These are the games to watch — and ones that could affect the playoff picture — this week:
No. 2 Kennesaw State at Monmouth, Noon ET
The Big South will be decided this week. The second-ranked Owls (8-1, 4-0) take their ninth-ranked offense and third-ranked defense on the road to battle the Hawks (7-2, 3-0) in a game that is surely on upset radars.
LEAVE NO DOUBT. 👀🏆 pic.twitter.com/VSmKlwYod4
— Kennesaw State FB (@kennesawstfb) November 9, 2018
Kennesaw State has been unstoppable on one side of the ball and immovable on the other this year. Run-first quarterback Chandler Burks has scored 23 rushing touchdowns this season while the Owls defense has allowed just nine touchdowns all season. For Monmouth, this would be one of its biggest wins in program history. For that to happen, running backs Juwon Farri and Pete Guerriero have to be spectacular on the ground. They’re each averaging about 100 yards per game rushing for the Hawks.
No. 20 Towson at No. 5 Elon, Noon ET
The CAA championship is seemingly out of reach for the Towson Tigers (6-3, 4-2) following back-to-back losses to Delaware and Maine. But they could ruin Elon’s (6-2, 4-1) shot at the conference crown with an upset win this week.
In the past three weeks, Towson quarterback Tom Flacco has thrown five interceptions to seven touchdowns. While the turnovers haven’t necessarily culminated in losses all season, the Towson defense has allowed 40 and 35 points in the past two weeks. The Tigers will have to deal with one of the best running backs in the country this week in Jaylan Thomas. Since Davis Cheek went down for the Phoenix, Thomas has gained 150 and 222 rushing yards the past two games. With a win, Elon sets up a potential winner-take-all game in the season finale against No. 21 Maine.
No. 12 Delaware at No. 15 Stony Brook, 1 p.m. ET
The Delaware Blue Hens (7-2, 5-1) are one of the hottest teams in FCS and winners of five straight. Stony Brook (6-3, 4-2) hasn’t stolen the headlines in the crowded CAA this season, but the Seawolves are right in the mix for the conference title.
— Delaware Football (@DelawareFB) November 9, 2018
With a win and a game against Villanova (4-5, 1-5) next week, the Blue Hens could essentially clinch at least a share of the conference championship with a win this week. However, they’ll likely need more than their 268 yards of offense last week against last-place Albany. The deciding factors in this game will likely be Stony Brook’s CAA-leading running backs Jordan Gowins and Donald Liotine against the Delaware rushing defense, which ranks fourth in the CAA.
Incarnate Word at Central Arkansas, 4 p.m. ET
Yes, these two teams aren’t ranked, but the argument could be made that it’s the most important game on the schedule this week when it comes to the playoffs. Central Arkansas (5-4, 4-3) has put itself out of the Southland Conference with back-to-back losses, yet two wins to end the season could, at least, keep the Bears in consideration for the playoffs. Incarnate Word (5-4, 5-2) is still fighting for that automatic bid.
The Cardinals have had a remarkable turnaround from their 1-10 record last season. Running back Ra’Quanne Dickens and quarterback Jon Copeland lead the Southland with 6.6 yards per carry and more than 310 passing yards per game, respectfully.
No. 7 UC Davis at No. 3 Eastern Washington, 4:05 p.m. ET
The UC Davis Aggies (8-1, 6-0) are on the verge of their first-ever Big Sky championship. All that stands in their way is the toughest game on their schedule on the red field of the Eagles (7-2, 5-1).
Get Ready for a Great Show on The 🔴 this Saturday! Kickoff is set for 1:05 pm PT!
It’s also our annual Military Appreciation Game and fans can get a special $15 ticket now at https://t.co/TvcgnZMLYQ by using the Promocode: USAEAG#ProtectTheRed #GoEags pic.twitter.com/plG9IyQRvX
— No. 4/5 EWU Football (@EWUFootball) November 8, 2018
Quarterback Jake Maier has been the Aggies MVP this season, averaging more than 300 yards passing per game. Keelan Doss — one of the top wideouts in FCS — is his top target with 779 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. Eastern Washington has the best offense and defense that Davis will face this year. The Eagles are first in scoring defense in the Big Sky and second — only behind the Aggies — in scoring offense. If there’s a weakness that Eastern Washington can exploit, it’s the UC Davis passing defense which ranks 11th in the conference.
Eric Barriere has looked more comfortable each week since filling in for injured quarterback Gabe Gubrud. Barriere has completed more than 65 percent of his passes the past two weeks, throwing for 571 yards, five touchdowns, and one pick.