The HERO Sports FCS Pick-Em Challenge is back for the 2020 fall/2021 spring season.
Brian McLaughlin and Sam Herder will predict scores of FCS vs. FCS games this fall and the top games in the spring with the FCS Pick Em Championship Belt on the line.
Sam won the belt last season with a 100-42 overall record while B-Mac finished with a 96-46 record.
Let’s get to some picks…
2020-21 Overall Records:
Stephen F. Austin at Eastern Kentucky (ESPN3)
Sam: EKU 31-28
EKU had the best FCS vs. FCS win this fall, beating preseason No. 11 Central Arkansas 31-28 a couple of weeks ago. The Colonels now have had two weeks to prepare for an SFA team that has won four straight games, although three of them came against non-D1 teams. At 4-3 overall, the Lumberjacks are 0-3 against FBS opponents, 1-0 against FCS teams (Abilene Christian) and 3-0 against non-D1 opponents.
EKU is 2-4 overall — 0-3 against FBS teams and 2-1 against the FCS.
QB Dakota Allen looked sharp in the win against UCA two weeks ago, stepping into the game due to an injury to starter Parker McKinney. Allen finished 9-14 passing for 85 yards and the game-winning throw with six seconds left. He also led the team with 59 yards rushing and one touchdown. It sounds like Allen will get the start this week.
Expect another close game here. Just about every FCS vs. FCS game has had a thrilling finish. I’ll give EKU the edge here due to being at home, Allen’s playmaking ability and because the Colonels have already proved me wrong a couple of times this fall.
Brian: EKU 28-24
This should be a pretty evenly matched game. Both teams have pushed at least one FBS opponent deep into the fourth quarter and have had solid showings for about a month now. Both of these teams have been well balanced on offense and have played well on defense when going up against FCS opponents. I’ll give the edge to EKU being at home, but this is a tossup both these teams definitely want.