I could just say ditto this week for what happened amongst CSN West teams but Week 2 was even better. Four CSN West teams in Week 2 notched FBS wins just as in Week 1. In total, seven of the eight FCS wins over FBS opponents thus far have come from teams (from the Big Sky, Missouri Valley Football, Pioneer Football League, and Southland Conferences) that I cover in the first two weeks of the season. It seems more of the same is even more of a good thing for CSN West teams.
By Kent Schmidt
CSN West Columnist
College Sporting News
What four CSN West teams defeated FBS opponents in Week 2?
Last week, two Big Sky teams notched victories and two Missouri Valley teams did the same.
Sacramento State defeated Colorado 30-28, while Northern Arizona defeated Nevada-Las Vegas 17-14 for the Big Sky wins. Illinois State defeated Eastern Michigan 31-14, while North Dakota State defeated Colorado State 22-7.
Not a good day if you are a FBS fan in the state of Colorado, I guess.
How did each of these four teams notch these wins?
used a strong defense overwhelmed Eastern Michigan especially in the second half where the Redbirds shutout their FBS opposition. ISU erases a four-point halftime deficit, for a 31-14 victory. The win marked Illinois State's first win over a FBS team since, Sept. 14, 1991, against another Mid-American Conference team in Akron.
The stingy Redbird defense forced five turnovers and was also penalty-free football throughout the game to help garner the victory. A pair of second-half scoring runs from Darrelynn Dunn, coupled with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Matt Brown to Donovan Harden, paced the Redbirds to a 21 unanswered points offensively.
used Edgar Castaneda's 30-yard field goal as time expired to post a 30-28 victory over Colorado. This gave the Hornets their second consecutive win over a PAC-12 team as they defeated Oregon State a season ago.
Trailing, 28-27, Sacramento State took over on their own 15-yard line with 2:26 remaining. Quarterback Garrett Safron connected with DeAndre Carter and Morris Norrise for gains of 12 and 10 yards, respectively, on the first two plays of the drive. Following a pass interference call, Safron again hit Carter for a 20-yard pick-up to take the ball to the Colorado 34. A second pass interference call was followed by a gain of 11 by Norrise. The Hornets then rushed three times leaving Castaneda with his first game-winning attempt of his career.
Safron finished the day 25-of-37 for 312 yards and two touchdowns to lead the team offensively to the win.
North Dakota State
used two Sam Ojuri touchdowns and Marcus Williams on defense and special teams to defeat Colorado State 22-7. NDSU now has six wins over FBS schools since 2006 -- the most among all FCS schools in that span. The Bison are 6-3 against FBS opponents over that stretch.
NDSU had an off-field issue with several current players caught up in a state of North Dakota petition fraud scandal but that did not seem to affect the Bison play.
Ojuri had a 6-yard TD scamper in the first quarter and scored another on a 10-yard screen pass. Williams accumulated 135 yards on five returns and also had an interception -- all in the first half.
The Bison dominated time of possession by nearly 20 minutes and outgained the Rams by 123 yards, a figure that was more lopsided until a last-minute drive by the Rams that was halted when NDSU recovered a fumble.
Early on, the game looked like it might be a high-scoring affair. CSU scored on a 69-yard TD just 90 seconds into the contest but after that the NDSU defense shut out the Rams.
used an Andy Wilder 33-yard field goal with 12 seconds left to complete the come-from-behind over UNLV 17-14. It was the first win over a Football Championship Subdivision team for the Lumberjacks since 1987.
NAU fell behind 14-0 early in the contest. The Rebels scored on their first offensive possession and again with just a minute into the second quarter to lead 14-0.
The Lumberjacks held the Rebels off the scoreboard for the rest of the game, setting the stage for the FBS upset but still trailed 14-0 at halftime.
Austin Shanks started the Lumberjack comeback in the third quarter. The defense forced a three-and-out on the first UNLV series, forcing a punt. Shanks returned it 75 yards for a touchdown. It was the sixth-longest punt return in school history.
UNLV missed a 30-yard field goal and the Lumberjacks used that momentum in the fourth quarter to post a 15-play, 80 yard drive capped by Zach Bauman with an 8-yard touchdown run to tie the game with 8:04 left in the game.
NAU held the Rebels on their final two possessions and took over on the NAU 14-yard line with 1:16 left in the game.
Bauman rushed 25 yards on the first play. After an incomplete pass, UNLV was flagged for a personal foul, giving NAU 15 yards and a first down on the UNLV 46.
NAU quarterback Chase Cartwright then hit receiver Ify Umodu for a 30 yard gain. He was pushed out of bounds at the UNLV 16 to set up the game winning field goal.
Are there any more chances for FBS upsets this week within the CSN West?
There are three games that I feel have a chance at more upsets in Northern Iowa visiting in-state FBS foe Iowa, North Dakota at San Diego State, and Cal Poly at Wyoming.
I predicted these four wins last week so it would not surprise me if these three above also add to the FBS tally.
To me, it is still further proof that the CSN West conferences—especially the Big Sky and the Missouri Valley—are two of the top conferences in the FCS ranks.
These wins should help playoff considerations down the road and will be things the playoff committee will take into account as they are making their selection for the 20-team field.
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CSN WEST GAME OF THE WEEK
Stephen F. Austin (1-1) @ Montana State (2-0)
, 3:35 pm Eastern
Both teams come into this game ranked in the polls and marks a good Southland-Big Sky matchup. SFA is coming into this game after losing to FBS Southern Methodist, while Montana State defeated Drake, but only narrowly last week in a contest that I covered.
The Lumberjacks are 1-3 (.250) all-time against Montana State, and are 0-2 against the Bobcats in Bozeman. SFA's lone victory during that stretch was a 30-13 decision in Nacogdoches during the 2002 campaign. The Lumberjacks are making their first trip to Bozeman since 2005, when Montana State recorded a 42-6 victory. I think this year’s game will be closer than the last game played in Bozeman between these two teams.
This game should be high scoring. The Lumberjacks’ explosive offense averages 419.5 yards, while the Bobcats’ averages 387.5 yards per game.
I think the home field will help Montana State in this one and will shake off a spotty performance at Drake to win a close game. I will take the Bobcats to score a late touchdown for the win. Montana State 45, Stephen F. Austin 38.