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Week 4 FCS Review

Elon continues to surprise while Western Illinois picks up a big win over an FBS program.

NCAA Football: Eastern Washington at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

For the ninth time this season, an FCS team beat an FBS opponent. The Western Illinois Leathernecks hammered the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers 52-10 in a game that was never that close this week. They racked up over 500 total yards of offense and turned the Chanticleers over four times in the win. It was yet another example of how there really isn’t much separating the top teams in the FCS from some of the bottom tier teams in the FBS.

Eastern Washington 48, Montana 41

The Grizzlies had to be frustrated after this one. Montana went into half with a 24-6 lead and looked set to announce that it was back to being the program to beat in the Big Sky. Then, Gage Gubrud changed all that in the second half.

Gubrud ended up setting the school record for most passing yards in a game with 549 yards and led this offense to 42 second half points in a come from behind win. Nic Sblendorio and Simba Webster each finished north of 10 receptions and 100 receiving yards for the Eagles and the win should move them into the Top Ten this week.

Sam Houston State 66, Nicholls State 17

The Bearkats keep racking up the numbers on offense. In its home opener, Sam Houston State tore up Nicholls State with a balanced attack that ended with over 600 total yards of offense for the Bearkats.

The story of the game was Sam Houston State’s defense. The Bearkats only allowed three points for the first three quarters of the game and limited a Nicholls State offense that had looked good this season. If SHSU can continue to make strides on defense, it can finally be a true national championship contender.

Weber State 41, UC Davis 3

The Wildcats have one of the best defenses in the FCS. UC Davis wasn’t able to do anything on the ground against this D, running for less than a half-yard per carry. With a defensive performance like that, the offense doesn’t have to do much, and starting quarterback Stefan Cantwell ended up throwing just 11 passes.

UT Martin 31, Tennessee State 16

The Skyhawks continue to prove that they were very underrated at the start of the season. A week after beating Chattanooga, the SkyHawks again put together a dominant defensive performance in a big win. UT Martin has now allowed just 23 points in three games against non-FBS opponents and of those three, both Chattanooga and Tennessee State were considered playoff contenders.

Elon 36, Richmond 33

The Phoenix continue to be the most surprising team in the FCS. Elon has only made the FCS playoffs once in its history and was predicted to be near the bottom of the Colonial once again in 2017. However, a win over the Spiders in Richmond is a shot across the bow to the rest of the conference. Elon won in the trenches with 373 yards on the ground and held Richmond to under four yards a carry. Its season finale against James Madison is no longer looking like a virtual bye week for the defending champions.