UConn football’s disappointing performance led to a big Week 2 loss against Georgia State. Meanwhile, of the Huskies’ 10 remaining opponents, eight won on Saturday, despite the storms that soaked the East Coast and caused lightning delays in multiple games.
FIU (2-1) - Sept. 16
FIU hosted the Mean Green of North Texas and came away with a 46-39 victory in a game that featured six lead changes and two ties. The Panthers led by 11 points in the fourth quarter, but North Texas scored a pair of touchdowns just 1:15 apart to take a one-point lead and set up a frenetic finish.
The squads were as close as can be, with three turnovers each, equal time of possession, and a slight edge to UNT in yards (548 to 519) and first downs (25 to 21).
Keyone Jenkins was 20-of-32 passing for 291 yards and a touchdown in the air and 33 rushing yards, but that came with two interceptions and a fumble that his team would recover. Kejon Owens crossed the goal line three times on the ground with 101 yards on 10 carries. Fellow RB Shomari Lawrence (16 carries, 89 yards, 1 TD) also had a good day.
No. 21 Duke (2-0) - Sept. 23
The game after a big win, like Duke’s season-opening triumph over Clemson, can sometimes be tough, but it helps when an FCS opponent is on the other side. Duke and Lafayette were tied at 7-7 after one quarter, but the Blue Devils scored the game’s final 35 points for a strong victory over the Leopards. Lafayette had five of its 14 first downs on its touchdown drive, with one more possession that gained more than 30 yards.
The Blue Devils gained 515 yards and surrendered just 213, while also winning the turnover battle 2-1, which is to be expected with the gulf of physicality and talent between the two rosters.
Duke was an incredible 20-of-21 passing, with the incompletion going on Riley Leonard’s tab. He was 12-of-13 for 136 yards and a touchdown, while backup Henry Belin IV picked up right where he left off, going 8-of-8 for 118 yards and another score.
Utah State (1-1) - Sept. 30
Everyone was scoring in Logan on Saturday, as Utah State had a 44-point second quarter on its way to a 78-28 win over Idaho State.
Utah State’s defense gave up 424 yards but came up big where it counted, forcing three turnovers and scoring on two of them. The offense had sparkling numbers, with zero turnovers and 591 yards, though chunk plays limited first downs, as four touchdowns were 40 yards or more.
A lot of the damage got done on the ground, as the Aggies ran 41 times for 380 yards (9.3 yards per carry) and five touchdowns. Davon Booth (six carries, 83 yards), Robert Briggs Jr. (nine carries, 101 yards), and Rahsul Faison (five carries, 95 yards) led the way. Booth scored twice, while Briggs Jr. and Faison crossed the plane just once. Cooper Legas (14-of-16, 125 yards) and Levi Williams (5-of-7, 68 yards) each had two touchdowns.
Rice (1-1) - Oct. 7
In their cross-town battle, Rice and Houston went to double-overtime and the Owls squeaked out with a 43-41 upset win at home. The hosts had a 28-0 lead midway through the second quarter, but the Cougars responded with a 28-0 run of their own, completing the comeback with just 15 seconds left in regulation to force the extra session.
The teams were close in yards (470-to-443), with a slight advantage to Rice, though the Owls lost the turnover battle, 2-1.
JT Daniels was 28-of-42 passing for 401 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. Not much was done on the ground, with the Houston defense holding Rice to 2.2 yards per carry. Dean Connors (eight carries, 48 yards) had most of the production, though Daelen Alexander scored three times on five carries.
USF (1-1) - Oct. 21
Florida A&M was pesky all evening, but USF scored a touchdown with 7:39 to go that provided a buffer in the eventual 38-24 win. The Rattlers scored the first points and never let the Bulls get beyond two possessions ahead.
Florida A&M outgained USF, 393-to-342, held possession longer, and had more first downs, but committed five turnovers that stalled drives and helped the hosts keep their advantage.
Byrum Brown was 20-of-34 passing for 197 yards and three touchdowns. He also scored twice on the ground. Sean Atkins cameoed and threw his only pass for 39 yards on a trick play. Michael Dukes was the primary running back, with 13 carries for 40 yards.
Boston College (1-1) - Oct. 28
The Eagles escaped Holy Cross by the skin of their teeth. The FCS Crusaders never led, but kept it close all afternoon even after a two-hour weather delay. Trailing 31-28, they had 75 yards and 1:49 left to score a game-winning touchdown after making a big third-down stop.
Quarterback Matthew Sluka looked like he had the score running a draw on the first play from scrimmage, but he stepped out of bounds at the Boston College 40-yard line. He fumbled three plays later and the Eagles recovered, enabling them to run out the clock.
Thomas Castellanos was in at quarterback this week and went 17-of-23 for 204 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also carried the ball 16 times for 69 yards as part of a dynamic rushing attack, which is to be expected against less physical FCS linemen. Kye Robichaux grabbed 94 yards on 19 carries.
No. 9 Tennessee (1-0) - Nov. 4
No. 9 Tennessee struggled against FCS Austin Peay on Saturday. The two squads would have been tied at the half if not for a Joe Milton III scamper with just 15 seconds remaining in the second quarter. The Volunteers then woke up in the second half and scored 17 of the half’s 24 points for a 30-13 final in Knoxville.
The home side had a big advantage in yards (456-to-339) and won the turnover battle, 2-1, but the Governors held the ball for nearly 40 minutes, as Tennessee’s drives were so quick.
Milton was 21-of-33 for 228 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the air while adding the aforementioned score on the ground. Jaylen Wright and Jabari Small each had 13 rushes, with Wright going for 118 yards, while Small grabbed 95 yards.
James Madison (2-0) - Nov. 11
James Madison went into Charlottesville as a six-point favorite over Virginia, but the Cavaliers didn’t get the memo, as the game went down to the final minute and the Dukes scored the game-winning touchdown with 55 seconds left to claim a 36-35 win.
James Madison had a 17-7 advantage late in the second quarter, but 21 unanswered Virginia points gave the Cavaliers an 11-point advantage through the middle stages of the fourth quarter, setting the stage for the frenetic finish.
The teams were deadlocked in yards at 395, with just one turnover that belonged to Virginia. James Madison had a slight edge in first downs, as well. There was also a weather delay of over an hour that interrupted proceedings.
Jordan McCloud was 20-of-31 passing for 224 yards for a touchdown, adding 32 rushing yards on six carries. Kaelon Black (12 carries, 25 yards) had most of the reps out of the backfield, but Ty Son Lawson led the team with 79 yards on eight carries, with two scores.
Sacred Heart (0-2) - Nov. 18
Georgetown and Sacred Heart weren’t able to complete their game in the nation’s capitol after two weather delays, the second of which came with 7:58 remaining in the fourth quarter, with the Hoyas up 27-10 on the Pioneers. Sacred Heart did have the game to within 14-10 late in the second quarter, but two quick scores in the final 1:18 of regulation dashed its comeback hopes.
The visitors turned the ball over twice, including an interception on the first play of the game, and gained just 170 yards with eight first downs. In contrast, Georgetown owned the time of possession battle and had 420 yards with just one turnover.
Cade Pribula was 3-of-8 passing for 25 yards, including the aforementioned pick. Rob McCoy also spent some time under center but was 1-of-6 for eight yards. Malik Grant was solid on the ground, with 11 rushes for 78 yards, though it was Jalen Madison who found the end zone.
UMass (1-1) - Nov. 25
The weather Gods didn’t want this one to happen. It started more than two hours late because of lightning, then after another lengthy delay, didn’t finish until after midnight on Sunday morning in Amherst. Despite all that, Miami (OH) took a 41-28 win over UMass. The RedHawks led 21-0 after the first quarter but it was a one-possession contest in the middle stages of the third.
UMass was outgained 446 to 306 but forced three turnovers to Miami (OH)’s two in a weather-impacted contest.
Carlos Davis was 22-of-32 passing for 244 yards and three touchdowns. Kay’Ron Lynch-Adams was the leader on the ground, running 16 times for 57 yards, but as a team, UMass had just 2.1 yards per carry.