Week Zero FCS Recap: Jackson State Impresses; Mercer and Albany Also Win

August 26, 2023 by CollegeFootballPoll.com Staff

Jackson State appears to be in good shape after an opening night 37-7 romp over South Carolina State in the MEAC-SWAC Challenge Kickoff on the campus of Georgia State University.

Even without Deion Sanders as head coach, son Shedeur at QB, and previous number one overall recruit Travis Hunter, the Tigers not only looked impressive, but dare we say, better. A ton of players left the program, either to follow Deion to Colorado or go to other schools. But an unexpected slew of players also transferred to Jackson State.

It was a resounding victory in the head coaching debut of Deion's recommended successor, T.C. Taylor, led on the field by well-traveled quarterback Jason Brown who was 26-of-33 for 361 yards with 3 TD passes and no INT's for the Tigers. Brown spent the 2022 season at Virginia Tech, where he played in only three games and was 7-for-13 for 65 yards with no touchdowns. In 2021, he made four starts for South Carolina and lead upsets over Florida and Auburn, but left with Spencer Rattler transferred in from Oklahoma. He began his college career at FCS member St. Francis (PA) in 2017 and became the starter in 2019, throwing for 3,084 yards and 28 touchdowns with 6 INT's.

The FCS Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com had Jackson State projected to go 10-1 this season, including 8-0 in the SWAC, and finish the regular season ranked 16th.

North Alabama and Mercer began the FCS season with a 3:30 eastern time start in the 9th annual Montgomery, Alabama FCS Kickoff. The Bears, currently ranked 10th by the computer, prevailed 17-7 over the No. 97 Lions. The loss spoiled the debut of North Alabama head coach Brent Dearmon. His only other head coaching experience was two years at the high school level in 2011-2012, and most recently for 2 years at NAIA member Bethel (TN) where we went 10-1 in 2018.

The game begin an hour after Navy and Notre Dame started the FBS season in Dublin, Ireland.

The only other FCS game sent Fordham to Albany and the Great Danes pulled away for a 34-13 victory.

Also See: FCS Picks/Schedule/Odds


No FBS-FCS games were scheduled for week zero.

The FCS was 8-112 (.067) vs. the FBS last year, and is 148-1,648 (.081) since we began tracking this in 2003. 116 of the 131 FBS schools played at least one such game while Appalachian State, Army, Marshall and New Mexico State each played two.This season has 117 of the 133 FBS schools facing one FCS opponent, and Army playing two such games for a total of 118 FBS-FCS matchups.

These were the FCS wins in 2022:
September 2: William & Mary 41, Charlotte 24
September 3: Delaware14, Navy 7
September 10: Weber State 35, Utah State 7
September 10: Incarnate Word 55, Nevada 41
September 10: Holy Cross 37, Buffalo 31
September 10: Eastern Kentucky 59, Bowling Green 57 (7 OT's)
September 17: Southern Illinois 31, Northwestern 24
September 24: Sacramento State 41, Colorado State 10

Streaks - Current FCS Longest

SOUTH DAKOTA STATE - Won 14 straight over-all
Last: FCS Playoff 1-seed won 45-21 over North Dakota State in FCS Championship game on Sunday, January 8 at 2 p.m.
Next: Hosts Western Oregon on Thursday, August 31.

MONTANA STATE - Won 20 straight home games.
Last: FCS Playoff 4-seed lost 39-18 at 1-seed South Dakota State on Saturday, December 17.
Next: Hosts Utah Tech on Saturday, September 2.

WESTERN ILLINOIS - Lost 13 straight over-all.
Last: Lost 20-13 in OT at Illinois State on Saturday, November 19.
Next: Visits FBS member New Mexico State on Saturday, September 2.

WAGNER - Lost 19 straight road games.
Last: Lost 33-0 at Duquesne on Saturday, November 19.
Next: Visits Fordham on Saturday, September 2.

PRESBYTERIAN - Lost 16 straight conference games.
Last: Lost 42-21at Stetson on Saturday, November 19.
Next: Visits Murray State on Saturday, September 2.

HOUSTON CHRISTIAN - Lost 11 straight home games.
Last: Lost 49-7 at Tarleton on Saturday, November 19.
Next: Hosts NAIA member Arkansas Baptist on Saturday, September 2.

GEORGETOWN - Lost 11 straight home games.
Last: Lost 47-10 at home to Holy Cross on Saturday, November 19.
Next: Hosts Marist on Saturday, September 2.