Well football fans this blogger owes you an apology. I have been a. busy as all heck at work and b. also with my team having some struggles I have grown slightly lethargic in my perusing/posting/blogging about this football season. Again this week we saw a top-5 team take a loss, and we have some fresh faces at the top 5, and of course then there are the bison, who went into a high SIU team and spanked them like they were 5 year olds. It will be interesting to see if anyone else this week to the target on their backs, Fordham, and Eastern Illinois have played great season this year.
Tag Archives | Eastern Illinois
Rob Weiss, FCS Update
What a great time to be a FCS football fan, eh?
We’re down to one final week to decide all 16 playoff spots.
Here’s a breakdown of last weekends action, as well as a look at the week ahead.
1. - Montana wrapped up the Big Sky autobid with a 38-10 win over Northern Colorado. But that doesn’t mean they’ll be coasting this week. The Griz head to Bozeman to take on in-state rival Montana State. A win should lock up a top 2 seed for the Griz.
2.- Will the Big Sky get 2 teams in? There is a fight for a possible 2nd Big Sky bid into the playoffs Montana State, Weber State, and Eastern Washington are all 5-2 in Big Sky play. Montana State beat Weber State. Weber State beat Eastern Washington, and Eastern Washington beat Montana State.
Montana State and Eastern Washington can each get to 8 wins this weekend, but all three teams can only reach 7 D-I wins. Most prognosticators lean towards Eastern Washington, but realistically any of the three could end up in the field with a win.
3.- Liberty wraps up share of the Big South autobid. Liberty can move their record to 9-2 this weekend and also win the Big South outright with a win over Stony Brook. Will it be enough to get them an at-large bid?
4.- The CAA should end up with 4 playoff bids. Delaware and Massachusetts were for all purposes eliminated this weekend. That leaves Villanova, Richmond, William and Mary, and New Hampshire.
5.- South Carolina State wrapped up the MEAC this weekend with a 37-13 win over Morgan State. By far the best team in the MEAC, but how will they compare to other playoff teams? Florida A&M removed themselves from at-large consideration when they were shut out by Hampton 25-0.
6.- In the MVFC, South Dakota State was in a close game with FBS Minnesota, but fell short, 16-13. The loss moved SDSU to 7-3 on the season. A win over Western Illinois this weekend would put the Jacks in the playoffs.
7.- Southern Illinois wrapped up the 2009 MVFC title on Saturday with a 44-24 win over Missouri State. A win over Southeast Missouri State this weekend should wrap up a top 2 seed for the Salukis.
8.- Northern Iowa kept it’s playoff hopes alive with a 34-0 win over Western Illinois. The Panthers head to Illinois State this weekend with their playoff chances on the line. A loss would eliminate the Panthers from contention.
9.- Eastern Illinois wrapped up the OVC autobid this past weekend with a 49-13 win over Tennessee-Martin. The Panthers can win the OVC outright with a win over Tennessee State on Saturday.
10.- Holy Cross secured the Patriot League’s autobid with a win over Lafayette in a 28-26 shootout. Lafayette may be an outside bubble team come Sunday.
11.- Appalachian State shut down Elon on Saturday, 27-10. The Mountaineers secured the SoCon autobid with the win. Elon fell to 8-2 and will be in the playoffs with a win this weekend over Samford. A loss would put the Phoenix on the bubble.
12.- The Southland race comes down to the final weekend. Stephen F Austin and McNeese State are deadlocked in the standings, with SFA winning the head to head matchup. Both teams will be in the playoffs with a win this weekend. A loss jumbles the situation. Especially if both teams were to lose, in which case Texas State and Southeast Louisiana could come into play.
Rob Weiss, FCS Update
Crazy day in the Top 25. I had the opportunity to watch four games today. Here’s a rundown on my predictions, how it went down, and what I thought of the outcome.
1. Richmond is idle.
2. Villanova vs. No. 4 William and Mary
My prediction: William and Mary 24 Villanova 21
Reality: Villanova 28 William and Mary 17
William and Mary just didn’t really seem like they were ready to play in the first half. The Tribe’s QB, R.J. Archer had enough problems on his own. He ooked like he lacked the necessary confidence to make the plays he needed to. When it wasn’t the offense stalling, it was the defense making errors. One Villanova drive was extended by an unsportsmanlike conduct flag on a defensive player who felt the need to taunt and injured played who had just been rocked on a hard hit.
The Tribe went into halftime down 21-6, but back ready to play in the 2nd half. It was just too little, too late for the Tribe.
Villanova on the other hand looked like the best team in the country. Easily #1 in my mind. The Villanova offense, led by QB Chris Whitney, was very balanced with148 yards on the ground and 169 through the air. The only issue I saw was the defense. The Wildcats defense gave 472 yards, but managed to keep the Tribe to 17 points. The Tribe’s first drive was ended by an INT in a goalline situation. Had that play gone differently, we may have seen a different game.
Was very thankful for the invention of DVR. Was great to come back and watch this game on Versus.
3. Northern Iowa vs. Indiana State
My prediction: Northern Iowa 52 Indiana State 7
Reality: Northern Iowa 62 Indiana State 7
I called this one pretty closely. Northern Iowa was ahead 42-0 at the half. All of starters on offense andmost of the starters on defense sat out the entire second half. Indiana State had a 12 yard scoring drive after a UNI fumble. Indiana State was held to 101 yards of total offense. Not too much to say about this game. One highlight was UNI FB Matt Strathman, a junior, who led the Panthers with 133 yards on 16 carries.
5. Montana is idle.
6. New Hampshire vs. Towson
My prediction: New Hampshire 28 Towson 10
Reality: New Hampshire 57 Towson 7
Man, I was a little short on New Hampshire scoring. The Wildcats beat my prediction in the 1st quarter. The Wildcats were without junior QB R.J. Toman, but still managed to put an old fashioned whopping on the Tigers. The offense was assisted by a safety, a TD on the ensuing kick return, and 2 INTs returned for a TD.
7. James Madison vs. Hofstra
My Prediction: James Madison 38 Hofstra 7
Reality: Hofstra 24 James Madison 17
Wow. This game threw me for a loop. I couldn’t believe it as I checked the game throughout the afternoon. I thought ESPN had gotten it wrong like they do at times. Although this game was effected by weather(lightning delay in the first half), good teams find ways to win games.
Hofstra lead 21-10 at the half, and neither team could muster much offense in the 2nd half. This is James Madison’s first lost since falling to Maryland in OT.
8. Southern Illinois vs. Western Illinois
My Prediction: Southern Illinois 31 Western Illinois 14
Reality:Southern Illinois 30 Western Illinois 10
This is one of the games I got to catch a bit of. When I turned the game on at halftime SIU was up 27-10. From watching Western Illinois twice this season, it’s easy for me to say the WIU is not very good. Their starting QB Barr went down, and I watched his back-up pick apart the SIU defense. Unfortunately, a lot of those passes were dropped by WRs. I mean, he hit them right in the hands. It was sad really. WIU does not have a defense, so it was hard to gauge SIU. Saluki running back Deji Karim went nuts tonight. 157 yards rushing on 18 carries with 282 all purpose yards. The Saluki’s first big test of the season comes against Northern Iowa on 10/17 in a game that as of late has decided the Valley autobid.
9. McNeese St is idle
10. Appalachian State vs. The Citadel
My prediction: Appalachian State 42 The Citadel 24
Reality: Appalachian State 30 The Citadel 27 OT
I was a little off on this game. Barely got the outcome right. It was a hard fought game, back and forth all day, but when it came to the end, The Citadel just couldn’t finish what they started. After taking a 27-20 lead with 5:18 remaining, the Bulldog defense gave up the game tying score on just 2 plays, the 2nd of which was a 74 yard TD strike from Armanti Edwards to Brian Quick. Each team had the ball one more time in regulation, but couldn’t score. In overtime, The Citadel had the ball first, and after 3 plays attempted a 37 yard FG on 4th and 5. A bad snap was eventually placed and the kick sailed right. Appalachian State would connect on a 29 yard FG to win.
11. Elon vs. No. 21 Furman
My Prediction: Elon 28 Furman 24
Reality: Elon 19 Furman 12
I was right when I assumed we were in for a good SoCon battle in this game. The game was a low scoring, back and forth, affair all afternoon. Elon kicked a FG with 2 seconds left to take the lead 13-12. Furman fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Elon recovered to make it a 19-12 final.
12. Central Arkansas vs Missouri S&T
My prediction: Central Arkansas 52 Missouri S&T 10
Reality: Central Arkansas 45 Missouri S&T 10
I was close on this one. UCA pulls out the sub D-I win.
13. Weber St. vs. Montana State
My Prediction: Weber State 31 Montana State 14
Reality: Montana State 26 Weber State 21
It was a last play heart breaker today in Ogden, UT. Weber State had the ball on the Montana State 1 yard line with 20 seconds left. 4th and goal. The Bobcat defense stopped a Wildcat formation option play, and that was the game.
I can’t decide if I’m overestimating Weber State, or underestimating Montana State. I thought Weber State was overrated coming into this game, but I also thought Montana State wasn’t that good.
14. South Dakota State vs. No. 17 Cal Poly
My Prediction: South Dakota State 35 Cal Poly 17
Reality: Cal Poly 21 South Dakota State 14
I forked over the $7 to watch this game online tonight. This was a match up between two teams that I couldn’t figure out. But I’m not sure I learned much of anything. The Jackrabbits of SDSU lost their starting QB early in the game. After he was out they brought in a back-up freshman QB and also ran the wildcat formation. Neither team looked that great.
Cal Poly took a 21-14 lead with about 2 minutes left in the game when the Jackrabbits fumbles into their own endzone. On the following drive the Cal Poly defense sealed the win with an interception.
So are both teams for real? Neither of them? I’m not positive. My evaluation says they both fall somewhere between 17-25 in the poll.
15. Massachusetts is idle.
16. South Carolina State vs. South Carolina
My prediction: South Carolina 52 South Carolina State 14
Reality: South Carolina 38 South Carolina State 14
Not a bad showing by S.C. State, but this was their only shot at a quality out of conference win. I was pretty close on this one.
18. Eastern Washington vs. Idaho State
My prediction: Eastern Washington 27 Idaho State 7
Reality: Eastern Washington 38 Idaho State 3
A little off on the score, but it was the same idea.
Idaho State just looks terrible this year. They are winless on the season and have lost 20 out of their last 21 games.
Taiwan Jones of EWU set a Holt Arena and EWU record with a 96 yard touchdown run.
Idaho State fumbled six times, losing three of them.
You get the idea….
19. Eastern Kentucky vs. No. 24 Eastern Illinois
My prediction: Eastern Kentucky 35 Eastern Illinois 10
Reality: Eastern Kentucky 36 Eastern Illinois 31
EIU played this much closer than I expected. The Panthers, led by Iowa-transfer QB Jake Christensen, came up just short. EKU’s Jeremy Caldwell forced a fumble at midfield with under 10 seconds left.
With Jacksonville State ineligible for the playoffs, I viewed this as the autobid for the OVC. EKU improves to 3-0 in the Ohio Valley.
20. Texas State vs. Southern Utah
My prediction: Southern Utah 24 Texas State 14
Reality: Southern Utah 38 Texas State 16
This was the game I got the most comments on. Everyone said I was crazy for thinking Texas State would only score 14. If anything, I was crazy for shorting the Southern Utah offense. The Thunderbird offense put up 31 points. The other 7? A 99 yard fumble return for a TD. Maybe I should thank SUU’s junior CB Akeem Anifowoshe for keeping the Bobcats out of the end zone.
22. Holy Cross vs. Northeastern
My prediction: Holy Cross 31 Northeastern 7
Reality: Holy Cross 42 Northeastern 21
This game was over even sooner than I thought. Holy Cross led 21-0 at the end of the 1st quarter. Only suprise was Holy Cross allowing Northeastern to score 14 in the 4th quarter. But hey, you gotta throw people a bone sometimes.
23. Jacksonville State vs. Tennessee Martin
My prediction: Jacksonville State 21 Tennessee Martin 10
Reality: Jacksonville State 52 Tennessee Martin 7
Holy smokes, Jax State is good this year! Too bad they won’t be playing Thanksgiving weekend. JSU is one of a few schools ineligible for the playoffs this year. Unfortunately the NCAA dropped a ban on them after poor historical performance in the APRs.
JSU defensive back had 3 INTs and returned 2 for TDs in the first nine minutes. This game was over quick.
25. Delaware vs. Maine
My prediction: Delaware 24 Maine 17
Reality: Delaware 27 Maine 17
This was a great pick. If only Delaware had missed their last FG.
Delaware had a rough 2008, and 2009 hasn’t been much better. The Blue Hens lost to reigning national champion, Richmond by one, and then the next week lost another close one to William and Mary. This win gets them back on the road to where they want to go.
Penn State transfer QB Pat Devlin threw for 329 yards and 1 TD in the Delaware win.