 38-35 thriller in Cedar Falls and I expect this one to end a full day of games with some excitement.