OK, CAA, we received the urgent call on line one. Tonight, you decided FCS 2018 is going to be topsy turvy, and we're cool with that. But man oh man … we didn't think we'd know this in August.
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So Maine? Take a bow. Jamil Demby was drafted. One of the nation's top rushers transfers from your program, in Josh Mack. We could go on and on about why we weren't expecting the Black Bears to bust through this pack of talented teams.
Apparently? This matters not to the Black Bears. And Maine has the kind of September a ticked off, upstart black-and-blue program would love. Two beatable FBS teams and a date with Ivy League champ Yale. That's September for Maine — a chance to blow open the FCS Playoff picture heading into a brutally tough CAA slate. That is what lies ahead of Maine. Tonight's win over New Hampshire wasn't only a "W", it was impressive and convincing.
To nationally ranked New Hampshire's dismay in tonight's blowout win by Maine, star quarterback and critical cog Trevor Knight was carted off due to injury this evening. He is a heart-and-soul guy for the Wildcats, and that hurts a ton. That must be taken into consideration, but even that doesn't explain a 28-point blowout loss.
Maine QB Chris Ferguson? Take a bow. Nobody has been talking about you and we all should have been all summer. Incredible dissection of a very good program tonight. And the Black Bear defense got after things like a true bear would, notching 12 negative yardage plays.
In the other CAA gift we had tonight, we had another shocker. At least to us, but apparently not to Rhode Island. Our Chase Kiddy has been warning us all preseason that Rhody is better than people think. I'm not sure even Chase would have predicted this, but it was he who brought up the confusion at the QB decision at Delaware this past week and the chance Rhode Island had of being a wrecking ball in this league, potentially. Look, this was no blowout — Rhode Island captured the road win 21-19 … but the questions that emerge are these: Is Delaware (once again) going to be able to produce points on offense against strong programs (think NDSU was watching? — a September opponent) and could Rhode Island ruin several seasons this year and maybe sneak into the playoff discussion itself?
MVFC-BIG SKY CHALLENGE: Thank you, FCS Brass, for making these games happen. Tonight we received a barn burner in Bozeman, MT where we received the back-and-forth battle that we expected the minute the Western Illinois-Montana State game was announced. In mid 60-degree weather underneath the Rocky Mountains, these two programs battled it out … and late and long field goals in the first and second half by Montana State by Tristan Bailey were tide turners. One was a 47 yarder and one was a 50 yarder in a 26-23 win. The Bobcats will be a fascinating team to watch in 2018, and this was one of their best wins in awhile.
FCS OVER FBS PREDIX GONE WRONG: Southeastern Louisiana was within a blocked field goal of going to overtime against in-state FBS program Louisiana-Monroe, while tough-as-nails Weber State hung in there for awhile with Pac 12 Utah before getting out depth-ed (especially on offense). Kennesaw State owned the early part of its game with Atlanta future rival Georgia State, only to see the Panthers find a way to slow down KSU's typically lethal offense in the second half and rally for the win. Tonight was an evening ripe for potential FBS upsets, but they didn't exactly flow in.
FCS PREVIEWS CONFERENCE BY CONFERENCE
Aug. 19 – Missouri Valley & Ohio Valley
Aug. 20 – Southland, SoCon & Big South
Aug. 21 – MEAC & SWAC
Aug. 22 – CAA & NEC
Aug. 23 – Big Sky & Pioneer
Aug. 24 – Patriot & Ivy