May 15, 2017

(STATS) - Coming off a 2016 season in which their 10 wins over FBS programs tied for the fourth most in a season, FCS programs hope to make a mark again in 2017.

Ohio Valley Conference teams are involved in 11 of the nearly 100 matchups. The conference didn't beat an FBS opponent from 2004-10, but has at least one win in five of the last seven seasons, including Eastern Illinois over Miami of Ohio last September.

Here's a look at this year's matchups involving OVC teams:

The matchups (11) - Austin Peay vs. Cincinnati (Aug. 31) and Miami of Ohio (Sept. 9); Eastern Illinois vs. Northern Illinois (Sept. 9); Eastern Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky (Sept. 2) and Kentucky (Sept. 9); Jacksonville State vs. Georgia Tech (Sept. 9); Murray State vs. Louisville (Sept. 30); Southeast Missouri State vs. Kansas (Sept. 2); Tennessee State vs. Georgia State (Aug. 31); Tennessee Tech vs. Ball State (Sept. 16); UT Martin vs. Ole Miss (Sept. 9)

Glamour game - Jacksonville State at Georgia Tech: Fourth-year Gamecocks coach John Grass' only regular-season losses are against FBS opponents (a who's who list of Michigan State, Auburn in overtime and LSU). While Georgia Tech won two prior meetings with Jacksonville State in 2008 and '09, the Gamecocks have beaten two FBS opponents since then (Ole Miss in two overtimes in 2010 and Georgia State in overtime in 2013). That makes three OT games versus the FBS in the last seven seasons.

Upset alert - Tennessee State at Georgia State. The season-opening buildup at Georgia State will be about the Panthers moving into the former Turner Field for home games. The focus at Tennessee State will be on pulling an upset. New TSU quarterback Treon Harris faced better competition as a Florida Gator than Georgia State, a Sun Belt program coming off a 3-9 season.

Notable - In its second FBS game of the season, Austin Peay will face Miami of Ohio for the first time. The Tennessee Tech-Ball State and UT Martin-Ole Miss matchups also are first-time meetings. ... The most recent Eastern Illinois-Northern Illinois matchup in 2013 - a 43-39 NIU win - showcased EIU quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (the Walter Payton Award winner) against NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch (third in the Heisman Trophy voting). ... Southeast Missouri was competitive in its only other game against Kansas, 34-28 in 2014. ... Eastern Kentucky and Western Kentucky will meet for the 85th time, but it's the first meeting since 2008. Kentucky has won all four games against Eastern, but two years ago the visiting Colonels held a 14-point lead with five minutes remaining before the Wildcats escaped 34-27 in overtime. ... Murray State has 19 returning starters to take on its trip to Louisville. The Racers trail 6-13 in the intrastate series and have another game scheduled at Louisville in 2020.

You May Like