For the second time in as many weeks, the little brothers of college football have gotten over on their big-boy brethren.
Last weekend, it was Central Arkansas stunning Western Kentucky with a fourth-quarter comeback to erase a 28-14 deficit en route to claiming a 35-28 win in Bowling Green. One week later, Southern Illinois needed no late-game heroics whatsoever as the Salukis extended a 17-13 halftime lead to 31-13 at the end of the third quarter on their way to a 45-20 romp over UMass.
One of the best names at any level of football, Stone Labanowitz, passed for 265 yards and four touchdowns in SIU’s win. The Salukis’ defense, meanwhile, held the Minutemen to just 321 yards of offense, including an average of 2.6 yards per carry.
This marked FCS Southern Illinois’ third win over a member of the FBS, the first coming against Indiana in 2006 and the most recent against Northern Illinois a year later.
UMass, meanwhile, lost for the first time to an FCS team since beginning the transition to the FBS level in 2011. It was also the worst FBS lost to an FCS team since Western Carolina spanked Coastal Carolina 52-10 in 2017.
In their first year under head coach Walt Bell (pictured), the Minutemen are now 0-2. In the opener against Rutgers last week, UMass jumped out to a 21-7 first-quarter lead before getting rolled 48-21.
For those wondering, the most wins for FCS teams over those from the FBS in a single season is 17 back in 1987, with 16 o those upsets coming in 1986, 2000 and 2013. Last year, there were seven such wins for the lower level.