Hello Justin Berendzen (@jrberendzen on Twitter) here with my top FCS matchups of week 8.
1.Jacksonville State at Sam Houston State
This is going to be a test for Sam Houston and I think that there is a chance that Jacksonville State pulls off the upset of the defending champions. The Bearkats are led offensively by there grad wide receiver Jequez Ezzard who is having a down year but he can still be a threat out there even though he only has 161 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. And trying to stop Sam Houston offensively will be Gamecocks junior defensive end DJ Coleman who has 33 tackles, 3 TFLs and 2 sacks. Offensively for the Gamecocks it’s all about what redshirt senior quarterback Zerrick Cooper who has had off and on games and missed time but if he is on he can be successful and lead the Gamecocks past Sam Houston State. In Cooper’s way will be 2 Bearkats who know how to get to the quarterback redshirt junior linebacker Markel Perry who has 28 tackles, 12 TFLs, 3.5 sacks and 4 QBHs, and senior defensive lineman Jahari Kay who has 18 tackles, 7.5 TFLs and 3.5 sacks in 2021 so far.
2.Harvard University at Princeton University
Big time Ivy League matchup here. The Tigers offense is led by senior wide receiver Jacob Birmelin who has 528 yards and 2 touchdowns. And in his way will be Crimson senior cornerback Khalid Thomas who has 2 interceptions and 3 PBUs in 2021. The Harvard offense has junior running back Aaron Shampklin who on the season has 468 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns. And the Princeton defense is led by 2 defensive linemen junior Uche Ndukwe who has 12 tackles, 5.5 TFLs and 4.5 sacks, and senior Samuel Wright II who has 15 tackles, 4.5 TFLs and 4.5 sacks. Harvard defensively also has 2 good defensive linemen in sophomore Nate Leskovec who has 14 tackles, 6 TFLs and 5 sacks, and junior Jacob Sykes who has 15 tackles, 4.5 TFLs and 4.5 sacks.
3.University of Rhode Island at Villanova University
Very interesting CAA matchup after a week 7 filled with chaos. Villanova comes in after a shaky performance against Albany and Rhode Island losing to Towson they are both looking to put up better performances week 8. Villanova offensively has Rayjoun Pringle junior wide receiver who has 420 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns. Offensively for the Rams its about redshirt senior Justice Antrum who has 515 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns. Trying to stop the Rhode Island offense will be Villanova redshirt senior defensive back Christian Benford who has 23 tackles, 4 interceptions and 8 PBUs.
4.James Madison University at University of Delaware
Another fun CAA matchup even though Delaware has been all over the place this is at Delaware and I think that plays a huge part in this being one to watch. Offensively for the Blue Hens they are led by grad running back Dejoun Lee who has 562 yards and 2 touchdowns and in Lee’s way for the James Madison is redshirt senior defensive lineman Bryce Carter who has 25 tackles, 8.5 TFLs and 3.5 sacks. James Madison offensively they have one of the better redshirt freshman wide receivers in FCS Antwane Wells Jr who has 522 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns. Nijuel Hill 5th year defensive back is going to be one of the guys trying to stop Wells for the Blue Hens who has 19 tackles, 3 TFLs and 3 PBUs.
5.Duquesne University at Sacred Heart University
While neither of these teams are ranked I do believe that this will be a fun game. Sacred Heart has one of the best running backs in junior Malik Grant who has 853 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns in 2021. Defensively for Duquesne you have sophomore defensive back Jeremiah Josephs who has 22 tackles, 2 interceptions and 2 PBUs. For the Dukes offensively they have grad Cyrus Holder who has very good size and 243 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns on the season. The Sacred Heart defense has an absolute beast on the defensive line in senior Kevin Peprah who has 28 tackles, 8 TFLs and 5.5 sacks.