The State of FCS Nation: 5 Takeaways From Week 0

FCS football is officially back! Austin Peay kicked off Week 0 for the FCS, here are five takeaways from the first week of FCS football!

North Carolina's George Pettaway (23) evades Florida A&M's Eric Smith (8), Gentle Hunt (92) and Justin Cooks (57) en route to a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022.
Source: AP Photo/Chris Seward
  1. It’s early. Stephen F. Austin and Mercer fans are on opposite sides of the emotional spectrum after Week 0. SFA didn’t play well and got thoroughly whipped by Jacksonville State in the FCS Kickoff while Mercer destroyed Morehead State out of the Pioneer League. It's hard to draw many conclusions from either of those games other than how the teams looked. The Lumberjacks had a chance to go up three scores after they blocked a chip shot field goal but had to punt and the game was all Jacksonville State after that. Mercer set the tone early and scored often against an over matched Eagles team. Mercer ran the ball effectively and dominated on both sides of the ball. A solid rushing attack and line play are necessary in a very tough and physical Southern Conference.
  2. Willie Simmons is an excellent coach. We have all heard the news about what's going on at FAMU on Friday. Even with a lot of ineligible players, the Rattlers still gave the FBS North Carolina Tarheels fits for three quarters. That’s a testament to how hard those players played for their head coach.
  3. Gotta be clean. Austin Peay let one get away from them against FBS Western Kentucky. The difference in the game was turnovers. If the Governors play a clean game they win by a couple of touchdowns. You can’t give an FBS opponent extra possessions and expect to win. The Governors offensive line held up well and their secondary played very well. Austin Peay is going to be a tough opponent for anyone in 2022.
  4. Buzz about the Hornets Defense. The Alabama State Hornets and head coach Eddie Robinson Jr won the MEAC/SWAC challenge over Howard behind a stifling defense that limited the Howard Bison to less than 270 yards of total offense. Others in the SWAC have gotten a lot of publicity this offseason but the Hornets struck the first blow against the MEAC that will end back in Atlanta for the Celebration Bowl.
  5. Everyone talks about the weather but nobody ever does anything about it. Lightning delays held up action in the FCS Kickoff, the MEAC/SWAC challenge, and the Duquesne vs Florida State game. Afternoon and evening thunderstorms are a way of life in the South. Hard to schedule earlier kickoffs until the end of September because of the heat. We just have to live with it.