2020 FCS Season: Inside The Box Score for Week 5

With September in the rearview mirror, the fifth week of the college football season brought the beginning of October and 7 FCS games. Below is a look back on trends from week five.

10/2CampbellWake Forest14-66
10/3North AlabamaLiberty7-28
10/3Abilene ChristianArmy23-55
10/3Houston BaptistEastern Kentucky33-30
10/3Central ArkansasNorth Dakota State28-39
10/3Jacksonville StateFlorida State24-41
10/3West Texas A&MStephen F. Austin6-34

FCS Versus FBS Points and Yardage

We 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, 22 FCS versus FBS games have been played. Both charts and tables are provided to show the change over the course of the season. The number of games played each week is listed in parentheses.

FCS TeamFCS PointsFBS PointsFCS Off. YardsFCS Def. Yards
Abilene Christian2355388493
Jacksonville State2441307531
North Alabama728247357
Week 5 Totals (4)681901,3041,955
Week 5 Averages1747.5326488.8
Week 4 Totals (3)661681,0221,509
Week 4 Averages2256340.7503
Week 3 Totals (5)641881,5092,183
Week 3 Averages12.837.6301.8436.6
Week 2 Totals (6)752481,7343,062
Week 2 Averages12.541.3289510.3
Week 1 Totals (4)801851,2582,171
Week 1 Averages2046.3314.5542.8
YTD Totals (22)3539796,82710,880
YTD Averages1644.5310.3494.5

The historical scoring average through 2019 for 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 Christian0-21-112014
Jacksonville State0-15-222013
North Alabama0-10-1Never
ConferenceWeekly Record2020 Record
ACC (FBS)2-04-0
American Athletic (FBS)0-03-0
Big 12 (FBS)0-03-0
Big South (FCS)0-20-5
Conference USA (FBS)0-07-0
FBS Independents2-02-0
MVFC (FCS)0-00-1
Ohio Valley (FCS)0-10-5
SoCon (FCS)0-00-2
Southland (FCS)0-10-9
Sun Belt (FBS)0-03-0

FCS School Trends Versus FBS Teams

Abilene Christian went to West Point and lost 55-23 against Army. The Wildcats are now 1-11 all-time against FBS foes but the 32-point loss at Army was only their second-worst versus FBS teams. The lone game that resulted in a larger margin of defeat was the 45-7 loss at Mississippi State in 2019.

Campbell ended its 2020 season with a rough 66-14 loss at Wake Forest. It was Campbell’s first-ever game against a Power 5 opponent after the previous six games against FBS teams were from the Sun Belt. Unfortunately, it was the second time the Camels gave up 66 points to an FBS team as they did so against Appalachian State in 2014. Wake Forest’s 66 points were also the most they have ever scored against an FCS team with the previous record of 53 coming against Presbyterian in 2010.

Jacksonville State put a scare into Florida State and the 41-24 final score was deceiving for what was seen on the field. The Gamecocks also played the Seminoles tough back in 2009 when FSU won 19-9. Jacksonville State has faced only two ACC opponents in its history – Florida State and Georgia Tech – but played a total of 5 games against them. The Gamecocks are 0-5 in those games but they will get another crack against Florida State next season.

North Alabama’s game against Liberty is the easiest one to comb through the records for as Liberty was the first-ever FBS opponent for the Lions. The Lions played quite well defensively against Liberty as they surrendered only 7 first-half points in 28-7 loss. North Alabama faces two more FBS opponents this fall in Southern Miss (11/7) and BYU (11/21).

Field Goal and Extra Point Trends

Special teams have been worth keeping an eye this fall given the lack of a full spring and summer practice for most programs. Week one saw FCS kickers convert just one of their seven field goal attempts but have yet to have a similarly poor week since then. Week five saw FCS kickers miss 6 field goal attempts just like week one but they also attempted 8 more field goals.

Overall, week one is looking more and more like an aberration though field goal kicking continues to be shaky. A table and chart are shown below for field goals (in blue) and extra points (in orange). The number of games played in each week is listed in parentheses.

WeekField GoalsFG %Extra PointsXP %
Week 04/4100%3/3100%
Week 11/714%11/11100%
Week 25/863%6/786%
Week 36/875%4/580%
Week 44/667%16/1984%
Week 59/1560%25/2793%
2020 Totals29/4860%65/7290%

What’s Ahead for Week Six

As of this writing, we are nearly halfway through the FCS season with 28 of the 58 games completed. The latest updated FCS schedule for 2020 can be found here.

Week six showcases four FCS games with two against FBS competition, one against a Division II opponent, and one all-FCS matchup.

DateAwayHomeTime (ET)TV
10/10The CitadelArmy1:30 PMCBSSN
10/10MercerJacksonville State3 PMESPN+
10/10Central ArkansasArkansas State3:30 PMESPN3
10/10Angelo StateStephen F. Austin5 PM
Photo courtesy of Jacksonville State University Athletics.

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