Here is the rundown for The FCS Wedge show this week. We are still counting down the AGS Poll T40 and this week we run 20-11 down.
20 Southeast Missouri State Redhawks
Return Buchanan award winner Zach Hall at LB and bunch of their defense. Also get Daniel Santacaterina back at QB. Lose quite a bit on oline and RB Marquis Terry. D is young and talented but still gave up 31 ppg last season. Looking for their first ever back to back winning seasons at the FCS level. Get both EKU and Murray State at home
19 Indiana State Sycamores
10 starters back on offense including Iowa transfer QB Ryan Boyle and rushing attack that average 241 ypg. Defense is lead by LB Jonas Griffin who was 5th in the nation with 132 total tackles last season. They avoid the Bizon and get SDSU at home. All four non-con games are winnable including FBS Kansas
18 Elon Phoenix
Davis Cheek is back at QB and has proven to be a very capable leader when healthy. Coach Cignetti jumped for JMU but they hired in house with Trisciani and have some coaching continuity returning. They play conservative and don’t beat themselves. This could be a good season if they stay healthy.
17 Furman Paladins
Really good offensive line with all 5 starters back but they need to find a QB. Adrian Hope, the nations leader in sacks last year also returns. Winnable FBS game at Georgia State. Similar to Elon they play conservative, disciplined football. They don’t beat themselves.
16 Colgate Raiders
This is a program under coach Dan Hunt that is 3-2 in the playoffs and 3-0 against the CAA going back to 2015. They play smart and control the tempo. Despite a big graduating class, Grant Breneman is back at QB and the defense should be solid again.
15 Northern Iowa Panthers
The Panthers are deep and experienced in the secondary and at WR but lost quite a bit to graduation up front on both sides of the ball. They are also searching for someone to replace QB Eli Dunne. Could be a down year but Mark Farley rarely fields a team that isn’t in playoff contention late in the season.
14 Illinois State Redbirds
The Redbirds are a hot pick returning 16 starters including James Robinson who rushed for 1300 yards at over 6 ypc last season. They also have Memphis transfer QB, Brady Davis coming back. The defense should be solid again after ranking in the top 10 last season. They also get NDSU at home.
13 Towson Tigers
Towson was the atypical CAA team last year because they were all about offense. Tom Flacco is a dangerous dual threat QB and Shane Simpson was 2nd in the FCS in all purpose yards. The D needs to step it up but returns almost all of it’s starters so there should be improvement.
12 Montana State Bobcats
17 starters are back. The big question is can the Cats really keep Troy Anderson out of the backfield? Not many linebackers have become all conference QB’s. They’ve named a new starter at QB in redshirt freshman Casey Bauman. With Isaih Infanse back at RB and an experienced D this could be quarter finalist or better. They finish the regular season @ Davis and hosting the brawl.
11 Kennesaw State Owls
The offense loses practically everyone except Shaquille Terry at RB so they’ll have to rely on defense but they’re used to that and return 8 starters from last year. The schedule is also friendly with only the FBS game @ Kent State being the only one they won’t be the favored to win.
Games of the week/previews
Villanova @ Colgate
Nova had the talent last year to beat an FBS bowl team in Temple and and FCS playoff team in Delaware at the end of the season. In between they had a ton of injuries. The defense should be solid as usual. Colgate also plays good D, has a proven QB and is at home.
Youngstown State @ Samford
Samford had some nice wins last year in beating Furman, Wofford, and ETSU and they also kept it close with Florida State. Meanwhile YSU lost to Pioneer conference Butler on their way to an abysmal season. Both teams graduated a bunch of starters but Samford seems to be more on the rise as a program whereas the Penguins regressed since making the Championship game in 2016.
Three Big Questions
Would you rather lose more to graduation on offense or defense?
What’s on the menu this season for watching football? The fellers have some insight on what they are planning to do.
Because we missed it in our big out of conference matchups discussion last week…SEMO @ Montana State on September 7th.
Oh yeah and one last thing, about Jim Gaffigan…
FCS where are they now?
Comedian Jim Gaffigan
Gaffigan played offensive guard and tackle for the Hoyas 30+ years ago. His take on meeting up with old schoolmates at some of his comedy shows?
“There’s some people I recognize and some that I kind of remember. When I look back on college, I was drunk the entire time, so I don’t know.”