COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF | Yeah, we’re pumped about Saturday’s games on ASN too

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It’s a big weekend of college football on the American Sports Network with games involving FCS No. 1 Sam Houston State and the best of the Westerns — No. 20 Western Michigan, Western Kentucky, Western Carolina and Division II Western Oregon.

If those aren’t reason enough to catch Saturday’s games on ASN, here are 10 more for good measure.

10Old Dominion (4-2, 2-0 Conference USA) is the only team with two players ranked in the top 10 in C-USA rushing — sophomore Jeremy Cox (84.0 yards per game) and junior Ray Lawry (74.6 ypg). Western Kentucky counters with senior Anthony Wales, who moved into the school’s all-time top 10 last week.    » Saturday at Western Kentucky, 7 p.m. ET

9Western Kentucky (4-3, 2-1 Conference USA) has won nine consecutive C-USA games heading into an East Division showdown against Old Dominion. Expect a high-scoring game — the teams combined for 202 points in two games, both WKU victories (66-51 in 2014 and 55-30 last year).   » Saturday vs. Old Dominion, 7 p.m. ET

8Western Michigan (7-0, 3-0 MAC) faces rival Eastern Michigan going for its first 8-0 start since 1941. The Broncos, No. 20 in the Associated Press Top 25, average 493.7 yards and 44.3 points per game. They’re led by RBs Jarvion Franklin and Jamauri Bogan, QB Zach Terrell and WR Corey Davis, the MAC career leader.  » Saturday vs. Eastern Michigan, 3:30 p.m. ET

7In seven starts this season, Gardner-Webb QB Tyrell Maxwell leads the Big South in total offense (212.7 yards per game) and gives the Bulldogs an important dual threat against Kennesaw State. The Owls beat G-W 12-7 last season while rushing for 239 yards and dominating time of possession (38 minutes).  » Saturday vs. Kennessaw State, noon ET

6Western Carolina is experiencing some growing pains at 1-5, but watch out for quarterback Tyrie Adams (below). Only a redshirt freshman, he’s sixth in FCS total offense. He’s averaging 304.7 yards per game, including 384 yards passing last week. He’s also the second-leading rusher for the Catamounts.  »  Saturday at Samford, 7 p.m. ET

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5Eastern Michigan has five wins this season, four more wins than all of last year. That’s the largest turnaround in FBS so EMU must be tired of hearing about rival Western Michigan. The Eagles, coming off their third consecutive road victory for the first time since 1967, go for four in a row at their MAC rivals.  »  Saturday at Western Michigan, 3:30 p.m. ET.

4Lehigh (5-2) is fourth in FCS passing offense (350.3 yards per game) and has been a roll lately. During their current four-game winning streak, the Leopards are averaging 557.6 total yards and 46.8 points per game. They face the Patriot League’s No. 3 defense in Holy Cross (3-4), which is coming off an upset victory against Harvard.  »  Saturday at Holy Cross, noon ET

3Nicholls is 3-1 in the Southland Conference (3-3 overall), their best start in the SLC since its championship season in 2005, heading into a game against No. 1 Sam Houston State. The last time the Colonels played a team in the top five at home they beat No. 5 Texas State 32-29. »  Saturday vs. Sam Houston State, 3:30 p.m. ET

2Karel Hamilton is Samford’s No. 2 all-time leading receiver and will become No. 1 with 97 yards against Western Carolina. He caught 12 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown last week, moving closer to Efrem Hill’s school record of 3,054 yards from 2001-04. But the Bulldogs face the Southern Conference’s No. 3 passing defense.  »  Saturday vs. Western Carolina, 7 p.m. ET

1Sam Houston State is playing its first game since reaching No. 1 in the STATS FCS Top 25. They are 4-1 all-time as the nation’s top-ranked team. The Bearkats (6-0) are also the No. 1 offense in FCS, averaging 608.2 yards and 54.8 points per game. Don’t tune in late — they’ve outscored opponents 203-51 in the first half.  »  Saturday at Nicholls, 3:30 p.m. ET


On the cover: Sam Houston State’s Corey Avery celebration a touchdown in a 48-21 victory Saturday against Abilene Christian. (Courtesy SHSU Athletics)
Middle: Western Carolina redshirt freshman quarterback Tyrie Adams is sixth in FCS total offense.  (Courtesy Mark Haskett/WCU Public Relations)

Mike Bambach

Mike Bambach is senior web producer for ASN.