The slate of FCS games this weekend is impressive
- by Zach Barnett 11 months ago
While everyone surrounding the Football Bowl Subdivision rejoices at this Saturday's schedule - mainly because it puts further distance from the stinking pile of refuse that last Saturday was - the FCS level offers a slate of games on Saturday that you'd spend all offseason dreaming about.
No. 3 Eastern Washington at No. 4 Sam Houston State - An Eastern Washington passing offense good enough to put up 448 yards on Oregon State takes on a Sam Houston State rushing offense good enough to compile 240 yards on Texas A&M. This team's met in the FCS semifinals last year and it was a wild one. The rematch should be more of a see-saw tilt, so managing the ups and downs over three and a half hours of scoreboard assaults will be important.
No. 1 North Dakota State at No. 6 South Dakota State - Fresh off putting Nebraska through a frightening first half, the Jackrabbits host rival North Dakota State in the 101st Battle for the Dakota Marker. The Bison have won four straight in this series, including a 28-3 decision in an FCS second round playoff game en route to the program's second straight national championship. South Dakota State ranks second nationally in turnover margin, up two and a half turnovers per game. Continuing that trend will help end North Dakota State's 12-game winning streak.
No. 9 McNeese State at No. 5 Northern Iowa - Just ask South Florida and Iowa State how good these respective teams are. McNeese State ranks in the top 10 nationally in six offensive categories, including second in scoring offense with 49.5 points per game. Northern Iowa ranks in the top 20 nationally in six defensive categories, including eighth in scoring defense with 13.7 points allowed per game. Something's gotta give.
There's also one more program worthy of recognition, even though it may be a while before they crack the top 25. Hosting Drake on Saturday afternoon, Mercer is in search of its fourth win in as many games as a brand new football program.
Check out what they've accomplished so far this year, courtesy of the Mercer athletics department: