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9/2 and 9/3 FCS Football Predictions, Thursday & Friday

For those who are interested - here's my selection of picks for today's and tomorrow's Division I FCS games being played.  (more)

Picking the Sports Network Top 25
Quincy (NAIA) at No. 5 Southern Illinois.  All you need to know about this game is the following: The Salukis have played the Hawks twice in their history.  The average score in these contests was: Southern Illinois 61 1/2, Quincy 14.  Saluki QB Chris Dieker will be gone by halftime.

Dieker Dunkers 63, Quincy With No Jones 13

No. 13 Eastern Washington at Nevada (FBS).  One team features a team loaded with talent, and expectations of a title.  The other is breaking in a new transfer QB from SMU (Bo Levi Mitchell) and hope RB Taiwan Jones is healthy enough to shoulder the load.  The Eagles should be real good in FCS this year, but look for Nevada, who will be trying to make a big point this year in their last in the WAC, will be too tough.  The Eags start strong, but get steamrollered in the end.

0-Fer-Boise, But 1-Fer-Washington 56, 1-Fer-Bo, But 0-Fer Against the Wolf Pack 28

West Chester (D-II) at No. 16 Delaware.  44-6-2: that's the historic record between the Blue Hens and the Rams.  Within recent memory, the final score read in this game: Delaware 84, West Chester 0.  Don't expect QB Pat Devlin to remain too long in this game.

Hen Tough 47, Rams Not So Tough 10

Outside the Top 25
Central Missouri State (D-II) at Illinois State.  The Mules (yes, that's really their team nickname) are looking for their first win over an FCS opponent since 1983.  A tip: never pick a team that has lost to Indiana State in the last 20 years as an upset candidate.  I don't love Illinois State QB Matt Brown and the Redbirds in the brutal Missouri Valley conference race - yet - but I love them to win this game.

Brown Birds 35, Mule-In-Burps 14

Western New Mexico (D-II) at Northern Arizona.  The Mustangs - coming off back-to-back 2-8 seasons - will be facing off against QB Michael Herrick, one of the best QBs in all of FCS and a Lumberjack team that is a dark horse to win the Big Sky.  No more analysis necessary.

Not-So-Red Herricks 59, Out-Muscled Mustangs 10

Florida A&M at Miami (FL) (FBS). "The Canes can’t afford a letdown in what should be little more than a dress rehearsal as they travel to Ohio State in Week 2," Heather Dinish of the ESPN Blog opines this week.  Granted, the No. 13-rated Hurricanes have a lot of expectations on them.  But the quote of the day comes from Florida A&M coach Joe Taylor: “If you are sending us an invitation to a pity party or a wake, we wont be there,” Coach Taylor said. “We are going to show up and you will enjoy everything you see.”  Despite their youth on offense, I think he's right.  They won't get the victory, but they'll make this a lot closer that most in the Sunshine Sate will think.

Pained Caines 28, Taylor Raising Cain 24

Welcome to FCS
Shorter (NAIA) at Georgia State.  The dream of Georgia State was a "full undergraduate experience" - meaning, more students staying on campus and football on Saturdays.  One Bill Curry ground-up football building project  and one Georgia Dome lease later, and Atlanta now has Championship Subdivision football. The Panthers couldn't have picked a better opening-day opponent: the NAIA-level Hawks, who just themselves started football over at nearby Shorter just five years ago.  Welcome, RB Rosevelt Jackson to FCS football - and enjoy, Georgia State fans, as you get your program's first-ever win.

Peach Curry?  51, Shorter Is Shorter than Short, 10

Picking the Sports Network Top 25
No. 1 Villanova at Temple (FBS).  Last year, the defending national champions took Temple the distance, winning 27-24 on a last-second meltdown by the Owls.  Can WR Matt Szczur do it again?  This game should be a riveting matchup between Szczur, an early favorite for this year's Walter Payton award, and Temple RB Benard Pierce, the subject of an actual Heisman campaign in the Philadelphia area.  Like the other Mayor's Cup games, this will be a nailbiter.  But this year's Temple team is different than last year's Temple team, and it will show with a thrilling victory.

Piercing Screeches 31, Seasoned Wildcats 30


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