December 4, 2022

Photo by Dave Eggen/Inertia

2022 Predictions Record: 47-15 (Last Week: 9-2)

We predict the top FCS Football games on the Week 7 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.

Morgan State @ North Carolina Central (6:30pm/CT; ESPN2)

A huge Thursday night MEAC matchup on ESPN2 will kickoff Week 6 of FCS football. The Eagles are coming off a bye week after a 30-point loss to Campbell and look to start off conference play on the right foot. Davius Richard (1,049 Passing Yards; 15 Total TDs) has been electric this season for the Eagles offense and is the x-factor for the Eagles. Khalil Baker (4 INTs) ranks 2nd in the country for interceptions this season, but the Eagles defense is going to have slow down an explosive rushing attack for Morgan State after giving up over 300 yards on the ground to Campbell two weeks ago.

Morgan State will be led by Alfonzo Graham (542 Rushing Yards; 4 TDs) who leads the MEAC in rushing yards this season. QB Carson Baker (592 Passing Yards; 6 TDs) will need to be more efficient through the air in this matchup, but Avery Jones (3 Receiving TDs) could be a matchup nightmare for most defenses in the MEAC this season. Lawrence Richardson (41 Total Tackles; 2.5 TFLs) is the unquestioned leader of the Bears defense and is a major key for slowing down the North Carolina Central offense. 

Prediction: North Carolina Central (35-20)

Harvard v. Howard (3pm/CT; ESPN3)

The 2nd annual “Truth & Service Classic” at Audi Field will take place this weekend. Howard enters this game looking to rebound from an 8-point loss to Yale two weeks ago. The Bison have a trio of running backs that will be key against a talented Harvard front seven, which is led by Jarett Hunter (238 Rushing Yards; 3 TDs). Kenny Gallop Jr. (34 Total Tackles) and Darrian Brokenburr will be the players to watch on the defensive side of the ball for the Bison.

Harvard looks to continue their strong 2022 season behind the legs of Aidan Borguet (501 Rushing Yards; 6 TDs) and a strong defense that ranks Top-10 in the country against the run. Thor Griffith (6.5 TFLs; 2 Sacks) and Nate Leskovec (5 TFLs; 4.5 Sacks) have been a terrifying duo on the Crimson defensive line, while Alex Washington (1 INT; 3 PBUs) is a name to watch in the secondary. 

Prediction: Harvard (30-17)

#8 Incarnate Word @ Nicholls State (3pm/CT; ESPN+)

Incarnate Word has not lost a step under head coach GJ Kinne as the Cardinals find themselves in position for a Top-8 seed in the FCS Playoffs. Lindsey Scott Jr. (2,179 Passing Yards; 32 Total TDs) may be the favorite for the Walter Payton Award through the first six weeks of the season, but returns to Thibodaux, LA to face his former team. The defense has been led by LB Kelechi Anyalebechi (57 Total Tackles; 7 TFLs) and Chris Whittaker (7.5 Sacks) who will be the x-factors for the Cardinals this weekend. 

Nicholls State has had a difficult season, but picked up their first win of the season last week against Houston Christian. Running backs Collin Guggenheim (314 Rushing Yards) and Julien Gums (369 Rushing Yards) have been the most consistent offensive weapons for the Nicholls State offense. The secondary will be tested this weekend, but Jordan Jackson (5 PBUs) and Tyler Morton (1 INT; 2 PBUs) are going to be tough matchups for the Incarnate Word wide receiving core. 

Prediction: Incarnate Word (47-13)

Idaho @ #3 Montana (2pm/CT; ESPN+)

Montana is one of the five remaining undefeated teams in the FCS and will have one of their toughest tests of the season this weekend. Lucas Johnson (1,027 Passing Yards; 16 Total TDs) has lived up to the hype at the quarterback position for the Griz, while Marcus Knight exploded two weeks ago and could be a name to watch against the Vandals defense. Patrick O’Connell (9 TFLs; 7 Sacks) has been unstoppable this season and is currently one of the favorites for the Buck Buchanan Award through the first six weeks of the season. 

The Vandals have climbed into Top-25 consideration after a 3-0 start in FCS games after two competitive FBS losses to start the season. Gevani McCoy (1,073 Passing Yards; 10 TDs) has been electric at the QB position for the Vandals, while Jermaine Jackson (450 Receiving Yards) has emerged as the #1 target for the passing attack of the Vandals. Fa’Avae Fa’Avae (50 Total Tackles) will play a significant role this weekend for the Idaho defense and will be a key piece in slowing down a powerful Montana offensive attack. 

Prediction: Montana (34-17)

#14 Elon @ Rhode Island (12pm/CT; FloSports)

Elon has been one of the hottest teams in the country after pulling off ranked wins over William & Mary and Richmond. The Phoenix are led by Matthew McKay (1683 Passing Yards; 17 Total TDs) who has done an excellent job helping Elon win some close games throughout the first few weeks of the season. Marcus Hillman (43 Total Tackles; 9 TFLs) has been a playmaker for the defense by forcing multiple turnovers and making key plays in key moments for the Phoenix. 

Rhode Island looks to assert themselves back into the CAA race this weekend behind the rushing ability of Marques DeShields (7.1 Yards Per Carry) who has been explosive this season for the Rams. Kasim Hill (1,181 Passing Yards; 9 TDs) will need to be more efficient in this matchup, but has plenty of offensive weapons to utilize on this Rhode Island offense. Linebacker Jake Fire (49 Total Tackles; 5 TFLs) is the key player to watch on the defensive side of the ball for the Rams this weeked. 

Prediction: Elon (28-23)

Florida A&M @ Grambling State (1pm/CT; HBCU GO)

Florida A&M has won 4 straight games after a tough 0-2 start to the 2022 season as the Rattlers look to make another run to the FCS Playoffs. Xavier Smith (548 Receiving Yards; 7 TDs) has been unstoppable and will be the x-factor against a Grambling State secondary that has allowed 13 passing touchdowns this season. Linebacker Isaiah Major (52 Total Tackles; 5 TFLs) has a strong case for SWAC Newcomer of the Year and will be one of the names to watch for the Rattlers against the Tigers. 

Grambling State has been hindered by quarterback uncertainty as both Quaterius Hawkins and Julian Calvez have battled for the QB1 position for Hue Jackson’s squad the past two weeks. Lyndon Rash (351 Receiving Yards) has been the most reliable playmaker for the Tigers, but the health of Maurice Washington (10.7 Yards Per Carry) is a major storyline to watch in this game. 

Prediction: Florida A&M (27-10)

#5 Sacramento State @ Eastern Washington (6pm/CT: ESPN+)

Eastern Washington may sit at 1-4, but has played the 2nd toughest schedule in the country and has another Top-5 matchup this weekend. The wide receiver core is loaded with Freddie Robinson (302 Receiving Yards; 3 TDs) and Efton Chism III (228 Receiving Yards; 3 TDs) who will be keys for the Eastern Washington offensive attack. The front seven will be key against the Hornets rushing attack as the Eagles have allowed over 280 yards per game on the ground. 

Sacramento State has been extremely balanced in their offensive attack this season while averaging over 515 yards per game. The Hornets currently have a Top-5 rushing attack behind RB Cameron Skattebo (539 Rushing Yards; 5 TDs) who ranks 4th in the country in yards per carry. Tight end Marshel Martin (342 Receiving Yards) will be a matchup nightmare and is the top receiving threat for the Hornets. 

Prediction: Sacramento State (34-30)

East Tennessee State @ #12 Mercer (3pm/CT; ESPN+)

The development of Fred Payton (1,185 Passing Yards; 12 TDs) has made Mercer one of the favorites to win the SoCon this season. Wide receiver Devron Harper (413 Receiving Yards; 7 TDs) will be the player to watch against an ETSU secondary that is allowing less than 200 yards passing per game. Isaac Dowling (42 Total Tackles; 2 INTs) is the top defensive playmaker for the Bears and is expected to play a huge role this weekend. 

The Buccaneers will be led by Preseason SoCon Offensive Player of the Year Jacob Saylors (743 Rushing Yards; 9 TDs) who will have a tough test against the #1 defense in the SoCon this weekend. Chandler Martin (66 Total Tackles; 7.5 TFLs) and Alijah Huzzie (4 INTs; 10 PBUs) are the two names to watch on defense for the Buccaneers against the Bears. 

Prediction: Mercer (38-24)

#17 Villanova @ #21 Richmond (2:30pm/CT; FloSports)

Villanova may have experienced a slower than expected start to the season, but the Wildcats can assert themselves in the CAA race with a big win this weekend. The rushing attack has been the strength of the offense behind RB Jalen Jackson (334 Rushing Yards; 5 TDs), but the question becomes can the QB play be consistent this weekend? WR Jaaron Hayek (567 Receiving Yards) could present a problem for the Richmond secondary, but the play of QB Connor Watkins (1,062 Passing Yards; 9 TDs) will be the key in this matchup for the Wildcats. 

Richmond aims to bounce back from an overtime loss to Elon, but could make a strong statement with a win over the defending CAA champions. Reece Udinski (1,501 Passing Yards; 13 TDs) is the unquestioned leader of the offensive attack and will spread the ball out as the Spiders currently have five players with 15+ receptions this season. Aaron Banks (3 INTs) and Tyrek Funderburk (2 INTs) could play a large role this weekend against a Villanova passing attack that already has 8 interceptions through the first six weeks of the season. 

Prediction: Richmond (27-24)

#2 South Dakota State @ #1 North Dakota State (2:30pm/CT; ESPN+)

The Dakota Marker Game could not get any bigger this weekend as the Bison and Jackrabbits face off for the #1 spot in the FCS this weekend. The Bison will look to establish the run behind Hunter Luepke (480 Rushing Yards; 10 Total TDs) who is making a case to be one the favorites for the Walter Payton Award in 2022. The biggest question will be the play Cam Miller (806 Passing Yards; 6 TDs) who topped 150 yards for the first time this season last weekend and will have to play a huge role against a talented South Dakota State defense. 

The Jackrabbits have won two in a row over the Bison and will look to utilize Isaiah Davis (626 Rushing Yards; 6 TDs) against a North Dakota State rushing defense allowing just under 150 yards rushing per game. Jaxon and Jadon Janke (592 Receiving Yards; 7 TDs) have been the top receiving threats this season, but the potential return of All-American TE Tucker Kraft could be the x-factor in this matchup. Linebacker Adam Bock (50 Total Tackles; 4.5 TFLs) will be a name to watch on the defensive side of the ball as the Jackrabbits have not allowed 100+ yards rushing this season. 

Prediction: South Dakota State (23-21)

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