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2015 Week 2 FCS Rankings (August 31 – September 6)

August 30, 2015
Montana RB Joey Counts scored on a 1-yard TD run to lift Montana past North Dakota State 38-35. (photo courtesy of Associated Press/Rick Bowmer)

RB Joey Counts scored on a 1-yard TD run with 2 seconds remaining to lift Montana past North Dakota State 38-35. (photo courtesy of AP/Rick Bowmer)

College football fans couldn’t have asked for a more exciting game to open the 2015 season. #9 Montana rallied to beat top-ranked and four-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State 38-35 at Washington-Grizzly Stadium on RB Joey Counts’ 1-yard touchdown run with two seconds left on the clock.

The junior from Mesa, AZ, totaled, only, 14 yards on ten carries, but his run off left tackle to seal the victory immortalized him in Grizzlies’ football lore and gave new head coach Bob Stitt a victory that will be tough to top outside of a national title.

Montana (1-0, 0-0 Big Sky) was led QB Brady Gustafson, who completed 30 of 55 passes for 434 yards, three TDs and one interception. RB John Nguyen paced the running game with 86 yards on 19 totes while Ellis Henderson and Jamaal Jones combined for 15 catches for 254 yards and two TDs.

North Dakota State (0-1, 0-0 MVFC) senior QB Carson Wentz had a stat sheet-filling day, as usual, completing 16 of 28 attempts for 198 yards and two scores while rushing 13 times for 70 yards and two touchdowns. RB King Frazier, playing his first game for the Bison after transferring from Nebraska, tallied 91 yards on 15 totes and a score while notching a team-high 54 receiving yards and another touchdown.

Montana will host fellow Big Sky member Cal Poly Saturday night at 9PM ET, although the game will not be a conference matchup while North Dakota State will match up on September 12th at Fargodome with Weber State.

Following Montana’s victory, the Grizzlies move up seven spots to second as North Dakota State drops four places from first to fifth.

New Hampshire, ranked second in the pre-season rankings, takes over the top spot as they prepare for their Thursday night season opener out west vs. San Jose State from the FBS at Spartan Stadium.

Coastal Carolina remains third ahead of their trip to the upstate of South Carolina to face Furman on Saturday night at Paladin Stadium in Greenville. Illinois State, ranked fourth, heads to Iowa City to face the Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Eastern Washington, who dropped one spot to sixth, already faced an daunting task with their 2015 lid-lifter at FBS #7 Oregon. To make an already interesting matchup, well, more interesting, the Ducks’ starting QB is none other than former Eagles signal-caller Vernon Adams, Jr. Adams, a 2-time runner-up for the Walter Payton Award, transferred from Eastern Washington earlier this year and, as a graduate student, is eligible to play his senior season and was named the starting QB by Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich on August 28.

Seventh-ranked Villanova travels to East Hartford to face Connecticut at Rentschler Field Thursday night, Northern Iowa, ranked eighth, heads to Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, IA on Saturday to battle Iowa State while #9 Sam Houston State joins the FCS vs. FBS crowd for an intrastate matchup with Texas Tech in Lubbock on Saturday afternoon.

Rounding out the top-ten, #10 Jacksonville State has one heck of a season opener as the Gamecocks head to Finley Stadium to battle #12 Chattanooga in what should be a wild affair in the Volunteer State.

(All scheduled game times ET)

1. New Hampshire (0-0, 0-0 CAA) This week: at San Jose State (0-0, 0-0 Mountain West-W) Thu 9/3 10:00PM
(LW – 2) Last week: IDLE

2. Montana (1-0, 0-0 Big Sky) This week: vs. Cal Poly (0-0, 0-0 Big Sky) Sat 9/5 9:00PM
(LW – 9) Last week: defeated #1 North Dakota State (0-1, 0-0 MVFC 38-35)

3. Coastal Carolina (0-0, 0-0 Big South) This week: at Furman (0-0, 0-0 Southern) Sat 9/5 7:00PM
(LW – 3) Last week: IDLE

4. Illinois State (0-0, 0-0 MVFC) This week: at Iowa (0-0, 0-0 Big Ten-W) Sat 9/5 12:00PM
(LW – 4) Last week: IDLE

5. North Dakota State (0-1, 0-0 MVFC) This week: IDLE
(LW – 1) Last week: lost at #9 Montana (1-0, 0-0 Big Sky 38-35)

6. Eastern Washington (0-0, 0-0 Big Sky) This week: at FBS #7 Oregon (0-0, 0-0 Pac-12-N) Sat 9/5 8:00PM
(LW – 5) Last week: IDLE

7. Villanova (0-0, 0-0 CAA) This week: at Connecticut (0-0, 0-0 American-E) Thu 9/3 7:30PM
(LW – 6) Last week: IDLE

8. Northern Iowa (0-0, 0-0 MVFC) This week: at Iowa State (0-0, 0-0 Big 12) Sat 9/5 8:00PM
(LW – 7) Last week: IDLE

9. Sam Houston State (0-0, 0-0 Southland) This week: at Texas Tech (0-0, 0-0 Big 12) Sat 9/5 3:30PM
(LW – 8) Last week: IDLE

10. Jacksonville State (0-0, 0-0 OVC) This week: at #12 Chattanooga (0-0, 0-0 Southern) Sat 9/5 6:00PM
(LW – 10) Last week: IDLE

11. South Dakota State (0-0, 0-0 MVFC) This week: at Kansas (0-0, 0-0 Big 12) Sat 9/5 6:00PM
(LW – 11) Last week: IDLE

12. Chattanooga (0-0, 0-0 Southern) This week: vs. #10 Jacksonville State (0-0, 0-0 OVC) Sat 9/5 6:00PM
(LW – 12) Last week: IDLE

13. Southeastern Louisiana (0-0, 0-0 Southland) This week: at Northwestern State (0-0, 0-0 Southland) Thu 9/3 7:00PM
(LW – 13) Last week: IDLE

14. James Madison (0-0, 0-0 CAA) This week: vs. Morehead State (0-0, 0-0 Pioneer) Sat 9/5 6:00PM
(LW – 14) Last week: IDLE

15. Fordham (0-0, 0-0 Patriot) This week: at Army (0-0, IND) Fri 9/4 7:00PM
(LW – 15) Last week: IDLE

16. Richmond (0-0, 0-0 CAA) This week: at Maryland (7-6, 4-4 Big Ten-E) Sat 9/5 12:00PM
(LW – 16) Last week: IDLE

17. Harvard (0-0, 0-0 Ivy) This week: IDLE
(LW – 17) Last week: IDLE

18. Liberty (0-0, 0-0 Big South) This week: vs. Delaware State (0-0, 0-0 MEAC) Sat 9/5 7:00PM
(LW – 18) Last week: IDLE

19. Eastern Kentucky (0-0, 0-0 OVC) This week: vs. Valparaiso (0-0, 0-0 Pioneer) Thu 9/3 7:00PM
(LW – 19) Last week: IDLE

20. Stephen F. Austin (0-0, 0-0 Southland) This week: vs. Northern Arizona (0-0, 0-0 Big Sky) Sat 9/5 7:00PM
(LW – 20) Last week: IDLE

21. Indiana State (0-0, 0-0 MVFC) This week: vs. Butler (0-0, 0-0 Pioneer) Sat 9/5 3:05PM
(LW – 21) Last week: IDLE

22. Sacred Heart (0-0, 0-0 NEC) This week: vs. St. Anselm (0-0, 0-0 NE Ten – D2) Sat 9/5 6:00PM
(LW – 22) Last week: IDLE

23. Youngstown State (0-0, 0-0 MVFC) This week: at Pittsburgh (0-0, 0-0 ACC-C) Sat 9/5 1:00PM
(LW – 23) Last week: IDLE

24. William & Mary (0-0, 0-0 CAA) This week: at Lafayette (0-0, 0-0 Patriot) Sat 9/5 6:00PM
(LW – 24) Last week: IDLE

25. Bethune-Cookman (0-0, 0-0 MEAC) This week: at Miami (0-0, 0-0 ACC-C) Sat 9/5 6:00PM
(LW – 25) Last week: IDLE

Dropped Out: none

Also Receiving Consideration:

Southern Illinois (0-0, 0-0 MVFC), Morgan State (0-0, 0-0 MEAC), Montana State (0-0, 0-0 Big Sky), North Carolina A&T (0-0, 0-0 MEAC), Northern Arizona (0-0, 0-0 Big Sky), Idaho State (0-0, 0-0 Big Sky), McNeese State (0-0, 0-0 Southland), Bucknell (0-0, 0-0 Patriot), Yale (0-0, 0-0 Ivy), Charleston Southern (0-0, 0-0 Big South), Bryant (0-0, 0-0 NEC), Lamar (0-0, 0-0 Southland), Samford (0-0, 0-0 Southern), Cal Poly (0-0, 0-0 Big Sky), Alcorn State (0-0, 0-0 SWAC), San Diego (0-0, 0-0 Pioneer), South Carolina State (0-0, 0-0 MEAC), Dartmouth (0-0, 0-0 Ivy), Wagner (0-0, 0-0 NEC), Sacramento State (0-0, 0-0 Big Sky)

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