Top 10 Preview
No McGhee for Montana St.; Eastern Wash. looks for repeat
No. 1 North Dakota State
No. 2 Eastern Washington at Toledo, 7 p.m. ET Saturday
Eastern Washington will try to repeat its magic of Aug. 31 as the Eagles play their second FBS foe of the 2013 season at Toledo.
Eastern Washington enters 2-0, having upset 25th-ranked Oregon State 49-46 in its season opener and then scoring 29 first-quarter points in a 43-14 romp against Division II Western Oregon last week.
Eastern Washington is 2-0 for only the second time since 2001, and the first in head coach Beau Baldwin’s 10 seasons as an Eagles head coach or assistant coach. In fact, the last time EWU was 3-0 came in 2007 when Baldwin was head coach at Central Washington.
Easter Washington quarterback Vernon Adams is the early FCS leader in passing efficiency, with a rating of 233.8 (76 percent completion percentage, 709 yards, 9 TD, 2 INT). He also leads in points accounted for, with 68 total points (9 passing TD, 2 rushing TD and 1 two-point conversion). In addition, Adams ranks second in total offense (430.5 per game) and passing offense (354.5 per game).
Toledo is 0-2 after suffering a 24-6 loss to Florida to open the season and then falling 38-23 to Missouri last week.
Colorado Mesa at No. 3 Montana State, 3:05 p.m. ET Saturday
It's not a new era of Montana State football but it will definitely mark a beginning, when sophomore quarterback Jake Bleskin makes his first career start against Colorado Mesa. Bleskin steps in for injured All-American DeNarius McGhee, who misses his first game as a Bobcat after 40 consecutive starts due to a shoulder injury suffered at SMU last week. Bleskin takes the reins of an offense averaging 469.5 and 36.0 points a game.
Montana State comes into the game at 1-1 after a 31-30 loss at SMU last week. The Mustangs scored the game-winner with 12 seconds remaining. Cody Kirk led Montana State with 107 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Division II Colorado Mesa is 1-0 on the season. Jake Cimolino led the way for the Mavericks with 120 yard rushing and two touchdowns. He currently ranks fourth in career rushing at CMU with 2,459 yards and needs just 376 yards to move into third place on the all-time list.
Montana State leads the all-time series against Colorado Mesa 2-1. It’s the teams’ first meeting since 1992.
Delaware State at No. 4 Towson, 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday
After opening their season with back-to-back wins, Towson will make its home debut against Delaware State.
The Tigers, who earned their highest national ranking ever in the FCS, own the second-longest winning streak in the FCS (six games). It is also the longest winning streak by a Tiger football team since 1996-97 when the Tigers won six games in a row.
Towson and Delaware State are meeting for the 16th time in a series that began in 1980. However, the teams have not played since 1994. Towson owns a 9-6 series advantage.
Delaware State opened its season with a loss at Delaware.
The Tigers are 34-10 in home openers, having won their past nine.
Texas Southern at No. 5 Sam Houston State, 3 p.m. ET Saturday
Sam Houston begins a four-game home stand at Elliott T. Bowers Stadium as the Bearkats play host to Texas Southern from the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Sam Houston holds a 9-5 edge against the Tigers in the all-time series. The series was renewed last year after a 14-year break with the Bearkats winning 50-6.
Walter Payton Award candidate Timothy Flanders rushed 19 times for 170 yards and two touchdowns including a scoring run of 68 yards, in Sam Houston’s loss last week to Texas A&M. Flanders also caught a 33-yard touchdown pass. The 170 yard rushing total represents Flanders’ fourth-highest single game in his 26 100-yard rushing performances.
Southeastern Louisiana at No. 6 South Dakota State, 7 p.m. ET Saturday
South Dakota State will be in search of its first 3-0 start since 2009 when it takes to the field against Southeastern Louisiana in the 47th annual Beef Bowl. The Beef Bowl was started as SDSU’s way of recognizing those individuals and firms involved in the beef industry in South Dakota.
Southeastern Louisiana is 1-1. The Lions recorded a 45-7 home victory against Southeast Missouri in their season opener before dropping a 38-17 decision at TCU last week.
Saturday’s game marks the second meeting between the two schools. In the first meeting last year, Zach Zenner rushed for 278 yards and the Jackrabbit defense turned in a dominant performance en route to a 31-14 victory.
South Dakota State has won eight home games in a row dating to the 2011 season.
The Jackrabbits have scored in all eight quarters so far this season
SDSU is plus-6 in turnover margin this season, forcing a fumble and five interceptions; the Jackrabbits have yet to turn the ball over
No. 7 Central Arkansas at Tennessee-Martin, 7 p.m. ET Saturday
Central Arkansas and Tennessee-Martin have entered into a four-year agreement to renew a series the Bears lead 8-4. The teams last played one another in 2007, a 48-34 Central Arkansas win.
Central Arkansas (1-1) fell 38-24 to FBS member Colorado last week. The Bears led 24-17 in the fourth quarter before the Buffaloes ended the game with 21 unanswered points in the final 10:43. Quarterback Wynrick Smothers accounted for three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) for Central Arkansas, while the Bear defense forced four turnovers and limited Colorado to just 84 yards rushing on 34 carries.
Tennessee-Martin (1-1) is coming off a 63-14 road loss at FBS member Boise State. The Skyhawks gained 357 yards (210 passing, 147 rushing) and picked up 19 first downs against the Broncos, who lead the FBS with an .871 winning percentage since 2000. Jeremy Butler had game-highs of nine receptions and 118 yards) while DJ McNeil had game-highs of 19 carries and 87 yards.
Central Arkansas’ Clint Conque is one victory away from his 100th career win as head coach of the Bears. His record, in his 14th season, is 99-55.
No. 8 Northern Iowa
Colgate at No. 9 New Hampshire, noon ET Saturday
New Hampshire and Colgate meet for the first time since the Wildcats knocked off the Raiders 55-21 in the opening round of the 2005 playoffs.
Under head coach Sean McDonnell, New Hampshire is 11-3 in its home openers. The Wildcats are riding an eight-game home-opener winning streak and have won 15 consecutive non-conference, regular-season home victories.
Dating to last season, New Hampshire is in the midst of a three-game losing streak – the Wildcats lost their season opener last week to Central Michigan 24-21. UNH has not lost four in a row since dropping nine consecutive games in the 2001-02 seasons.
Colgate rides a two-game losing streak to start the season for the second year in a row and fifth time in head coach Dick Biddle's 18 seasons at the Raiders helm. Colgate hasn't dropped three consecutive games to begin a season since 1996.
Georgia Southern at No. 10 Wofford, 7 p.m. ET Saturday
After playing the first two games on the road, Wofford will open the home slate against Georgia Southern. It will be the final Southern Conference game between the two teams as the Eagles are in transition to the FBS. Wofford has won its past 12 home openers.
Wofford and Georgia Southern have faced each other 19 times, with the Eagles holding a 12-7 lead in the series, including four of the past five games. The road team has won seven of the past eight games, although Georgia Southern won 17-9 at home last year.
In the 2013 Southern Conference preseason poll, the conference’s nine head coaches picked Georgia Southern as the choice to win the league championship, while Wofford was picked to finish fifth. Wofford (1-1) is coming off its first win of the season, 21-10 against The Citadel, last week. Donovan Johnson had 149 yards rushing and a touchdown. The Terriers are 16th in the nation in rushing.
Georgia Southern is 2-0, having defeated Savannah State and Saint Francis (Pa.) by wide margins.