Tennessee Tech quarterback Bailey Fisher during an NCAA football game against Notre Dame, Saturday, Sept. 7 , 2019 in Oxford , Ohio . (AP Photo/Tony Tribble)
- Week 2 of the FCS Spring Football season gets underway on Friday, February 19th
- There are already a few teams on upset alert
- See the odds and best upset picks for FCS Week 2 within the story below
The 2021 FCS spring football season has arrived, and there’s no shortage of intriguing matchups in Week 2. The action kicks off with a game between Northern Iowa and South Dakota State on Friday before picking up with 11 additional matchups across Saturday and Sunday.
The Panthers will look to shutdown Pierre Strong and the Jackrabbits in the MVFC, while Tennessee Tech is an intriguing home underdog against Austin Peay in OVC action.
Here are two upset picks you should consider for Week 2 of the FCS Spring season.
South Dakota State vs Northern Iowa Odds
|South Dakota State||-2.5 (-112)||-142||O 42.5 (-110)|
|Northern Iowa||+2.5 (-108)||+116||U 42.5 (-110)|
All Odds taken Feb. 19th from FanDuel
McElvain Leads Panthers to Season-Opening Upset
The Panthers will have one of the best quarterbacks in the FCS under center when they play host to South Dakota State in the season opener Friday evening. Will McElvain is back for another go after throwing for 2,778 yards and 20 touchdowns with seven interceptions as a freshman. He’ll have his favorite target back in Isaiah Weston, who is coming off consecutive 1,000 yard receiving seasons.
The existing chemistry between two of the most skilled players in the league is reason to back the Panthers as underdogs Friday evening. South Dakota State’s quarterback situation is much more unpredictable, with J’Bore Gibbs starting his first game since he was injured back in October of 2019. It’s no guarantee this passing attack clicks out of the gate, especially considering 1,000 yard receiver Cade Johnson has entered the NFL Draft.
— SDSU Football (@GoJacksFB) February 9, 2021
It’s no secret the Jackrabbits offense goes through elite running back Pierre Strong, which means UNI coach Mark Farley should have his team well prepared for what to expect. The Panthers limited 11 of their opponents last season to 14 points or less and feature three preseason All-MVC selections on defense in defensive end Jared Brinkman, linebacker Bryce Flater and cornerback Omar Brown.
Northern Iowa’s defense will continue to do what it did all of last season, and the chemistry between McElvain and Weston will be the difference as the Panthers kick off the season with a win in front of 2,500 fans at the UNI-Dome.
Pick: Northern Iowa Panthers Moneyline (+116)
Austin Peay vs Tennessee Tech Odds
|Austin Peay||-6.5 (-112)||-250||O 64.5 (-115)|
|Tennessee Tech||+6.5 (-108)||+198||U 64.5 (-105)|
Golden Eagles Play Spoiler to Austin Peay
Over in the Ohio Valley Conference , the Golden Eagles will look to play spoiler to the Governors when the two teams clash in their spring season opener at Tucker Stadium on Sunday. Austin Peay did get in three games during the 2020 fall season, but they didn’t look very good in the process, getting outscored 134-37 in losses to Central Arkansas, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.
There’s plenty of experience on this Tennessee Tech roster, including at the quarterback position with the return of junior Bailey Fisher. The dual-threat QB has thrown for 4,304 yards and 32 touchdowns while rushing for 835 yards and an additional 12 TDs in 22 career games at TTU. He’ll have some talented receivers at his disposal, including Metrius Fleming, who racked up 629 receiving yards in 2019.
This is what all conference looks like!!! Metrius Fleming pic.twitter.com/UdCYqNC0lG
— Bert Browne (@CoachBertBrowne) September 25, 2020
While quarterback is a major strength for the Golden Eagles, it’s the guys protecting Fisher that should have you considering a moneyline wager on TTU. Tennessee Tech is returning a veteran offensive line anchored by all-OVC selection Mike Rhoades and also including senior Kurt Huff and juniors Daly Cull and Spencer Stachyra. They shouldn’t have trouble protecting Fisher and opening holes for talented running back David Gist.
Austin Peay has a very talented receiving duo the Baniko Hartley and DeAngelo Wilson, but standout quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall transferred to Memphis and head coach Mark Hudspeth stepped down over the summer. There’s plenty of new faces on this roster and it might take some time for things to gel. The Golden Eagles are returning nine starters on offense and have the weapons to pick apart an Austin Peasy secondary that looked very vulnerable in the fall.
Pick: Tennessee Tech Moneyline (+198)
Brady is a passionate hockey fan and sports writer with over five years experience specializing in digital media, plus a degree in Broadcast Journalism. His work has been published by outlets such as ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and Fox Sports.