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:
Eastern Kentucky at Central Arkansas (ESPN3)
Sam: EKU 34-31
Last week, I said EKU had the best FCS vs. FCS win this fall, beating preseason No. 11 Central Arkansas 31-28 a few weeks ago. Then the Colonels suffered a disappointing loss to Stephen F. Austin, 24-6.
EKU will get a chance to show its impressive win against UCA wasn’t a one-time thing. This time it’ll have to do it on the road.
The Colonels are better on offense than what they showed last week. They averaged 31.8 points per game in the previous four contests. UCA had a bye last week, so the Bears have had two weeks to prepare. But I see EKU having a big bounceback performance.
The Colonels have been up-and-down against FCS opponents this year. They beat SoCon contender The Citadel a week before losing to Houston Baptist. They beat UCA, then lost to SFA, who went 3-9 last year. EKU also nearly knocked off FBS Troy on Oct, 17, losing 31-29.
I think this will be an “up” week for EKU and not a down week.
Brian: UCA 28-14
The last time these two met this fall, EKU jumped out to a 17-7 lead before UCA rallied in the fourth quarter to make it close. Then the Colonels won the game with six seconds remaining.
EKU starting QB Parker McKinney was also injured in that game and replaced by Dakota Allen. Expect another good one in Conway this time, as the Bears have shown they have the offensive weapons to score with anybody, including FBS teams and NDSU. A lot of EKU’s fate will come down to how strong the QB play is, as Allen was listed this week as No. 1 on the depth chart.