Complete Labor Day Weekend FCS Recap - Jackson State Rips Florida A&M

September 4, 2022 by Dave Congrove

The Orange Blossom Classic in Miami on Sunday afternoon was the final FCS game on the schedule for the Labor Day weekend, and Jackson State put a huge exclamation point on it with a 59-3 romp over Florida A&M in Miami.

Deion Sanders' team seemed to be playing with a chip on its shoulder after winning the SWAC Championship a year ago, but ending the season with a 31-10 loss to South Carolina State in the Celebration Bowl.

The Tigers' play started hot with Deion's son, Shedeur, completing his first 17 passes (finished 29-of-33 with 5 TD's). He started a fire that turned into a full-blown inferno. Adding to the offensive blitz, the defense took a pick-six to the house and a blocked a punt for a score when it was already 52-3.

This game had a 7-6 final last year, and Florida A&M went on to play in the FCS Playoffs. The Rattlers already had a game under under their belts, performing admirably in a 52-24 loss at North Carolina and keeping that game close in to the 3rd quarter. Head coach Willie Simmons has been dealing with eligibility issues that kept 25 players and 3 starters off his opening week squad, but two of those starters were back for this contest.

In other words, Jackson State didn't beat up on nobody on Sunday and did a lot to support its Top Ten position in the Congrove Computer Rankings and preseason projection to finish the year with a No.2 ranking.


Navy became the second FBS team to fall to a FCS school over the Labor Day weekend when Delaware handed the Midshipmen a 14-7 loss in Annapolis on Saturday. The first was Friday night's William & Mary win at Charlotte.

Delaware has a slew of wins over FCS (1-AA) programs in their history and 8 have now come over Navy (2007, 2003, 1992, 1991, 1989, 1986 and 1985). The 1-AA classification began in 1978 and was renamed FCS in 2006.

Iowa needed a pair of second half safeties to provide the difference in the score of its 7-3 home win over FCS South Dakota State. The Jackrabbits entered the game ranked No. 2 in  the Congrove Computer Rankings of FCS schools.

Among other top teams in the Congrove Computer Rankings, No. 1 North Dakota State crushed Drake 56-14, No. 3 Montana State romped 40-17 over McNeese, No. 4 Eastern Washington escaped the upset bid and prevailed 36-29 over No. 70 Tennessee State, and No. 6 Montana was a convincing 47-0 winner over NW State, La.

Sacred Heart, a 7-point favorite and a 7.30-point pick by the computer, was a 6-0 upset loser at Lafayette.

Marist, a 2-point favorite and a 7.70-point choice by the computer, was blistered 43-12 at home by Georgetown.

Stephen F. Austin's first and only lead over Alcorn State came with 2:22 to play and help up for a 31-27 win for the Lumberjacks.

Incarnate Word opened as a 6.5-point underdog at home to Southern Illinois and closed as a 4-point dog. The computer had UIW outright, albeit by 0.38, and the Cardinals flew 64-29 over the Salukis.


The FCS picked up its first win of the season over a FBS school as William & Mary outscored Charlotte 21-0 in the 4th quarter for the 41-24 win. It was the first win for the Tribe against a FBS program since toppling the Virginia Cavaliers in 2009.

Heading into the Labor Day weekend, FBS schools were 1,578-140 (.919) vs. FCS programs since 2003.

Villanova, the No. 8 team in the Congrove Computer Rankings, handled Lehigh 45-17.

Eastern Kentucky put up a fight at Eastern Michigan, but fell 42-34. The Colonels scored with 1:11 left but the Eagles recovered the onside kick to end any threat of a miracle finish for EKU.

Tennessee Tech saw Kansas jump out to a 21-0 in the first quarter, including a 50-yard blocked field goal return, and the Golden Eagles were unceremoniously dismissed by a 56-10 count.

Holy Cross, ranked 16th by the computer, opened its season with a 31-17 win at Merrimack.

53 games involving at least one FCS team will take place on Saturday.


Bryant University of Smithfield, Rhode Island.  Enrollment - 3,287. Member FCS.
Florida International University (FIU) of Miami, Florida. Enrollment - 55,000. Member FBS.

None of that mattered on Thursday night when the two teams played in Miami as FIU needed a comeback and a 2-point conversion in overtime to stave off the Bryant upset and escape with a 38-37 win. The Congrove Computer Rankings at had made a rare projection of a FCS win over the FBS by giving the Bulldogs a 3.75-point advantage against a 10.5-point spread favoring the Golden Panthers.

Heading into the Labor Day weekend, FBS schools were 1,578-140 (.919) vs. FCS programs since 2003.

Also in overtime, St. Francis (PA) came close to winning at Akron. The Zips got a TD run in the extra stanza, followed by a game-sealing INT, to register a 30-23 escape.

Another overtime game on Thursday night saw Indiana State edge North Alabama at home, 17-14.

Northern Illinois never trailed, but gave up almost all of a 22-point lead as the Huskies beat Eastern Illinois 34-27.

San Jose State rallied to a  21-17 win over Portland State by virtue of a 2-yard run with 1:11 left after the Vikings had to pint on 4th-and-2 from their own 9-yard line. Isaiah Hamilton returned the 42-yard kick for 19 yards to the Portland State 32 to set-up the 6-play drive aided by 24 yards in penalties, including a facemask 15-yarder that nullified a sack.

The biggest upset of the night happened in the Birmingham suburb of Homewood where No. 36 Samford knocked of 5th-ranked Kennesaw 27-17 as the Bulldogs outscored the Owls 13-0 in the final period.

No. 26 Monmouth fell 31-21 at a New Hampshire team that was ranked 105th.

In a game that opened in the sportsbooks favoring Stony Brook by 2.5, the computer had visiting Rhode Island by 0.56 and the Rams rolled, 35-14.


There will be 118 FBS vs. FCS matchups this season with App State, Army and Marshall each playing two such games, and 115 other FBS schools playing one apiece.

Jacksonville State has victories at Florida State (2021) and FIU (2020) over the last two seasons and visits Tulsa this season. The Gamecocks will move up to the FBS next season and join Conference USA, along with Stephen F. Austin. Jacksonville State hired former West Virginia/Michigan/Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez steer the move.

Another traditional FCS heavyweight, James Madison, has made that switch for this season as a new member of the Sun Belt.

There were 4 FBS-FCS games in Week Zero with the FBS going 4-0. Labor Day weekend saw 37 such games and the FCS broke through with two victories.

That made the FBS 39-2 for the season and 1,613-142 (.919) since we began tracking this in 2003.

Here are the FCS wins in 2022:
September 2: William & Mary 41, Charlotte 24
September 3: Delaware14, Navy 7


SAN DIEGO - Won 8 straight over-all (FCS longest)
Last: Won 58-0 vs. D3 La Verne on Saturday, September 3.
Next: at Cal Poly on Saturday, September 10 as next 3 games are on the road..

ALCORN STATE - Had won 13 straight home games (FCS longest), but lost 31-27 at home to Stephen F. Austin.
Last: Lost 31-27 at home to Stephen F. Austin on Saturday, September 3.
Next: Visits FBS member Tulane on Saturday, September 10.

MONTANA STATE - Bobcats replace Alcorn State with current longest home winning streak at 13 games.
Last: Won 40-17 at home vs. McNeese State
Next: Hosts Morehead State on Saturday, September 10.

SOUTH CAROLINA STATE - Won 12 straight conference games (FCS longest).
Last: Lost 56-10 at FBS member UCF.
Next: Visits Bethune-Cookman on Saturday, September 10 as first four games are on the road..

DARTMOUTH - Won 11 straight road games (FCS longest).
Last: Won 52-31 at Brown on Saturday, Nov.. 20.
Next: Hosts Valparaiso on Saturday, September 17.

TEXAS SOUTHERN - Lost 19 straight road games (FCS longest).
Last: Lost 40-23 at Prairie View A&M on Saturday, September 3.
Next: Visits FBS member North Texas on Saturday, September 10.

WAGNER -  Lost 21 straight overall, 14 straight conference games, and 11 straight at home (all are FCS longest).
LAST: Lost 48-31 at home to Fordham on Thursday, September 1.
Next: Visits FBS member Rutgers on Saturday, September 10.