November 27, 2022

BROOKINGS, SD - NOVEMBER 20: Isaiah Stalbird #2 of the South Dakota State Jackrabbits celebrates a play against the North Dakota Fighting Hawks at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium on November 20, 2021 in Brookings, South Dakota. (Photo by Dave Eggen/Inertia)

2022 Predictions Record: 26-6 (Last Week: 8-0)

We predict the top FCS Football games on the Week 4 slate right here. You can find more detailed previews of some of the biggest games each week on our YouTube channel and each week on our FCS Preview Show.

Alabama A&M @ Florida A&M (5pm/CT; ESPN+)

Florida A&M will look to rebound in SWAC play this weekend against Alabama A&M after a disappointing Week 1 loss to Jackson State. Jeremy Moussa will be a major key for the Rattlers offense this weekend against an improved Bulldogs secondary, but his #1 target WR Xavier Smith (222 receiving yards) will be the x-factor on Saturday night. The Rattlers running back room has been plagued with injuries and a major question mark will be who steps up and establishes themselves as RB1 on Saturday. 

The QB position for Alabama A&M has been a weakness all season as Xavier Lankford and Quincy Casey have combined for 7 interceptions with 0 passing touchdowns this season. Gary Quarles (127 rushing yards) will need to have a big game against the Rattlers to take the pressure off of the QBs for the Bulldogs. Zareon Hayes (4 TFLs) and Thomas Douglas (2 Sacks) have emerged as major contributors on the defensive side of the ball for Alabama A&M and will need to have a huge performance this weekend. 

Prediction: Florida A&M (24-13)

#1 North Dakota State @ South Dakota (1pm/CT; ESPN+)

North Dakota State lost a close 3-point game to Arizona last weekend, but Bison have not lost back-to-back games since 2009. Hunter Luepke has looked impressive this season (6 total touchdowns) as he leads the Bison in rushing and ranks 2nd on the team in receiving this season. Spencer Waege (4 TFLs; 2 Sacks) has returned to form for the Bison after coming back from injury and James Kaczor will be another name to watch for the Bison on the defensive side of the ball.

South Dakota will be led by QB Carson Camp (613 passing yards), while RB Travis Theis (234 rushing yards) will look to replicate his rushing success against a talented Bison front seven this weekend. Myles Harden (2 INTs; 3 Forced Fumbles) and Michael Scott (4 TFLs; 3 Sacks) have been standouts for the Coyotes defense this season. 

Prediction: North Dakota State (38-21)

South Carolina State @ North Carolina A&T (6pm/CT; ESPN+)

North Carolina A&T has experienced one of the toughest opening schedules in the country and will have another huge test against defending Celebration Bowl champions South Carolina State. The rushing game will be the key for the Aggies as Bhayshul Tuten (280 rushing yards) is coming off of back-to-back 120-yard rushing performances. One of the two quarterbacks for the Aggies in Zach Yeager or Jalen Fowler need to step up as the lead signal caller this weekend against a talented South Carolina State defense. 

South Carolina State has an opportunity to make another defensive statement behind All-Conference contributors BJ Davis (16 tackles, 2 INTs) and Jeblonski Green (11 tackles; 1.5 sacks). Kendrell Flowers (153 rushing yards, 2 TDs) had an explosive performance against Bethune-Cookman last weekend and will need to replicate that this weekend against the Aggies defense.

Prediction: South Carolina State (27-24)

Hampton @ #8 Delaware (5pm/CT; FloSports)

Hampton will look to win their first conference matchup as official members of the CAA. The rushing attack has been explosive for the Pirates this season and ranks Top-5 in the conference after three games. WR Jadakis Bonds will be a player to watch this weekend as he leads Hampton in receiving yards (271) and touchdowns this season (4). The defense currently ranks 1st in the CAA in rushing defense (73.9 YPG) and 2nd in total defense (293 YPG). 

QB Nolan Henderson was named FCS Player of the Week last weekend after leading Delaware to a 21-point win over #17 Rhode Island. Henderson has an arsenal of weapons around him that will test Hampton’s defense including TE Braden Brose (3 receiving touchdowns), WR Thyrick Pitts, and WR Jourdan Townsend. Linebackers Johnny Buchanan (42 total tackles) and Liam Trainer (24 total tackles) will be x-factors to stop the rushing attack for Hampton this weekend. 

Prediction: Delaware (38-17)

Mississippi Valley State @ #11 Jackson State (1pm/CT; ESPN+)

Mississippi Valley State is coming off a home loss to D-II Delta State and will now be faced with trying to knock off the #11 team in the country this weekend. QB Jamari Jones had a breakout game last weekend and could offer some much needed stability to the quarterback position for Valley. Ronnie Thomas has been dominant this season and leads the SWAC in tackles for loss (8.5) and sacks (5) entering this weekend. 

Shedeur Sanders and the Jackson State offense has been explosive this season as the Tigers are leading the SWAC in scoring offense (47 PPG) and total offense (499 YPG). Sy’Veon Wilkerson has established himself as the #1 RB for the Tigers and will look to build on his 2 touchdown performance last weekend against Grambling State. 

Prediction: Jackson State (59-6)

Elon @ #14 William & Mary (2:30pm/CT; FloSports)

Elon will be led by Montana State transfer Matthew McKay (8 passing touchdowns) who will have two talented weapons in wide receivers Bryson Daughtry (209 receiving yards) and Jackson Parham (208 receiving yards). LB Marcus Hillman will be a player to watch for Phoenix defense as he leads the team in tackles for loss (5) and sacks (2.5). 

The defense for William & Mary will be the x-factor as the defensive line has been dominant throughout the season for the Tribe. John Pius leads the FCS in sacks (7) this season and also has totaled 10.5 tackles for loss for the Tribe. FCS All-American Nate Lynn is also a huge factor for the Tribe with 4.5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks throughout the first three games. RB Bronson Yoder is the name to watch for the Tribe offense as he ranks 2nd in the CAA in rushing yards (349) and rushing touchdowns (4). 

Prediction: William & Mary (30-24)

#4 Incarnate Word @ Southeastern Louisiana (6pm/CT; ESPN3)

Incarnate Word has exceeded all expectations this season under first year head coach GJ Kinne and find themselves in the Top-5 after the first three weeks of the season. QB Lindsey Scott Jr. has been one of the most electric players in the country (13 passing touchdowns) and is currently on pace to set the FCS single season record for passer rating (212.6). Wide receivers Darion Chafin (393 receiving yards) and Taylor Grimes (276 receiving yards) have been the biggest targets for the Cardinals this season and will test this Southeastern Louisiana secondary on Saturday. 

Southeastern Louisiana will aim to run the football and control the pace of the game this weekend. Carlos Washington Jr. and Taron Jones are names to watch at the running back position, while QB Cephus Johnson III (116 rushing yards) is another threat on the ground for the Lions. The secondary for the Lions will be the x-factor this weekend and have only allowed 200 yards per game through the air this season. Zy Alexander, Ferlando Jordan, and Donniel Ward-Magee will be the key pieces to the backend of the defensive unit for Southeastern this weekend. 

Prediction: Incarnate Word (41-33)

#16 Eastern Kentucky @ Austin Peay (3pm/CT; ESPN+)

Austin Peay has not allowed a touchdown in three FCS games this season and has outscored their last three opponents 132-3, but none of their FCS opponents have won a FCS game this season. QB Mike DiLiello has been spectacular this season (13 passing TDs), while Drae McCray (362 receiving yards) continues to be explosive for the Governors offense. Antoine Williams will be a name to watch on the Govs defense as he currently leads the team in tackles (34) and sacks (2.0).

Eastern Kentucky is on a 2-game win streak including a 7-overtime FBS win over Bowling Green in Week 2. Parker McKinney has lived up to his Preseason All-ASUN selection with over 1,000 yards passing and 10 passing touchdowns. TE Dakota Allen has been the #1 target this season (245 receiving yards) and will be a matchup nightmare for the Governors defense this weekend. Linebackers Matthew Jackson (16 tackles) and Eli Hairston (21 tackles) will be the names to watch for the Colonels defense. 

Prediction: Eastern Kentucky (38-35)

#4 Montana State @ #15 Eastern Washington (3pm/CT; ESPN+)

The major storyline coming into this game will be the health of the running back room for Montana State who will be without multiple pieces, including FCS All-American Isaiah Ifanse. QBs Tommy Mellott (205 rushing yards) and Sean Chambers (185 rushing yards) lead the Bobcats in rushing this season, but look for RB Elijah Elliott to take a major role this weekend against the Eagles. Turnovers have been a major issue for Montana State this season with 8 turnovers in only three games for the Bobcats and that could be the difference on the road against a Top-15 Eastern Washington squad. 

QB Gunner Talkington has been explosive on the offensive side of the ball with 7 passing touchdowns in only two games for the Eagles. Freddie Roberson and Efton Chism III will be the names to watch at the wide receiver position this weekend. The Eagles defense will look to play opportunistic again after making some key stops against Tennessee State in a Week 1 win, but Joshua Jerome and Mitchell Johnson will be key players to watch as they look to shutdown this Montana State rushing attack.

Prediction: Eastern Washington (28-24)

#2 South Dakota State @ #6 Missouri State (2pm/CT; ESPN3)

The first FCS Top-10 matchup of the season will take place in Springfield, MO this weekend. Jason Shelley looks to make his case for the Walter Payton Award in one the biggest games of the season for the Bears after his 350-yard performance against #10 Arkansas last weekend. Tyrone Scott will be a player to watch for the Bears as the #1 target for Shelley this season with over 320 receiving yards and 4 receiving touchdowns. The biggest question in this game will be how the Missouri State offensive line handles the front seven for South Dakota State after giving up 17 sacks in only three games this season. 

South Dakota State has had to overcome some injuries throughout the first three games this season, including All-American TE Tucker Kraft. The Jackrabbits are going to try and establish the run behind All-American RB Isaiah Davis (236 rushing yards) against a Missouri State defense allowing over 150 yards per game on the ground this season. LB Adam Bock will be the x-factor on defense for the Jackrabbits as he leads the team with 26 total tackles this season and will be a major part in trying to slow down Shelley and the explosive Missouri State offense. 

Prediction: South Dakota State (27-23)

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