For the first time in quite a while, this week’s games start early. Be sure to catch the key NEC match-up on ESPN3 on Friday night. A lot of conferences have big games this weekend. We cover them all below.
|Friday, October 21st||Time(CST)||TV|
|Saturday, October 22nd|
|Lehigh||@||Holy Cross||11:00am||NESN+/*ASN / STREAM|
|Youngstown State||@||South Dakota State||2:00pm||ESPN3|
|Jacksonville State||@||Eastern Kentucky||2:00pm||STREAM|
|Sam Houston State||@||Nicholls State||3:00pm||*ASN / STREAM|
|North Dakota State||@||Western Illinois||6:00pm||ESPN3|
|Weber State||@||Southern Utah||7:00pm||STREAM|
- Duquesne started the season as the clear-cut favorite to win the NEC. St. Francis was picked third. Both teams come into this weekend undefeated in conference play. St. Francis drew some attention with better than expected performances in their non-conference schedule. The winner of this game has high odds of going to the playoffs representing the NEC.
- Lehigh is off to a strong start in Patriot League play after a big win over Colgate and taking care of business against perennial basement dwellers Georgetown. This game wasn’t on my radar until Holy Cross showed signs of life last weekend with an upset win over Harvard. It changed my thinking that Lehigh only had to worry about Fordham.
- Speaking of Harvard, they are still undefeated in Ivy League play. They take on another squad that is perfect in the IL when they head to Princeton on Saturday. The Ivy League insulates itself from much of the FCS world, but we do get chances to watch some of their premiere match-ups.
- The Citadel is coming off of a huge win over Chattanooga and heads to Spartanburg to take on a Wofford team that is fighting for a playoff spot. This should be a quick game with a lot of yards on the ground for both teams so be sure to squeeze it into your schedule.
- Youngstown State finished their win over Northern Iowa last Saturday with their 3rd string quarterback. They will need all hands on deck for their trip to take on South Dakota State. The Jackrabbits are a high octane offense that just came out of Fargo with a win over North Dakota State. Is the highly regarded Penguin defense up to the challenge?
- Jacksonville State hasn’t been challenged for over a month. Eastern Kentucky has been tough in OVC play, even in their losses. Any chance the Colonels catch the Gamecocks looking ahead to their Homecoming game against Eastern Illinois?
- Albany finds itself in a hole after losing two very close CAA matchups. Villanova got smacked around by Richmond last week. Both teams need this game to keep their playoff hopes alive. Tough to pick a winner in this one.
- Nicholls State is on a two game win streak and might be the Bearkats toughest challenge to date. Sam Houston State has run through their SLC slate undefeated with their closest game being a 13 point win. Can the Colonels slow down a potent SHSU offense?
- Lamar has won three straight SLC games since falling to SHSU and Central Arkansas is undefeated since slipping to Samford in Week 1. Lamar most likely needs to win out to get an at-large bid as the 2nd place team in the Southland. Central Arkansas could still be in play for a seed with SHSU coming up on November 19th.
- North Dakota State got shocked by South Dakota State with :01 left on the clock last weekend. Western Illinois has been in a tailspin since getting pounded in Brookings a few weeks ago. They needed late-game theatrics to beat Indiana State and Missouri State. I predict the Bison come out firing on all cylinders and put the game away early. WIU is still in the MVFC race, playoff hunt, and potentially the hunt for a seed if they can win out. It will be interesting to see who wants this more.
- Weber State is a surprise team so far this season. They would have been ranked weeks ago if not for a 3 point loss in 2OTs to South Dakota. The next 2 weeks will tell us a lot about the Wildcats as they take on Southern Utah and North Dakota. Southern Utah is up against the wall after losing two Big Sky games in the last 3 weeks. They need to win out in Big Sky play or steal a win from BYU on November 12th for a shot at the playoffs.
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