Photo: Idaho Athletics

Week 4 FCS Football Preview & Predictions

We predict the top FCS football games on the Week 4 slate right here. You can find more information on the biggest games each week on our FCS Preview Show.

2023 Predictions Record: 22-7

2022 Predictions Record: 115-35

Elon (1-2) @ Campbell (2-1)

Kickoff: 6:00 p.m ET (FloSports)

Elon started conference play with a dominant win over North Carolina A&T in Week 3. Running back Jalen Hampton (319 Rushing Yards; 6.5 YPC) has carried this offense as quarterback Matthew Downing (273 Passing Yards; 4 TDs) tries to establish his rhythm. The rushing defense has been the strength of the defense, allowing only 3.3 yards per carry against multiple strong rushing attacks. Defensive lineman Marvin Pearson (5 TFLs; 2.5 Sacks) and defensive back Caleb Curtain (2 INTs; 3 PBUs) have emerged as impact players on the Phoenix defense. 

Campbell enters this game after winning the first CAA game in school history over Monmouth. Quarterback Hajj-Malik Williams (763 Passing Yards; 8 TDs) has played at an elite level over the past two weeks. The two-headed monster of NaQuari Rogers (220 Rushing Yards; 3 TDs) and Lamagea McDowell (142 Rushing Yards; 3 TDs) have been key pieces to an explosive Campbell offense, averaging over 41 points per game. Linebacker CJ Tillman (31 Tackles) continues to show he is one of the top linebackers in the country, but the Camels still need an elite edge rusher to emerge this season. 

Campbell’s offense ranks among the most efficient in the country and will put pressure on Elon to keep pace. The inconsistency of Elon’s passing attack will prevent the offense from scoring enough to win this game and give Campbell back-to-back CAA wins. 

Prediction: Campbell (42-28)

Alabama State (1-1) @ No. 22 Florida A&M (2-1)

Kickoff: 6:00 p.m ET (ESPN+)

Alabama State is fresh off a bye week after an upset loss to Miles College in Week 2. The biggest question mark surrounds the quarterback position as Damon Stewart could get his first start of the season over Dematrius Davis (331 Passing Yards; 3 TDs). The Hornets have struggled to establish the rushing attack this season but will have to find a way to take the pressure off of Stewart or Davis this weekend. Wide receiver Kisean Johnson (210 Receiving Yards; 3 TDs) is an elite target and will challenge the Florida A&M secondary. All-American linebacker Colton Adams (28 Tackles; 1 Sack) is a dominant force for the defense for the Hornets.

Florida A&M will look to take full control of the SWAC East with a win against the Hornets. Quarterback Jeremy Moussa (795 Passing Yards; 6 TDs) will need to protect the ball against a talented Alabama State secondary. The rushing attack for the Rattlers is much improved from last season behind Terrell Jennings (165 Rushing Yards; 3 TDs) and Jaquez Yant (113 Rushing Yards). Defensive lineman Anthony Dunn Jr. (7 TFLs; 4.5 Sacks) has emerged as an elite pass rusher, while linebacker Isaiah Major (21 Tackles; 2 Sacks) is still one of the most athletic linebackers in the country. 

The Rattlers enter this game with the second-longest home-winning streak in the country. Alabama State’s defense is talented enough to keep the Hornets in the game, but the offensive inconsistency will be too much to overcome against one of the best teams in the SWAC. 

Prediction: Florida A&M (27-13)

Chattanooga (2-1) @ No. 20 Samford (1-2)

Kickoff: 3:00 p.m ET (ESPN+)

Chattanooga rebounded with back-to-back wins after a season-opening loss against North Alabama. Quarterback Chase Artopoeus (787 Passing Yards; 8 TDs) has thrived after stepping into the QB1 role for this season. Wide receiver Jamoi Mayes (303 Receiving Yards; 1 TD) and Ailym Ford (274 Rushing Yards) will be key pieces for the Mocs against the Samford defense. Edge rusher Jay Person (4.5 TFLs; 3 QBHs) and defensive lineman Ben Brewton (3 TFLs; 2 Sacks) are going to have to generate pressure on Michael Hiers to slow down the Samford passing attack. 

Samford sits at 1-2 after losing the SoCon opener against Western Carolina in Week 2. All-American quarterback Michael Hiers (831 Passing Yards; 7 TDs) is the biggest key to this game as the Bulldogs are undefeated over the past two seasons when Hiers passes for two or more touchdowns. Wide receiver Chander Smith (210 Receiving Yards; 3 TDs) has not missed a beat after an All-American season in 2022. The biggest question mark will be the defense, which struggled against Western Carolina and allowed the Catamounts to dominate the game with long drives. 

This game will come down to whether the Chattanooga defensive front can force Hiers to be uncomfortable in the pocket. Both teams enter this matchup desperate for a win after losing unexpected games early in the season. I believe Hiers will give the Bulldogs an advantage and the defense will able to get a crucial stop late in the game to secure a Samford win.

Prediction: Samford (30-20)

Eastern Washington (1-2) @ No. 15 UC Davis (2-1)

Kickoff: 10:00 p.m ET (ESPN+)

Eastern Washington picked up an important out-of-conference win against Southeastern Louisiana last weekend. Quarterback Kekoa Visperas (849 Passing Yards; 5 TDs) continues to improve each week, including a 349-yard performance against the Lions. The Eagles are led by an explosive wide receiver core, led by Efton Chism III (253 Receiving Yards; 2 TDs) and Nolan Ulm (189 Receiving Yards; 2 TDs). The defense has done an excellent job of creating negative plays as the Eagles have totaled 17 tackles for loss this season. Linebacker Ben Allen (23 Tackles; 3.5 TFLs) and cornerback Marlon Jones Jr. (2 TFLs; 1 INT) are two players to watch for the Eagles.

UC Davis escaped with a 23-21 win last weekend over Southern Utah. The Aggies have struggled to establish the run the past two weeks, which will be a focus behind running back Lan Larison (224 Rushing Yards; 3 TDs). Quarterback Miles Hastings (558 Passing Yards; 3 TDs) will need to be more efficient against an Eastern Washington secondary allowing less than 200 passing yards per game. The defense will be led by linebacker Teddye Buchanan (20 Tackles; 2.5 TFLs) and defensive back Rex Connors (18 Tackles; 3 PBUs). 

The Aggies are 0-10 all-time against Eastern Washington. UC Davis enters this game as the favorite, but last week exposed a weakness in the secondary. The emergence of Kekoa Visperas for the Eagles could give the UC Davis defense problems on Saturday night. The explosiveness of Eastern Washington’s offense will be the difference on Saturday as the Eagles pull off the upset over the Aggies.

Prediction: Eastern Washington (38-31)

No. 21 Mercer (2-1) @ No. 8 Furman (2-1)

Kickoff: 1:00 p.m ET (ESPN+)

Mercer entered the season with high expectations and will face the first-ranked test of the season. The offensive coordinator will need to allow quarterback Carter Peevy (521 Passing Yards; 2 TDs) to air the ball out to his elite receivers Ty James (232 Receiving Yards; 2 TDs) and Devron Harper (14 Receptions; 170 Yards). This is an important game of the Mercer front seven, led by Solomon Zubairu (4.5 TFLs; 1 Sack) and Isaac Dowling (18 Tackles; 2.5 TFLs), as the Bears will need to slow down a physical Furman rushing attack. 

Furman knocked off Kennesaw State last weekend and enter conference play 2-0 against FCS competition. Quarterback Tyler Huff (538 Passing Yards; 5 Total TDs) continues to be a dynamic playmaker for the Paladins. Running back Dominic Roberto (152 Rushing Yards; 3 TDs) will be a crucial piece to the Furman offensive attack against the Bears. The defense has struggled against the pass this season, which will make the matchup against James and Harper one to watch on Saturday. Defensive backs Travis Blackshear (1 INT; 3 PBUs) and Cally Chizik (2 TFLs; 1 INT) are two players to watch against the Bears.

Mercer’s offensive has the firepower to pull off the upset this weekend, but the playcalling has been vanilla over the first three games. The Bears will need to open the offense up against the Paladins to win this game. Despite the potential of the Mercer offense, the difference in this game will be the playmaking ability of Tyler Huff. 

Prediction: Furman (31-27)

No. 11 New Hampshire (2-1) @ No. 19 Delaware (2-1)

Kickoff: 6:00 p.m ET (FloSports)

Delaware has looked impressive in both FCS matchups this season but will face their biggest test of the season against the Wildcats. The offense is led by running back Marcus Yarns (332 Rushing Yards; 4 TDs) and transfer wide receiver Kym Wimberly (129 Receiving Yards; 2 TDs) has emerged as a playmaker for the Blue Hens. Quarterback Ryan O’Connor (559 Passing Yards; 4 TDs) has shown potential but will need to be more consistent in this matchup. The defense has struggled against the run, allowing over 200 yards per game, which is why Jackson Taylor (21 Tackles) and Mateo Vandamia (13 Tackles; 2 TFLs) are important players to watch. 

New Hampshire begins conference play with a tough road matchup against the Blue Hens. Running back Dylan Laube (656 Total Yards; 7 TDs) continues to establish himself as one of the best players in the country. Quarterback Max Brosmer (844 Passing Yards; 10 TDs) continues to operate the offense at an extremely high level but needs another receiving threat to emerge outside of Laube. The elite defensive line duo of Josiah Silver (15 Tackles; 4 TFLs) and Dylan Ruiz (2 TFLs; 1 Sack) will be the X-factor against an offensive line that has allowed 13 sacks over three games.

This will be a major road test for the Wildcats, but this team matches up extremely well against the Blue Hens. Silver and Ruiz are primed for big games, while Laube looks like the most explosive player in the country. 

Prediction: New Hampshire (35-31)

No. 3 Montana State (2-1) @ No. 10 Weber State (2-1)

Kickoff: 8:00 p.m ET (ESPN+)

Weber State will look to win their second-ranked game of the season after an impressive victory over Northern Iowa in Week 2. Running back Damon Bankston (322 Rushing Yards; 5 TDs) has been dominant for the Wildcats and will be a key piece this weekend. The question mark is the passing game behind Kylan Weisser (361 Passing Yards; 2 TDs), who has been inconsistent over the first three games of the season. Weber State’s front seven will face one of the biggest challenges of the season against the Montana State rushing attack. Linebacker Winston Reid (36 Tackles; 5.5 TFLs) and defensive lineman Brayden Wilson (16 Tackles; 4.5 TFLs) are important pieces for this defense against the Bobcats.

Montana State will face another Top-10 road test after falling short against No. 1 South Dakota State two weeks ago. The Bobcats enter the game averaging 319.0 rushing yards per game behind two standout freshmen Jared White (180 Rushing Yards; 2 TDs) and Scottre Humphrey (169 Rushing Yards; 6 TDs). Quarterback Sean Chambers (5 Rushing TDs) will step into the QB1 role as Tommy Mellott was ruled out with an injury. The Bobcats defense has been excellent against the run, only allowing 3.9 yards per carry over the first three games of the season. 

The battle between Weber State’s front seven and Montana State’s rushing attack will be the most important matchup on Saturday night. The Bobcats should be able to establish the line of scrimmage behind an elite offensive line, while the defense should capitalize on any mistakes that Weisser makes in this game. 

Prediction: Montana State (31-17)

No. 4 Sacramento State (3-0) @ No. 7 Idaho (2-1)

Kickoff: 4:00 p.m ET (ESPN+)

Sacramento State enters this game off of one of the biggest upsets of the season as the Hornets knocked off Stanford. Quarterback Kaiden Bennett (676 Passing Yards; 8 Total TDs) has shined in his role as QB1 for the Hornets while running back Marcus Fulcher (196 Rushing Yards; 3 TDs) continues to be an explosive weapon on the ground and as a receiver. The defensive line is going to be the x-factor this weekend as the Hornets have 10 sacks over the first three games. Defensive linemen DeShawn Lynch and Jett Stanley will give the Idaho offensive line one of the biggest challenges of the season.

Idaho has lived up to the preseason hype through the first three weeks but faces a massive test against the Hornets. Quarterback Gevani McCoy (756 Passing Yards; 4 TDs) continues to shine for the Vandals and his connection with wide receiver Hayden Hatten (20 Receptions; 256 Yards) will test a talented Sacramento State secondary. The biggest improvement for the Vandals can be found on the defensive side of the ball, led by the secondary. The Vandals are allowing only 127 yards passing per game with three interceptions. Defensive backs Marcus Harris (12 Tackles; 1 INT) and Tommy McCormick (16 Tackles) are two players to watch this weekend.

This matchup could determine who emerges as the biggest threat to knock off Montana State this season. The emergence of Kaiden Bennett makes this game much more interesting than many thought entering the season, but I expect the connection of Gevani McCoy and Hayden Hatten to be the difference. 

Prediction: Idaho (28-24)

AUDIO: Week 4 FCS Football Preview

LATEST: Week 4 Big Sky Power Rankings

RELATED: Zach McKinnell’s Week 3 Top-25 Ballot

Follow @The Bluebloods on Twitter for ongoing coverage of FCS football news, notes, and opinions. You can also follow Zach McKinnell on Twitter @zachmckinnell

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *