December 4, 2022

Photo Cred: Austin Peay Athletics

2022 Predictions Record: 31-11 (Last Week: 5-5)

We predict the top FCS Football games on the Week 5 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.

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

North Dakota State bounced back from their Week 2 loss to Arizona with a win over South Dakota last weekend. Hunter Luepke (333 Rushing Yards; 6 TDs) has made a strong case to be in the race for the Walter Payton Award early this season. Cam Miller could be primed for a big game as Youngstown State has struggled to stop the passing attack (261 Passing Yards Allowed Per Game) this season. WR Zach Mathis (110 Yards, 2 TDs) and TE Noah Gindorff are two names to watch this weekend for the Bison.

Youngstown State looks to extend their 2-game win streak as they look to beat the Bison for the first time in over 10 seasons. The offense will be led by All-American RB Jaleel McLaughlin (368 Rushing Yards) as he leads the conference in rushing yards this season. A major key will be the efficiency of Demeatric Crenshaw (48.5% Completion Percentage) against an extremely talented Bison defense. Dylan Wudke (5.5 TFLs) and Quincy Lenton (2 INTs) will be the names to watch on the defensive side of the ball for the Penguins. 

Prediction: North Dakota State (38-14)

#10 Holy Cross @ Harvard (12pm/CT; ESPN+)

Holy Cross jumped into the Top-10 after a chaotic weekend of FCS football last weekend. Matthew Sluka (1,165 Total Yards; 13 TDs) has been one of the most electric players in the country this season and will play a major role against the Crimson defense. Jalen Coker (351 Receiving Yards; 5 TDs) will be a matchup nightmare at the wide receiver position, while Jacob Dobbs (38 Total Tackles) is the player to watch on the defensive side of the ball for the Crusaders. 

Harvard sits at 2-0 this season and will look to win back-to-back games over Holy Cross after their 38-13 win last season. Aidan Borguet (7.2 YPC; 3 Rushing TDs) will be the x-factor for the Crimson offense, while WR Kym Wimberly (15 Catches; 193 Receiving Yards) has been a significant part of the Harvard offensive attack. Thor Griffith (4.5 TFLs; 2 Sacks) and Nate Leskovec (4.5 TFLs; 4.5 Sacks) will be huge threats on the defensive line for the Harvard defense. 

Prediction: Holy Cross (30-27)

#7 Missouri State @ North Dakota (12pm/CT; ESPN+)

Missouri State fell short against #2 South Dakota State last weekend and will look to earn their first conference win of the 2022 season. Jason Shelley (1,105 Passing Yards) looks to rebound from a disappointing performance last weekend and insert himself back into the Walter Payton race this season. RB Jacardia Wright (258 Rushing Yards; 2 TDs) has established himself as the lead running back for the Bears and will be a player to watch this weekend against the Hawks. 

North Dakota dropped their first conference game of the season to Southern Illinois last weekend. RB Tyler Hoosman (275 Rushing Yards; 4 TDs) has been the top offensive threat this season and will play a large role this weekend against the Missouri State defense. Ben McNaboe (5.5 TFLs; 2 Sacks) will be a major factor against a questionable Missouri State offensive line in this matchup. 

Prediction: Missouri State (35-20)

#16 Samford @ Furman (1pm/CT; ESPN+)

Samford has been a major surprise this season behind QB Michael Hiers (970 Passing Yards; 12 TDs) who currently ranks 2nd in the SoCon in passing yards per game this season. WR Chandler Smith (6 Receiving TDs) has established himself as the #1 target for this explosive Bulldogs offense. The question will be how the Samford defense holds up against the #1 rushing offense in the conference, but the Bulldogs have only allowed 3.5 yards per carry this season. 

Furman is going to look to establish their rushing attack (213.8 Rushing Yards Per Game) which is led by RB Dominic Roberto (247 Rushing Yards). The health of QB Tyler Huff will be a question mark this weekend, but Jace Wilson has the ability to be an explosive playmaker at the quarterback position for the Paladins. DB Hugh Ryan will be a name to watch on the defensive side of the ball and is going to be a key piece to slowing down the explosive Samford passing attack. 

Prediction: Samford (35-31)

#17 Richmond @ #23 Elon (1pm/CT; FloSports)

The only ranked matchup of the weekend will be an important conference game in the CAA. Reece Udinski (1,116 Passing Yards; 11 TDs) will look to continue his impressive 2022 season as he currently leads the CAA in passing yards per game and completion percentage. Running backs Savon Smith (268 Yards) and Aaron Dykes (186 Yards) are also major weapons for the offensive attack of Richmond. LB Tristan Wheeler (40 Tackles) and CB Aaron Banks (3 INTs) will be important names to watch this weekend on the defensive side of the ball. 

Elon brings in one of the best wide receiver duos in the country as Jackson Parham (243 Receiving Yards) and Bryson Daughtry (302 Receiving Yards) will look to test this Richmond secondary that ranks 3rd in the CAA in passing defense this season. Transfer QB Matthew McKay (1,030 Passing Yards; 11 Total TDs) has been spectacular this season and RB Jalen Hampton (332 Rushing Yards) will have to have a dominant game against a stout Richmond front seven. 

Prediction: Elon (27-24)

UC Davis @ #4 Montana State (9:15pm/CT; ESPNU)

Montana State enters this matchup with the longest home winning streak in the FCS. QB Sean Chambers (444 Total Yards) will start for an injured Tommy Mellot, but currently leads the country in rushing touchdowns (9 Rushing TDs). WR Willie Patterson has done an excellent job stepping into the lead wide receiver (4 Receiving TDs) position for the Bobcats, while Elijah Elliott (156 Rushing Yards; 1 TD) exploded onto the scene last weekend due to injuries in the Montana State RB room.

UC Davis has played one of the toughest opening schedules in the country (California, #2 South Dakota State, & #8 Weber State). RB Ulonzo Gilliam Jr. (562 Total Yards) is a major offensive threat on the ground and as a receiving target out of the backfield. QB Miles Hastings (1,041 Passing Yards; 8 TDs) leads the Big Sky in passing yards per game and will be a major key in the Aggies pulling off the upset in Bozeman this weekend. 

Prediction: Montana State (30-27)

#12 Chattanooga @ East Tennessee State (6:30pm/CT; ESPN+)

The key for both teams this weekend will be the rushing game as both teams lead the SoCon in rushing touchdowns this season. Chattanooga will be led by Ailym Ford (418 Rushing Yards; 4 TDs) who ranks 2nd in the conference in rushing yards per game. The Chattanooga front seven could be the x-factor this weekend as Devonnsha Maxwell (5 TFLs; 3.5 Sacks) and Jay Person (6 TFLs; 3 Sacks) will be the names to watch this weekend for the Mocs. 

East Tennessee State will be led by Preseason SoCon Offensive Player of the Year Jacob Saylors (474 Rushing Yards; 6 TDs) who leads the SoCon in rushing yards per game and rushing touchdowns this season. The Buccaneers lead the conference in total defense (294.8 Yards Per Game Allowed) and scoring defense (14.2 PPG Allowed). Alijah Huzzie (5 PBUs; 2 INTs) will be a player to watch and could capitalize on a passing attack that has turned the ball over four times in the first four games. 

Prediction: Chattanooga (20-13)

Prairie View A&M vs Grambling State (6:00pm/CT)

Prairie View A&M entered the 2022 season being doubted, but the Panthers currently sit on top of the SWAC West going into this Week 5 matchup. The defense currently ranks Top-3 in the SWAC in scoring defense (22.6 PPG Allowed) and total defense (330.8 Yards Per Game Allowed). The rushing attack will be the key for the Panthers this weekend as Ahmad Antoine (263 Rushing Yards; 3 Rushing TDs) will be the player to watch for the Prairie View A&M offense. 

Grambling State enters this matchup on a 2-game losing streak, but Hue Jackson spoke about the Tigers earning the “G” back this weekend. Maurice Washington (15.8 Yards Per Carry; 3 TDs) is expected to return after battling injuries throughout the first four weeks of the season and WR Lyndon Rash (249 Receiving Yards; 2 TDs) will be a player to watch for the Grambling State offense. 

Prediction: Prairie View A&M (24-14)

#22 Austin Peay @ Central Arkansas (4pm/CT; ESPN+)

Austin Peay has been a major surprise this season and currently is the favorite to win the ASUN in their first season in the conference. The rushing attack for the Governors has been explosive with four players that have rushed for over 130 yards and three players that have topped the 300 yard mark this season. Mike DiLello (1,368 Total Yards; 20 TDs) is a breakout star for the Austin Peay offense and will be the x-factor this weekend. 

Central Arkansas experienced major turnover this offseason, but the key will be establishing the rushing attack behind All-American RB Darius Hale (283 Rushing Yards; 3 TDs). QB Will McElvain (842 Passing Yards; 2 TDs) has been inconsistent, but will have to avoid turnovers against an Austin Peay defense with 6 interceptions this season that ranks first in the ASUN this season. 

Prediction: Austin Peay (41-28)

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