Top FCS Matchups 

Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. ET: No. 6 Montana State Bobcats at Utah Utes 


Sept. 3 at 3:30 p.m. ET: No. 16 James Madison Dukes at North Carolina Tar Heels


Sept. 3 at 12:30 p.m. ET: No. 2 Appalachian State Mountaineers at Virginia Tech Hokies


Sept. 3 at 6 p.m. ET: No. 12 Montana Grizzlies at Tennessee Volunteers


Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. ET: No. 1 Eastern Washington Eagles at Washington Huskies

Watch Them Now

Bo Levi Mitchell
Eastern Washington

Key Notes: The MVP of last year's national title game, Mitchell returns looking for another championship a year after posting a school-record 37 touchdowns while ranking 24th nationally with 236.2 passing yards per game. Mitchell will be without All-American RB Taiwan Jones, who was a fourth-round selection by Oakland in the 2011 NFL Draft, meaning the signal-caller will have the full control of the offense -- and much of the Eagles' fate -- in his hands when EWU opens against in-state rival and FBS foe Washington.    

Other Players to Watch this Week:  Jonathan Grimes, William & Mary (Sr., RB); Trumaine Johnson, Montana (Sr., CB); DeAndre Presley, Appalachian State (Sr., QB); Ameet Pall, Wofford (Sr., DE); Casey Therriault, Jackson State (Sr., QB).

Keep Your Eyes on This

• Appalachian State enters the season at No. 2 behind the defending champion Eastern Washington Eagles. ASU can make a statement right off the bat -- something it's used to doing -- as it has one of the toughest openers of any FCS team against FBS No. 13 Virginia Tech on Sept. 3. The only ranked FCS team playing  higher-ranked FBS opponent than VT on the opening weekend is Chattanooga, which plays at No. 10 Nebraska.  

• RB Nate Eachus will be looking to repeat as the national rushing leader as he ends his career at Colgate. A Payton Award Watch List memeber, Eachus is back after gaining 170.1 yards per game on the ground last year, nearly 25 more yards per game than No. 2 Taiwan Jones (145.2 ypg) of Eastern Washington, who is now in the NFL.

• James Madison, ranked No. 16 in the preseason, looks to knock off another FBS opponent in September when it faces North Carolina on opening weekend. UNC isn't as stiff of competition as Virignia Tech was last year (the Dukes beat a then-13th-ranked Hokies 21-16 last year), but the Tar Heels do have talent left behind after coach Butch Davis was forced out. 

• After finishing second in Buck Buchanan Award voting as the nation's top defensive player last year, senior defensive end Ameet Pall of Wofford returns looking to clinch the award early. He'll look to improve on his 22.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks, and if he does, he'll be right in the mix and presason No. 8 Wofford will have a chance at a deep run into the playoffs.

• Keith Pough could give Pall a run for his money as the junior LB returns after posting a nation-leading 28.5 tackles for loss last fall for Howard. He looks to improve on his 28.5 TFLs -- one of only three returning players in the nation with at least 20.0 TFLs in 2010 -- which included 10.5 sacks.