In the FCS Huddle: Virginia football on display in Week 3
Philadelphia, PA – If you're looking for the center of the FCS football universe, you should visit the state of Virginia.
At least that's how it was this weekend.
Liberty hosted James Madison, Hampton visited Old Dominion and VMI played at Richmond as Virginians were treated to an impressive slate of FCS football.
Liberty, seeking a statement win against the Dukes, just missed out on an upset, watching JMU kicker Cameron Starke drill a game-winning, 40-yard field goal as time expired.
In another instant classic, Hampton was just ousted by Old Dominion, 45-42, after the teams combined for the 87 points, including five fourth-quarter touchdowns, and 788 yards of total offense.
Richmond, which has been one of the more impressive teams this season considering it underwent a coaching change late in the preseason, defeated VMI, 34-19.
It was not a bad weekend for the quality of football in Virginia.
TWO WEEKS LATE
The Ivy League teams joined the rest of the FCS this weekend and the "Ancient Eight" posted a 4-4 record, including a 3-4 record against Patriot League opponents.
In the losses, the Ivy League teams looked slow and in-cohesive, particularly on offense, something that isn't a surprise as the rest of the FCS was in Week 3 and teams like Columbia, Harvard and Penn had yet to play a game at full speed.
However, the Ivy League teams should have been ready for this as the schedule always starts later. It was something Columbia quarterback Sean Brackett summed up in the post-game interview after a 21-14 loss to Fordham.
"That's nothing new, so that's not an excuse we can even think about," he said.
PAST CHAMPS STRUGGLING MIGHTILY
The past two FCS champions are in danger of missing the FCS playoffs, and it's only the end of Week 3.
Eastern Washington fell to Montana, 17-14 - a huge Big Sky win for the Grizzlies after they fell to the Eagles last season - and Villanova was downed by Northeast Conference member Monmouth, 20-9.
On one hand, it displays how difficult it is to put together a winning program every season. It also displays how much past history is ignored by opponents as teams like Monmouth and South Dakota (upset Eastern Washington in Week 2) didn't have any respect for teams with title rings.
WHO'S THE FBS TEAM?
Indiana State crushed Western Kentucky, 44-16, leaving questions to any uniformed bystander of which team was actually the FBS team.
For the record, it's Western Kentucky, but the Sycamores were certainly the better team.
We learned two things from this game: one, Indiana State is a legitimate Missouri Valley title contender, and two, sometimes moving to the FBS level is too ambitious of a move, right Western Kentucky?
UMASS TO GET CAA'S BEST SHOTS
The Minutemen may have blown its game with Rhode Island wide open with a 80- yard interception return, but for 3 1/2 quarters the Rams gave the future FBS school everything it can handle.
I can't be sure whether it's a coincidence or a correlation, but it certainly seems like all the teams in CAA Football - like Rhode Island - will give the Minutemen their best shot this season and look to send a message before UMass joins the MAC.
HORNETS LOST THEIR STINGER?
Unlike a honey bee, a hornet does not die after stinging a victim. However, the Sacramento State Hornets seem to be more closely related to a honey bee, getting a valuable upset - or sting - against Oregon State, but have now suffered back-to-back losses to Weber State and Southern Utah, and seemingly lost their stinger.
The worst part about the losses for the Hornets is the fact they've been blown out in both losses, falling by a combined 53 points the last two games. For a team that had such high expectations, Sacramento State is in danger of having the season over before September ends.
THIS IS WHAT WE'VE BEEN MISSING
Cal Poly fans had never seen quarterback Andre Broadous live due to injuries and in his first home start of the season he put up four total touchdowns in a 48-14 victory against South Dakota State.
It was certainly a positive sign for the Mustangs, and Broadous certainly has the talent to be one of the better dual-talent quarterbacks in the FCS by the end of the season.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Montana - You have to give the Grizzlies credit for a statement win, that in the mind of Montana fans, reset the balance of the Big Sky back to what was normal the past 17 seasons.
Now at 2-1, with the one loss to Tennessee, Montana has done everything within its power through three weeks to prove that missing the playoffs last season was just a fluke.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Murray State quarterback Casey Brockman amassed an incredible 625 yards of total offense, passing for 600, rushing for 10 and catching a pass - a touchdown, no less - for 15 yards in a 58-27 win over Tennessee State.
It was the sixth most yards by a single player in FCS history, former Jacksonville State quarterback Robert Kent holds the record with 668 yards against Alabama State in 2001.
After wins against Sacramento State and the University of Texas at San Antonio, Southern Utah should jump into The Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS Top 25 ... Idaho State quarterback Kevin Yost tied a Big Sky record with 47 completions, which went for 508 yards, in a 50-10 roll past Northern Colorado ... William & Mary only defeating New Haven 13-10 isn't a good sign for the Tribe, who right now looking like such a high ranking might be undeserving ... No surprise: Andrew Pierce looked good for Delaware, carrying 15 times for 106 yards and three touchdowns, against Delaware State ... Lehigh quarterback Chris Lum passed for over 300 yards for the third time this season in a 34-22 win over Princeton. He already has 14 touchdown passes this season ... South Alabama was handed its first loss in program history, a 35-13 loss to North Carolina State ... Appalachian State kicker/punter Sam Martin is a real talent, having kicked a 51-yard field goal and downing two punts inside the five-yard line ... Sam Houston State impressed and deserves to be ranked after beating Central Arkansas, 31-10 ... Morehead State running back Kyle Harbridge ran for 346 yards and scored five touchdowns in a 50-49 win over Morehead State.