Part of The Analyst’s FCS college football series called “By the Numbers,” which analyzes data to help tell the story of the Football Championship Subdivision.

With transfers happening more often than at any time in college football history, and, of course, the usual departures once eligibility is up, rosters change more now than ever before.

Yet there are some impressive statistical tandems returning to FCS offenses for the 2024 season – to the delight of their quarterbacks.

Of course, many times, the QBs produce the offense themselves.

We’ve seen in the past how two can be better than one. Duos such as Cooper Kupp and Kendrick Bourne, two future NFL players who while at Eastern Washington combined for two of the FCS’ top-10 combined receiving yardage seasons since 2000. Or how about Illinois State’s impressive tandem of running back Marshaun Coprich and quarterback Tre Roberson, who in the same time period combined for the most rushing yards in a season – 3,303 in the Redbirds’ 2014 national runner-up campaign.

So, who makes up some of the leading tandems that are returning in 2024 to try to lead their teams to big seasons? Below we break down some of the top FCS offensive duos statistically.

1,968 Yards – Davidson: Mari Adams (1,019) and Mason Sheron (949)

The Skinny: Adams, an in-state product from North Carolina, and Sheron were an incredible 1-2 punch for the Wildcats last year, and they were both only sophomores. Don’t be surprised if both surpass the 1,000-yard mark in 2024 (and maybe 2025?). They were two big reasons the once-struggling Wildcats posted a sixth straight winning record (7-4).

1,767 – Lafayette: Jamar Curtis (1,460) and Troy Bruce (307)

Extra Point: Curtis was a 2023 finalist for the nation’s top FCS individual honor – the Walter Payton Award. He’s only a junior.

1,691 – Tarleton State: Kayvon Britten (1,150) and Derrell Kelley III (541)

Extra Point: In Britten’s final five games, he had four 100+-yard efforts and scored 10 touchdowns.

1,586 – Nicholls: Collin Guggenheim (833) and Jaylon Spears (753)

Extra Point: Guggenheim comes into his final season for the Colonels with 2,439 career rushing yards and 26 TDs.

1,485 – Central Arkansas: ShunDerrick Powell (1,016) and Darius Hale (469)

Extra Point: Powell, whose career began at North Alabama, has back-to-back seasons of 1,000+ rushing yards, while Hale has gained 950+ yards twice.

1,434 – UC Davis: Lan Larison (1,101) and Trent Tompkins (333)

Extra Point: Larison led the Big Sky in rushing despite missing three games due to injury.

1,601 Yards – Chattanooga: Javin Whatley (977) and Sam Phillips (624)

The Skinny: Whatley caught four passes for 69 yards against Alabama last year, including a 54-yard reception. He is only two years into his college career and already has 79 receptions for 1,381 yards and 11 TDs. He also was the Mocs’ primarily kickoff returner last year, averaging 21 yards per return. Meanwhile, Phillips led the Mocs in receiving yards as a redshirt freshman in 2022 with 661 on 44 receptions.

receiving-duos-cooper -kupp
Former Eastern Washington wide receiver Cooper Kupp was a part of three of the FCS’ top-10 receiving yardage tandems since 2000.

1,589 – Montana: Keelan White (798) and Junior Bergen (791)

Extra Point: White walked on to Montana’s program in 2019 and has started 24 games the past two seasons.

(Junior Bergen is among the FCS’ returning individual national statistical leaders)

1,487 – South Dakota: Carter Bell (908) and J.J. Galbreath (579)

Extra Point: Bell has been a mainstay in the Coyotes’ program for years, catching his first touchdown in 2019.

1,369 – Fordham: Garrett Cody (856) and Mekai Felton (513)

Extra Point: Cody and Felton combined for three touchdown catches in Fordham’s win over FBS Buffalo last year.

1,365 – Illinois State: Daniel Sobkowicz (933) and Eddie Kasper (432)

Extra Point: Sobkowicz’s brother Max also played for Illinois State’s football program.

1,365 – Southern Illinois: Izaiah Hartrup (706) and Vinson Davis III (659)

Extra Point: Hartrup entered the NCAA transfer portal, but hasn’t made a final decision.

28 TDs – Davidson: Mari Adams (15) and Mason Sheron (13)

The Skinny: Like rushing yards, Adams and Sheron headline the top FCS offensive duos returning in touchdowns. Davidson’s 19 passing TDs last season marked its highest total since 2008, but Adams and Sheron produced all of their points on the ground, helping the Wildcats to lead the FCS in rushing yards per game.

26 – North Dakota State: Cam Miller (13) and Cole Payton (13)

Extra Point: Running backs? Not this tandem. Miller and Payton are the Bison’s top two quarterbacks from the 2023 season.

24 TDs – Illinois State: Mason King (14) and Daniel Sobkowicz (10)

Extra Point: King has changed his surname from Blakemore to King prior to the 2024 season.

23 – Lafayette: Jamar Curtis (17) and Dean DeNobile (6)

Extra Point: Only a junior, Curtis has started 20 of his career 22 games. DeNobile is the Leopards’ quarterback.

22 – Tarleton State: Kayvon Britten (17) and Three Teammates (each with five)

Extra Point: After making a transfer from Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Britten scored in all but one of Tarleton State’s 11 games (Texas Tech was the exception).

22 – Portland State: Joe Malary (12) and Dante Chachere (10)

Extra Point: Malary entered the NCAA transfer portal, but hasn’t made a final decision.

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