Montana, ranked No.9 in the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 preseason poll, left Husky Stadium with a spectacular 13-7 victory over Washington No.20. Montana defenseman Gavin Robertson had a monster day with two picks from Washington quarterback Dylan Morris, while linebacker Patrick O’Connell added three tackles for a loss and a pair of sacks in the defensive battle.
The victory was a historic moment for the FCS, but was only part of what has been a tremendous start to the 2021 season. East Tennessee State crushed SEC opponent Vanderbilt 23-3 in a Hard start for coach Clark Lea as Holy Cross beat UConn 38-28. Dan Hawkins’ UC Davis team upset Tulsa 19-17 on Friday night and 2021 FCS runner-up South Dakota State crushed Colorado State 42-23. Eastern Washington beat UNLV on Thursday, bringing the total number of FCS disruptions on FBS to six.
Even more surprisingly, the numbers could have been even higher. Northern Iowa clashed with the No.7 from Iowa State and had one last chance to win the game, but narrowly missed 16-10. Montana State gave Wyoming everything they could manage before losing 19-16. Missouri State rivaled Oklahoma State, especially as the Cowboys played without starting quarterback Spencer Sanders, but couldn’t quite come back. Even Gardner-Webb challenged Georgia Southern.
While FCS teams play with fewer stock players, many still come to the table with FBS level talent. Fordham linebacker Ryan Greenhagen, for example, recorded more tackles than any player in FBS history against Nebraska. After a year of absence, the FCS seems ready to make a statement.