Other Week 1 FCS Football Game Breakdowns


Week 1 “Other” Conferences Game Breakdowns

In this section each week we’ll look at key games across the FCS landscape between teams from the conferences besides the Big Sky, CAA, MVFC, and Southern. It’ll give a chance to highlight the best each conference has to offer each and every week with no game being unimportant to conference races or even postseason implications. To start with, we’re going to highlight games from the opening Thursday all the way to Sunday.


Southeast Missouri State (OVC) at Southeastern Louisiana (Southland), Thursday, 8:00 ET

SEMO may be considered an average Ohio Valley team, but this year they may emerge a little tougher as QB Scott Lathrop returns after a strong freshman campaign. The Redhawks’s defense took a hit losing a lot to graduation and that may be key as they meet a strong offense in their opener. The Lions get a boost in 2013 as transfer QB Bryan Bennett, who was the backup at Oregon, comes in to help the program improve on what was its best season last year. SE Louisiana’s offense looks to improve but the defense still has questions replacing the first FCS player drafted in last year’s NFL Draft, CB Robert Alford, who landed with the Falcons in the second round.

Projected Score: SEMO 27 – SE LA 21


#18 Coastal Carolina (Big South) at South Carolina State (MEAC), Saturday, 6:00 ET

Coastal Carolina surprised a few last season sneaking in to win the Big South conference and find themselves as the preseason favorite for 2013. Quarterback Alex Ross will take the reins after All-Big South QB Aramis Hillary moved on. Ross will be instrumental in continuing the Chanticleers’ success and his first test will come at South Carolina State. SC State gets Clemson in week 2 and will likely have their hands full, but it’s not much easier in the opener as the Chanticleers come to town fresh off a postseason appearance last season.

Projected Score: Coastal Carolina 34 – SC State 14


Jacksonville State (OVC) at Alabama State (SWAC), Saturday, 6:00 ET

After losing their duo quarterback team that led the Gamecocks the past few seasons, JSU turns to a new leader under center who most likely, although not yet certain, will end up being Minnesota transfer Max Shortell. The Gamecocks also replace longtime coach Jack Crowe after over a decade as Coach Bill Clark steps in to make his debut as a college head coach. JSU’s strength entering the season may be the defense while the offense is figured out, but the challenges start early as a trip just south lands Jax State against SWAC favorite Alabama State led by former UGA running back star, Isaiah Crowell. The Hornets had a strong 7-4 season a year ago and hope to battle for a SWAC title, but focus first on some non-conference action.

Projected Score: JSU 21 – Alabama State 17


#20 Bethune-Cookman (MEAC) at Tennessee State (OVC), Saturday, 8:00 ET

The Wildcats return the core of a team that went 8-0 in conference play in 2012 winning the MEAC title. To have another strong season like their 9-3 one last year, B-CU will need to be road warriors as five of their first six games are away from Daytona Beach including the opener against a tough Tennessee State. The Tigers were snubbed from the playoffs last year after an 8-3 mark. They will be led in the 2013 opener by redshirt freshman QB Ronald Butler as last year’s starter and 2011 OVC Freshman of the Year, Michael German, sits out during his 2-game suspension for a vandalism charge over the offseason. TSU still brings strength against a team that many consider the favorite again in a MEAC.

Projected Score: Bethune-Cookman 28 – TSU 20


Mississippi Valley State (SWAC) at Florida A&M (MEAC), Sunday, 11:45 a.m. ET

The Delta Devils have been down lately but did manage to have their best season since 2006 last year as they won their final three games. Still, MVSU lost some big players from that turn-around team, but hope that the impact carries over to 2013. This game is in Orlando, but that’s still closer to A&M’s home than MVSU’s. The Rattlers were only 4-7 last year, and enter 2013 under new coach Earl Holmes who went 1-1 as the interim at the end of 2012, but many think that A&M is on the verge of challenging for a MEAC title against Bethune-Cookman and others. The Early test against an opponent similar to many that will be on the schedule will set the tone for the season.

Projected Score: Florida A&M 31 – Miss Valley St. 16


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns