Weekend Recap - Late Scores Lift SDSU over Nortern Iowa, and Elon over Davidson

February 21, 2021 by Staff

A 20-game schedule for this weekend became just a 13-game slate due to snow and ice storms. As far as the games that were played, the home team dominated by winning 10 of the 11 contests while a 12th game was played in neutral territory.

Sunday's slate was led by top-ranked North Dakota State opening the season in the Fargodome against Youngstown State and new head coach Doug Phillips.

The Bison notched their 39th straight win overall, and 30th straight at home, with a closer-than-expected 25-7 win over the Penguins. Oddsmakers had NDSU favored by 25 while the computer liked NDSU by 37.94. QB Neb Zoland only threw 18 passes, completing 9 for 74 yards, while the Bison rushed for 243. The ground attach was paced by Kobe Johnson's 114 yards. Youngstown State was held to 171 total yards.

Sunday also had the debut of "Coach Prime" as Jackson State and Deion Sanders opened against NAIA member Edward Waters and secured the school's first shutout since 2014 with a 53-0 victory.

FCS newcomer Tarleton State crushed New Mexico State 43-17 in its adopted home headquarters of El Paso. It was 33-7 at halftime. The Aggies were 3-point favorites in the sportsbooks and a 10.67-point computer pick.

One of the best games of the weekend also went against the norm as visiting South Dakota State scored on a 1-yard pass from Mark Gronowski to Pierre Strong with 19 seconds left for a 24-20 win at Northern Iowa on Friday night..

The Jackrabbits were preseason picked to finish 16th in the Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com, while the Panthers were No. 4 and projected to be one of the 6 teams that would receive an at-large bid to the FCS playoffs. Now, SDSU takes a leg-up in that race.

Another down-to-the-wire finish saw homestanding Elon topple Davidson 26-23 on a 2-yard pass from Joey Baughman to Donovan Williams with 32 ticks left on the clock. Elon was an 18.5-point Vegas pick while the computer had the Phoenix by much less at 6.71 points in the Saturday afternoon contest. The Phoenix have won three straight over the Wildcats after losing the first 16 meetings. All of Davidson's wins in the series came between 1921 and 1948 and 13 of them were by shutout. Elon has now won in 1954, 2009 and this year.

• November 18, 1921 - Elon 0, Davidson 47 (Davidson, N.C.)
• September 23, 1922 - Elon 0, Davidson 24 (Davidson, N.C.)
• September 22, 1923 - Elon 0, Davidson 19 (Davidson, N.C.)
• September 20, 1924 - Elon 0, Davidson 14 (Davidson, N.C.)
• September 19, 1925 - Elon 0, Davidson 31 (Davidson, N.C.)
• September 18, 1926 - Elon 0, Davidson 31 (Davidson, N.C.)
• October 15, 1927 - Elon 0, Davidson 27 (Davidson, N.C.)
• October 6, 1928 - Elon 0, Davidson 52 (Davidson, N.C.)
• September 21, 1929 - Elon 6, Davidson 20 (Davidson, N.C.)
• September 20, 1930 - Elon 0, Davidson 38 (Davidson, N.C.)
• September 19, 1931 - Elon 2, Davidson 13 (Davidson, N.C.)
• September 23, 1933 - Elon 0, Davidson 6 (Davidson, N.C.)
• September 15, 1934 - Elon 6, Davidson 33 (Davidson, N.C.)
• September 21, 1935 - Elon 0, Davidson 7 (Davidson, N.C.)
• September 20, 1947 - Elon 0, Davidson 19 (Davidson, N.C.)
• September 18, 1948 - Elon 0, Davidson 25 (Davidson, N.C.)
• November 20, 1954 - Elon 14, Davidson 6 (Davidson, N.C.)
• September 5, 2009 - Elon 56, Davidson 0 (Elon, N.C.)
• September 20, 2021 - Elon 26, Davidson 23 (Elon, N.C.)

North Dakota on Saturday beat the spread by 27.5 points with a 44-21 win over Southern Illinois which lost the turnover battle 5-0 with 3 INT's and 2 funbles. The Salukis were a 4.5-point favorite at most sportsbooks, while the computer only gave SIU a 0.97-point edge. Both teams were projected by the computer to finish 4-4. A 16-14 UND advantage at halftime balooned to 44-14 early in the fourth quarter as Southern Illinois' first three drives of the second half ended with a 3-and-out and 2 interceptions. Another turnover by the Salukis was the reason for the Fighting Hawks grabbing the halftime lead as Devon Krzanowski scored on a 36-yard fumble return with 1:39 to play before the break.

Nicholls State opened the season on Friday night by blasting Division 2 foe Lincoln University of Jefferson City, Missouri, 87-3. The single-game scoring record for the Colonels included a rushing touchdown by 8 different players, 4 TD passes from two different QB's, and a fumble return for a touchdown.

Tennessee Tech on Sunday scored 24 straight points after trailing Austin Peay 14-3 in the second and went on to defeat the Governors 27-21. The Golden Eagles were underdogs by 6.5-points in the sportsbooks and 7.88 points by the computer.

7 games Postponed, 1 Likely Canceled

At the start of the week, it was going seem a little more like a football season this weekend as the FCS had 20 games scheduled between Friday and Sunday. Unfortunately, winter weather forced 7 games to be moved and Covid likely canceled another.

VMI at Chattanooga - Covid issues at UTC - canceled for now
Western Illinois at South Dakota - Covid issues with WIU - moved to April 17
Sam Houston State at Incarnate Word - weather - moved to April 17
Illinois State at Missouri State - weather - moved to April 17
Jacksonville State at Tennessee State - field conditions - moved to March 7
Eastern Illinois at Tennessee-Martin - weather - moved to March 7
NW State, La. at Lamar - weather - moved to March 27.
Murray State at Southeast Missouri - weather - moved to March 7.

See: Picks and Scores