Two more FCS teams claimed FBS scalps in Week 2 of the 2017 college football season, but the number easily could have been higher. South Dakota knocked off Bowling Green and New Hampshire took it to Georgia Southern, but Weber State should have beaten Cal, Villanova hung tough with Temple, and Nicholls State surprisingly gave Texas A&M a game. In addition to those contests, there was the typical FCS on FCS action and some quality non-conference games this week.
Biggest Win of Week 2 – North Dakota State 40, Eastern Washington 13
That was a statement win for the Bison. Coming into the game, there were two questions they had to answer. Could they run the ball on Eastern Washington and could they stop the Eagles’ passing game?
The answer to the first question was a resounding ‘yes.’ North Dakota State gashed Eastern Washington on the ground, racking up 375 yards and five touchdowns on the day. The Bison ran the ball despite injuries along the offensive line and at running back with Bruce Anderson and Lance Dunn combining for over 300 yards between just the two of them.
North Dakota State’s secondary may have given a more emphatic response. Gage Gubrud tore up this defense in the FargoDome last year but threw for just 134 yards and was picked off twice this time around. That poor performance means that new head coach and former offensive line coach Aaron Best might not be in Cheney for more than one year.
Biggest Upset of Week 2 – South Dakota 35, Bowling Green 27
The Coyotes came out strong and didn’t let up against the Falcons this week. They jumped out with 21 first-quarter points and cruised to a relatively easy win. South Dakota didn’t turn the ball over and put up over 500 yards of offense with a balanced attack.
Quarterback Chris Streveler was the star for the Coyotes in the win. He threw for 306 yards and a score while running for 119 yards and three more scores. Bowling Green had no answer for him the whole game.
Closest Call of Week 2 – Northern Iowa 45, Cal Poly 38 (3 OT)
There were a number of candidates for this one. Richmond only squeaked by Colgate and Wofford needed every point to get by Mercer. However, Northern Iowa beating Cal Poly in triple overtime takes the cake. The loss essentially eliminates Cal Poly from postseason consideration as the team is now 0-3 and without star running back Joe Protheroe for the rest of the season because of a knee injury. The win keeps Northern Iowa’s hopes of returning to the playoffs alive as it gets ready for MVC action in two weeks.
Strangest Game of Week 2 – North Dakota 34, Missouri State 0
Missouri State went toe to toe with the Missouri Tigers for one half last week, but it was completely lost on offense against North Dakota on Saturday. The Bears couldn’t move the ball to save their lives and ended up with just 211 total yards of offense. Quarterback Peyton Huslig was totally ineffective after carving up the in-state big brother last week and struggled to complete over half his passes. The Bears’ next road game is in three weeks against North Dakota State, and they need to get it together by then.
Biggest Injury of Week 2 – QB, Austin Howard, Southern
The Jaguars didn’t have much coming back on offense in 2017, but it did have Austin Howard. After losing the school’s all-time leading rusher and receiver this offseason, keeping Howard on the field was essential to Southern’s success this fall. Unfortunately, he got injured before Southern took on Southern Miss, and the Jaguars were pasted 45-0. They didn’t register a first down until the score was 28-0 Southern Miss. Dawson Odums has indicated that Howard will likely be out against UTSA, and it’s questionable whether or not he’ll be ready for the SWAC opener.