Week 10 may be a bit less packed than the previous weeks, but some fun matchups are on tap, including a couple of ranked matchups.
Let’s predict some scores.
2022 record: 57-29
2019-2021 record: 244-115
RELATED: Week 10 Viewing Guide
Dartmouth at No. 25 Princeton
Princeton looks to improve to 8-0. Its offense has gotten rolling the last few games, scoring 35 points or more. And the defense has been stout all year, ranking No. 2 in FCS scoring defense (11.0 PPG). Dartmouth has underwhelmed this season at 2-5 overall.
While you can probably toss records out in this matchup, Princeton should win comfortably, especially at home. WR Andrei Iosivas is having an All-American season for the Tigers with 50 catches for 778 yards and six TDs. The elite athlete is a pro prospect for the 2023 draft.
Prediction: Princeton 28-17
Kennesaw State at No. 20 UT Martin
KSU has disappointed after Top 10 preseason love as its option offense has adjusted to the new blocking rules. The Owls are 4-4 overall and 1-2 in the ASUN, but they have won two in a row. While this may not be a huge resume-booster for UT Martin, it is an important non-conference game for playoff positioning. If UT Martin and SEMO both finish undefeated in OVC play, the playoff AQ would be a coin-flip tiebreaker. Will the OVC get an at-large bid? That may come down to non-conference performances for the committee to determine if the OVC deserves a second bid.
UT Martin is 5-3 overall and 5-1 vs. the FCS (loss to Missouri State, who has fallen out of the rankings). The offense has been explosive, averaging 37.6 PPG. The trio of Zak Wallace (14 rushing TDs), Dresser Winn (2,233 yards passing 14 TDs, 5 INT.), and Colton Dowell (54 catches for 834 yards and three TDs) have been fabulous. The rushing defense will be big in this one, and UT Martin ranks No. 23 in defending the run (115.8 YPG).
Prediction: UT Martin 34-24
No. 2 Sacramento State at No. 5 Weber State
There is a ton on the line here for the playoff seeds, as I outlined in the link above. Sac State has played with fourth-quarter fire in the last two wins over ranked opponents Montana and Idaho. And Weber is coming off of a big win over Montana, absolutely shutting down the shorthanded Griz offense in impressive fashion.
The run defense that allowed 42 rushing yards on 38 attempts vs. the Griz will have to show out again against Sac State. The Hornets may not find much success through the air against an elite Weber secondary (and some cold weather). Plus, Jake Dunniway has thrown seven interceptions in the last three games. Alongside standout RB Cameron Skattebo, this may be a game where running QB Asher O’Hara has 25+ rushing attempts. Weber had trouble stopping the QB run at Montana State. Tommy Mellott ran 32 times for 273 yards and three scores in MSU’s win.
I doubt Sac State runs wild like that, but I do think they can control the game behind the legs of Skattebo and O’Hara to squeeze out a road win and remain undefeated.
Prediction: Sac State 28-27
No. 17 New Hampshire at No. 14 Richmond
This is a great opportunity for a 6-2 (6-1 vs. FCS) Richmond squad that is looking strong in the rankings but has yet to beat another currently-ranked CAA team. It plays three ranked conference foes to end the year (UNH, Delaware, and W&M). QB Reece Udinski does a great job spreading the ball around (2,287 yards, 19 TDs, three INT). Jakob Herres leads in receiving yards (642), Jasiah Williams leads in receptions (62), and Leroy Henley leads in TD receptions (six).
Their quick-passing strikes could help keep UNH star DE Josiah Silver (11 TFLs, 7.5 sacks) quiet. Plus, it’s Homecoming for the Spiders.
UNH is also 6-2 overall and 6-1 vs. the FCS. It looked great in its last game two weeks ago, beating ranked Elon 40-22. I had UNH winning earlier this week, but am changing my mind and going with Richmond. It should be another 50/50 CAA game with crazy swings in momentum, but I’ll lean toward the home squad that is 3-0 on its home turf.
Prediction: Richmond 28-24
Central Arkansas at Eastern Kentucky
A key game as the ASUN-WAC computerized rankings for the AQ continues to sort itself out. UCA is 3-0 in the ASUN (4-4 overall) while EKU is 5-3 overall (including an FBS win over Bowling Green) and 1-1 in the ASUN (loss to FBS-transitioning Sam Houston). EKU just handed ranked SEMO its first FCS loss, winning 28-23.
Points should be aplenty here. UCA has scored 49, 49, 51, and 64 points in its last four games. The passing attack hasn’t lost its explosiveness despite losing some studs from last year. UNI transfer Will McElvain has been great (2,013 yards, 15 TDs, 5 INT.). And Darius Hale continues to be a top FCS RB with 931 yards and 10 TDs. EKU QB Parker McKinney is having a special season, throwing for nearly 2,500 yards with 20 TDs to five interceptions, plus a team-high seven rushing scores.
Expect a back-and-forth game, but EKU will throw the last punch for the home win.
Prediction: EKU 42-35
Youngstown State at Illinois State
This is a very under-the-radar game with playoff implications. YSU is 5-3 with other games remaining at Mo State and vs. SIU. Illinois State is also 5-3 with other games remaining at SDSU and vs. WIU. YSU could realistically hit eight wins with three winnable games. It has been rolling lately, winning three straight. Illinois State could hit seven games if it beats YSU and WIU, and assuming No. 1 SDSU beats the Redbirds. Seven wins get you at least into consideration for the playoffs.
ISU is 3-1 at home, and YSU is 1-2 on the road. Containing star YSU RB Jaleel McLaughlin (1,182 yards, 10 TDs) will be key for the Redbirds. Their defense is above-average at stopping the run, allowing 137.0 YPG (No. 43 in the FCS). Zeke Vandenburgh is having a terrific year (63 tackles, 12 TFLs, 7.5 sacks). The Redbirds offensively are more of a passing team this year, and they may be able to exploit a YSU defense allowing 242.1 passing YPG (No. 82 in the FCS).
Prediction: Illinois State 31-24
No. 1 South Dakota State at Northern Iowa
After an 0-3 start, UNI is now 5-4 and has won three straight, including beating ranked SIU last week. The Panthers need to beat SDSU to have a good shot at the playoffs. A 6-5 squad (losing this weekend and then beating South Dakota on Nov. 19) probably wouldn’t cut it. A 7-4 UNI team with a win over No. 1 SDSU? That’s a playoff bid.
Theo Day has been really good this season (2,471 yards, 19 TDs, 4 INT.). UNI will get its yards and some points, but SDSU’s defense is a top-tier unit in the FCS and can limit the Panthers. On the flip side, UNI’s defense has uncharacteristically struggled this season, allowing 26.4 PPG, 157.7 rushing YPG, and 239.8 passing YPG. That bodes well for an SDSU offense hitting its stride. In the last three games, two coming against ranked NDSU and UND, Mark Gronowski has completed over 75% of his passes in all three for a combined 582 yards, six TDs, and zero interceptions.
SDSU has addressed its “letdown performances” narrative. There’s a reason that narrative is out there, though. But this veteran team seems capable of avoiding that, even on the road against a team fighting for its playoff lives.
Prediction: SDSU 38-28
No. 22 SEMO at Tennessee State
SEMO, UT Martin, and Tennessee State were undefeated in OVC play last week at this time. But Tennessee State suffered a disappointing 19-3 loss at Murray State. SEMO also is coming off of a loss, its first vs. an FCS opponent — 28-23 vs. EKU.
A TN State win would put UT Martin in the driver’s seat for the OVC AQ. But it seems we’re heading toward a SEMO and UT Martin tie atop the standings and a coinflip for the auto-bid. Expect SEMO’s offense to have a bounceback game. The Redhawks have a super-talented group of WRs that complements an already-strong run game.
Prediction: SEMO 35-21