Five 'other' FCS games in the spotlight

By CRAIG HALEY

STATS FCS Senior Editor

(STATS) - The "other" big games in the FCS are pretty darn good this week.

So much attention has been paid to top-ranked James Madison hosting not only No. 11 Villanova, but ESPN's "College GameDay" as well Saturday.

Yet there are plenty of other intriguing games across the FCS, led by these five:

Penn (2-2, 0-1 Ivy League) at Columbia (4-0, 1-0) - Al Bagnoli won nine Ivy League titles as Penn's coach, but in his third season at Columbia, the Lions have surpassed last year's win total with their best start in 21 years. Penn has won a share of both league titles since Bagnoli retired after the 2014 season, only to unretire to take over the Lions.

Eastern Kentucky (1-4, 1-1 Ohio Valley) at No. 3 Jacksonville State (4-1, 2-0) - The host Gamecocks have tied the 1990-92 Eastern Kentucky teams with a record 26 straight Ohio Valley Conference wins. This year's Colonels squad has the chance to keep a share of the mark within the program.

Montana State (2-3, 2-1 Big Sky) at No. 10 Eastern Washington (4-2, 3-0) - While EWU has won four straight meetings in this rivalry, Montana State is dangerous, having played well against a rugged schedule. The running of Bobcats quarterback Chris Murray and passing of Eagles stud Gage Gubrud is a terrific matchup within the matchup.

No. 5 Wofford (5-0, 3-0 Southern) at No. 23 The Citadel (3-2, 1-2) - The playoff hopes of two-time defending champ The Citadel will realistically be over unless it beats rival Wofford in its 500th all-time Southern Conference game. In close games, the first-place Terriers keep delivering in the clutch.

No. 2 North Dakota State (5-0, 2-0 Missouri Valley) at No. 8 Youngstown State (3-2, 1-1) - If not for the "GameDay" visit to James Madison, this would be the week's biggest FCS game. North Dakota State had its five-year run as national champion ended by the Dukes in the semifinals last season before Youngstown State fell to them in the title game.

Updated October 13, 2017

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