Eastern Washington defensive end Paul Ena’s father might have a difficult time determining who to root for this weekend when the Eagles and Washington State meet. From 1976-79, the elder Ena — Tali — was carving up defenses as a running back for the Cougars, leading to eventually being drafted in the 11th round of the NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. He rushed for 1,888 career yards and 16 touchdowns at WSU to rank among the school’s all-time leaders.
Eastern Washington and Washington State will play each other this weekend for the first time since 1908 despite the fact the Eagles campus in Cheney, Wash. is 90 miles from Pullman.
Where Have You Been? William and Mary hosts Lafayette this Saturday evening in Williamsburg, Va. The two schools have a combined football history that spans well over 220 years (Lafayette started in 1882, WM in 1893) and 2,300 games. Despite this long history, the two have never met on the gridiron prior to this weekend.
Under the Lights: Butler will play its first home night football game in 71 years. The Bulldogs will host Franklin at 6 p.m. ET in the Butler Bowl on Saturday. Butler’s last home night game was against Ball State on Oct. 10, 1941. The lights were removed from the Butler Bowl after World War II, but new lights were added to the newly-renovated stadium last season. The Bulldogs didn’t play any night contests in 2011.
Upset Specials: Four FCS teams managed victories against FBS programs during the first weekend of the season:
McNeese State 27, Middle Tennessee 21 — Recap | Box Score
Eastern Washington 20, Idaho 3 — Recap | Box Score
Youngstown State 31, Pittsburgh 17 — Recap | Box Score
Tennessee-Martin 20, Memphis 17 — Recap | Box Score
Off and Running: Wofford senior Eric Breitenstein is just 86 yards away from breaking the 4,000-yard rushing barrier, while Stony Brook senior running back Miguel Maysonet comes into weekend action needing 68 rushing yards to become the fourth player in Big South history with 3,000 in a career.
Catching On: The Stephen F. Austin dynamic receiving duo of Gralyn Crawford and Cordell Roberson are likely to crush the NCAA mark for receiving yards by two players on the same team. They have already caught 4,876 yards worth of passes only one week into their senior season. Eastern Illinois’ Roy Banks and Cal Pierce hold the current mark of 5,806 yards, which they totaled from 1983-86.
Catching On More: After tallying 79 receiving yards in the season-opener against Fayetteville State, North Carolina Central senior Geovonie Irvine needs just one yard to become just the sixth Eagle in school history to record 2,000 receiving yards.
Freeze Gopher: New Hampshire heads to Minnesota looking to improve an overall record of 5-4 vs. FBS opponents. The Wildcats strung together consecutive victories against Rutgers (2004), Northwestern (2006), Marshall (2007), Army (2008) and Ball State (2009) before their unprecedented five-game winning streak vs. FBS teams was snapped at Pittsburgh on Sept. 2, 2010.
More Success Against FBS: Since moving to the FCS in 2006, North Dakota State has a 5-3 record against FBS teams. The Bison have beaten the likes of Minnesota, Ball State, Central Michigan, and Kansas. The defending FCS national champions head to Colorado State on Saturday looking to record win No. 6.
The 750 Club: With its 55-0 victory against Lock Haven, Fordham became the 15th Division I school to reach the 750 win milestone — the fifth institution on the FCS level. The other four FCS teams are Yale, Harvard, Penn and Princeton which makes Fordham the first non-Ivy League FCS school to hit the 750 win mark.
Many Happy Returns: Northwestern State senior receiver/kick returner Phillip Harvey broke into the Southland Conference career kickoff return yardage top-10 list and claimed the NSU career record with his opening-game output. Harvey posted 137 yards on six kickoff runbacks at Texas Tech. It raised his career yardage total to 1,699 yards on 74 returns, an impressive career 22.9 average. Harvey erased a 23-year-old school record of 1,642 yards from 1986-89 by Dennis Smith.
Game of the Week: Appalachian State and Montana, two perennial powers, meet in the first regular season for the first time. The ninth-ranked Grizzlies opened the season with a 35-24 victory against South Dakota, while the No. 8 Mountaineers fell 35-13 at East Carolina. Montana has 21 FCS postseason appearances, more than any team in the division, while Appalachian State has made the playoffs 19 times — third amongst FCS schools. Since 2000, they have combined for eight national championship game appearances, with ASU winning three and Montana winning one. In that same time frame, Montana has racked up 128 wins, while Appalachian State has 119 — the top two marks in the FCS.
This will be the first time the teams have met in Boone, N.C. as Montana won both previous meetings in the FCS national semifinals in Missoula. In 2000, Montana beat Appalachian State in overtime 19-16 on a game-winning touchdown catch by Jimmy Farris. Farris, who played in the NFL with New England, Atlanta, and Washington, is now running for congress in Idaho. In 2009, the Grizzlies won the other match-up 24-17.
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