We saw some new faces emerge this week. Western Carolina handled Samford at the goal line for a critical Southern Conference win, and now the Catamounts appear to be a team that would love to secure one of those FCS Playoff berths — but of course it is still early.
Weber State may have just taken control of one of the top seats in the Big Sky. Western Illinois beat an FBS team and hits Missouri Valley Conference play on a high, and Wofford is 3-0. Clearly it was a good week to be a school beginning with a W.
The Bearkats proved they are not just an offensive ballclub, shutting down a very strong Nicholls team. Jacksonville State owned previously undefeated Liberty. Albany continued to show it is mad about 2016's playoff snub by beating Villanova in overtime.
The Valley looked extremely impressive once again, starting with North Dakota State's easy win over Northeast Conference opponent Robert Morris to go to 3-0 on the year. The Bison's Lance Dunn was perfect on the day — three carries, three touchdowns, 111 yards (and 1 catch for 10 yards and a TD). Beat that.
Illinois State went to 3-0 with a win in the league's first conference game, knocking off a tough Missouri State team. Quarterback Jake Kolbe got into a good rhythm with Spencer Schnell in the win. And of course, as noted above — Western Illinois annihilated Coastal Carolina.
Wofford won its third straight nail-biter, knocking off Gardner-Webb 27-24, doing just enough to get past the efforts of GWU star quarterback Tyrell Maxwell (20 for 29 passing, 171 yards, 2 TDs).
After being one of the big stories of the FCS Playoffs last year, the Terriers edged Furman in their first game and then edged Mercer in the second before taking last weekend off to get ready for this week's game.
Presbyterian lies ahead and 4-0 looks attainable before Wofford hits the meat of its schedule with upstart Western Carolina at home, then a tough trip to The Citadel and then Samford at home. Those three Southern Conference teams came into the weekend a combined 7-2.
Monmouth bounced back from a 13-point first half deficit and knocked off Hampton to go to 3-1 on the season on Saturday, begging the question — are the Hawks a legit contender for the Big South Championship and an FCS Playoff berth this year? It would appear so.
With Liberty ineligible for the title and berth because it is moving up to the FBS next year, and defending champion Charleston Southern struggling this year, it appears there could be a new Big South champion this year. At this early point it would appear to be either Monmouth or Kennesaw State.
Monmouth won in overtime when Erik Zokouri scampered 25 yards for a touchdown on the Hawks' first offensive play, and then Hampton was stopped on four downs and that was that.
Apparently the program was ticked with that start because on Saturday it hung 63 points on an overmatched VMI program in the Mocs' Southern Conference debut.
Former Mississippi State quarterback Nick Tiano performed well for Chattanooga, hitting 25 of 33 passes for 249 yards and four touchdowns.
Penn's Karekin Brooks rushed for 268 yards and scored four total touchdowns in the 65-47 shootout. Yale upped its record to 2-0 behind Zane Dudek's rushing yards, knocking off Cornell and overcoming a solid day by Cornell quarterback Dalton Banks. Princeton and Dartmouth are also 2-0. It was a good weekend for the Ivys.