2020 FCS Season: Inside The Box Score for Week 3

The college football season has made it through three weeks of games. FCS teams played five games this past weekend with all five coming against FBS competition. One game originally scheduled for Saturday, September 19 but has been postponed to October 10 is Central Arkansas‘ visit to Arkansas State.

Below is a look back on trends from week three.

9/18CampbellCoastal Carolina21-43
9/19Austin PeayCincinnati20-55
9/19Stephen F. AustinUT-San Antonio10-24
9/19The CitadelClemson0-49
9/19Abilene ChristianUTEP13-17

FCS Versus FBS Points and Yardage

We will keep track of points and yardage for each FCS versus FBS game this season. Listed below are the FCS team, points scored by each FCS team, points given up, offensive yards gained by each FCS team, and yards given up by each FCS team. Totals and averages since week one are also provided.

To date, 15 FCS versus FBS games have been played.

FCS TeamPointsOpp. PointsOff. YardsDef. Yards
Abilene Christian1317308293
Austin Peay2055353525
The Citadel049162405
Stephen F. Austin1024344498
Week 3 Totals641881,5092,183
Week 3 Averages12.837.6301.8436.6
Week 2 Totals752481,7343,062
Week 2 Averages12.541.33289510.3
Week 1 Totals801851,2582,171
Week 1 Averages2046.3314.5542.8
YTD Totals2196214,5017,416
YTD Averages14.641.4300.1494.4

The historical scoring average through 2019 of FCS versus FBS games since the Division I split in 1978 was 15 points for FCS teams and 37 points for FBS squads. In 2019, FCS teams averaged 13.9 points per game against FBS teams while FCS teams gave up 43 points per game on defense.

FCS Versus FBS Conference and Team Records

Below are the records for each conference for FCS versus FBS games. A running total will be kept throughout the season and updated weekly. Historical team records can be found here and historical conference records can be found here.

Team2020 vs. FBSAll-Time RecordLast FBS Win
Abilene Christian0-11-102014
Austin Peay0-21-301987
The Citadel0-28-452019
Stephen F. Austin0-22-242003
ConferenceWeekly Record2020 Record
ACC (FBS)1-02-0
American Athletic (FBS)1-02-0
Big 12 (FBS)0-03-0
Big South (FCS)0-10-2
Conference USA (FBS)2-06-0
MVFC (FCS)0-00-1
Ohio Valley (FCS)0-10-4
SoCon (FCS)0-10-2
Southland (FCS)0-20-6
Sun Belt (FBS)1-02-0

FCS School Trends Versus FBS Teams

Abilene Christian played a hard-fought game against UTEP but came up just short in a 17-13 loss. For the Wildcats, it was the first game against an FBS opponent to finish within a touchdown since their lone FCS over FBS victory in 2014 when they defeated Troy 38-35. Overall, it was the third loss decided by a touchdown or less against an FBS team.

Austin Peay continues a rough streak against FBS competition. The 55-20 loss against Cincinnati was the 28th in a row by double digits when facing FBS foes. The Governors’ best result in that span was against Cincinnati in 2017 when they lost 26-14. The Governors have concluded their fall campaign as the focus will shift to improving for Ohio Valley competition in the spring.

Campbell has started the season with back-to-back games at Sun Belt opponents and this week’s game was not nearly as close as last week. Campbell has played 5 FBS opponents – all from the Sun Belt. They lost the first three by an average of 44 points per game. That average margin of defeat has dropped to 31 points per game for those five games.

While the Camels may have lost to Coastal Carolina, their appearance on ESPN gave them national exposure for the second week in a row. Head coach Mike Minter and quarterback Hajj-Malik Williams acquitted themselves well on a national stage with the future looking bright for both Campbell and the Big South.

The Citadel faced a monumental task against Clemson and had little to show for their efforts in a 49-0 thrashing. The last time the Bulldogs were shutout by an FBS opponent, it was Maryland who had the honors on September 13, 2003 by a score of 61-0. Prior to that? It was Clemson again on September 2, 2000 by a tally of 38-0.

Stephen F. Austin had another in-state FBS opponent this week in Texas-San Antonio. The defense has allowed 24 points in each of the first two games and it is not the first time they have held back-to-back FBS foes to the same point total. They did so in 2010 against Texas A&M (48-7 loss) and then again in 2011 versus Baylor (48-0 loss).

This was also the fifth time SFA faced a Conference USA foe. The Lumberjacks are 0-5 with the average margin of defeat at 24.4 points per game.

Special Teams Getting Back to Good

After a terrible week one on field goals, FCS kickers have had back-to-back weeks of similar results. FCS kickers went 1 for 7 in week one but the other three weeks (including week zero) saw them go a combined 15 for 20 on field goals.

Kicking and special teams issues are unsurprising given the lack of a full spring and summer practice for some programs. Overall, week one is looking more and more like an aberration.

WeekField GoalsExtra Points
Week 04/43/3
Week 11/711/11
Week 25/86/7
Week 36/84/5

Campbell officially missed only one extra point when it was blocked but they also had a botched snap that led to two extra points being left on the field. The Camels also missed an extra point last week against Georgia Southern – in a one-point loss.

What’s Ahead

16 FCS games are in the books and 38 are still scheduled to be played as of this writing. The full FCS schedule for 2020 can be found here.

Five games are scheduled for week four with two games featuring FCS versus FCS matchups. All five games can be found below.

DateAwayHomeTime (ET)TV
9/26CampbellAppalachian State12 PMESPN+
9/26Eastern KentuckyThe Citadel1 PMESPN+
9/26Houston BaptistLouisiana Tech7 PMESPN3
9/26Stephen F. AustinSMU7 PMESPN+
9/26Missouri StateCentral Arkansas8 PMESPN3
Photo courtesy of Campbell University Athletics.

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