It’s finally here.
The unprecedented FCS spring season has arrived after weeks of uncertainty. Twelve of the 13 conferences and 75 percent of the teams are playing with a reduced 16-team playoff bracket to cap off what will be an unorthodox season.
Week 1 provides a little appetizer before we get to a bulk of games next week.
It’s time to make weekly score predictions once again.
McNeese State @ Tarleton State
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Kickoff can’t come soon enough for McNeese State.
The team, the stadium, the university, and the city of Lake Charles have had to rebuild after Hurricane Laura hit in August.
The Cowboys have a first-year head coach in Frank Wilson, had players relocate all over the country during the fall months after the hurricane and they lived in a hotel when they returned, have had more than 20 players leave the team since Wilson took over at the start of 2020, and then lost their defensive coordinator just a week ago to an FBS job.
Now there will be a sense of normalcy for the players and coaches, even if playing a football game on Feb. 13 isn’t exactly normal.
The Cowboys, coming off of a 7-5 season in 2019, take on Tarleton State, one of the newest teams at the FCS level.
Tarleton State is transitioning up from Division II and has joined the WAC. The Texans finished 11-1 in 2019 and 12-1 in 2018. They lose their 3,338-yard passer, 1,457-yard rusher, 1,462-yard receiver, and top tackler from the 2019 squad. Tarleton State has brought in Western Kentucky transfer quarterback Steven Duncan and Adams State (DII) All-American wide receiver Tariq Bitson to fill those voids.
McNeese has its starting QB back in Cody Orgeron, who threw for 2,628 yards, 24 touchdowns, and nine interceptions in 2019. The defense brings back just four of its top 11 tacklers.
Even with a challenging offseason and disruptions (to put it lightly) to preparing for the spring season, the Cowboys edge the Texans in a defensive battle.
Prediction: McNeese 21-14