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2015 Week 3 FCS Rankings (September 7 – September 13)

September 6, 2015
Alex Ross passed for 328 yards and 2 TDs as Coastal Carolina defeated Furman 38-35. (photo courtesy of Coastal Carolina Athletics and gooccusports.com)

Alex Ross passed for 328 yards and 2 TDs as Coastal Carolina defeated Furman 38-35 at Paladin Stadium in Greenville, SC. (photo courtesy of Coastal Carolina Athletics and gooccusports.com)

Coastal Carolina takes over the top spot in this week’s rankings after holding off Furman, 38-35 at Paladin Stadium. The Chanticleers (1-0, 0-0 Big South) were led by QB Alex Ross, who threw for 328 yards and two touchdown passes to Bruce Mapp, and DeAngelo Henderson who chalked up 224 combined rushing and receiving yards and a score. Despite the victory, Coastal’s defense took a beating, as Furman (0-1, 0-0 Southern) rolled up 525 yards on the night. Paladins signal-caller Reese Hannon passed for 365 yards and two scores while Ernie Cain rushed for 61 yards and three touchdowns.

Last week’s top-ranked club, New Hampshire, drops one spot to second after a 43-13 loss to FBS program San Jose State at Spartan Stadium. Sean McDonnell’s Wildcats (0-1, 0-0 CAA) were outgained, offensively, 707-186 as QB Sean Goldrich was held to 60 yards passing on 10-of-22 attempts. Dalton Crossan and Trevon Bryant rushed for a touchdown and combined for, only, 77 yards on the ground. The Spartans’ QB combo of Joe Gray and Kenny Potter teamed for 420 yards passing and a score as the rushing duo of Tyler Ervin and Thomas Tucker carried 39 times for 201 yards and five touchdowns.

Illinois State moves up a spot to third, despite a 31-14 loss to Iowa at Kinnick Stadium. The Redbirds (0-1, 0-0 MVFC) had to turn to backup QB Jake Kolbe after starter Tre Robertson, suffering from cramps, passed for, only, 49 yards. Kolbe threw for 147 yards and two late touchdowns while Marshaun Coprich was held to 32 rushing yards on 13 totes. The Hawkeyes (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten-W) controlled the game behind C.J. Beathard’s 211 yards passing and three combined touchdowns along with LeShun Daniels, Jr.’s 123 rushing yards.

Eastern Washington had the most intriguing matchup of the week. Not only did Beau Baldwin’s Eagles face last season’s FBS national runner-up and seventh-ranked Oregon, they were pitted against their former two-time Payton Award runner-up quarterback, Vernon Adams, Jr. While the Ducks (1-0, 0-0 PAC-12 North) won the game, 61-42, the Eagles (0-1, 0-0 Big Sky) moved up two spots to fourth in this week’s rankings. Jordan West passed for 293 yards and three touchdowns before suffering from cramps and was replaced by Reilly Hennessey, who added 145 yards and two more scoring passes. Wide receiver Cooper Kupp scorched the Ducks’ defense for 246 yards on 15 receptions and three touchdowns while Kendrick Bourne and Shaq Hill added touchdown grabs. Adams had a masterful day in his Oregon debut, passing for 246 yards and two touchdowns and added 94 rushing yards before leaving the game after a late hit. Royce Freeman led the Ducks’ rushing attack, notching 180 of the team’s 485 yards and three touchdowns.

Dropping out of the top-five was second-ranked Montana, who dropped a heartbreaking 20-19 decision to Cal Poly at Washington-Grizzly Stadium as Alex Vega hit a 48-yard field goal with four seconds remaining in the game. The Grizzlies (1-1, 0-0 Big Sky), who beat four-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State last weekend on a last-second touchdown, were stymied by the Mustangs’ bend-but-don’t-break defense as Brady Gustafson passed for 353 yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted three times. John Nguyen rushed for 70 yards on 14 carries, but failed to find the end zone. Cal Poly (1-0, 0-0 Big Sky) relied on their powerful ground game as dual-threat quarterback Chris Brown rushed for 130 yards and a touchdown, but threw for, only, 56 yards and a score and Joe Protheroe added 112 yards on 29 cracks. Montana drops from second to sixth in the rankings while Cal Poly vaults from being unranked to 13th.

In other action of note, Jacksonville State moves up a spot to ninth after defeating then-12th ranked Chattanooga 23-20 at Finlay Stadium, dropping the Mocs to 16th. Two teams, South Dakota State and Fordham, defeated FBS opponents. The Jackrabbits upended Kansas 41-38 while the Rams beat Army 37-35. In the battle of the Lumberjacks, Northern Arizona defeated then-20th ranked Stephen F. Austin 34-28 to join the top-25 and knocks their opponent out of the rankings.

(All scheduled game times ET)

1. Coastal Carolina (1-0, 0-0 Big South) This week: at South Carolina State (1-0, 0-0 MEAC) Sat 9/12 6:00PM
(LW – 3) Last week: won at Furman (0-1, 0-0 Southern) 38-35

2. New Hampshire (0-1, 0-0 CAA) This week: at Colgate (0-1, 0-0 Patriot) Sat 9/12 6:00PM
(LW – 1) Last week: lost at San Jose State (1-0, 0-0 Mountain West-W) 43-13

3. Illinois State (0-1, 0-0 MVFC) This week: vs. Morgan State (0-1, 0-0 MEAC) Sat 9/12 7:30PM
(LW – 4) Last week: lost at Iowa (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten-W) 31-14

4. Eastern Washington (0-1, 0-0 Big Sky) This week: at #11 Northern Iowa (0-1, 0-0 MVFC) Sat 9/12 2:00PM
(LW – 6) Last week: lost at FBS #7 Oregon (1-0, 0-0 Pac-12-N) 61-42

5. North Dakota State (0-1, 0-0 MVFC) This week: vs. Weber State (0-1, 0-0 Big Sky) Sat 9/12 3:30PM
(LW – 5) Last week: IDLE

6. Montana (1-1, 0-0 Big Sky) This week: IDLE
(LW – 2) Last week: lost to Cal Poly (1-0, 0-0 Big Sky) 20-19

7. Villanova (0-1, 0-0 CAA) This week: at #12 Fordham (1-0, 0-0 Patriot) Sat 9/12 6:00PM
(LW – 7) Last week: lost at Connecticut (1-0, 0-0 American) 20-15

8. Sam Houston State (0-1, 0-0 Southland) This week: IDLE
(LW – 9) Last week: lost at Texas Tech (1-0, 0-0 Big 12) 59-45

9. Jacksonville State (1-0, 0-0 OVC) This week: at FBS #6 Auburn (1-0, 0-0 SEC-W) Sat 9/12 12:00PM
(LW – 10) Last week: won at #12 Chattanooga (0-1, 0-0 Southern) 23-20

10. South Dakota State (1-0, 0-0 MVFC) This week: vs. Southern Utah (0-1, 0-0 Big Sky) Sat 9/12 7:00PM
(LW – 11) Last week: won at Kansas (0-1, 0-0 Big 12) 41-38

11. Northern Iowa (0-1, 0-0 MVFC) This week: vs. #4 Eastern Washington (0-1, 0-0 Big Sky) Sat 9/12 2:00PM
(LW – 8) Last week: lost at Iowa State (1-0, 0-0 Big 12) 31-7

12. Fordham (1-0, 0-0 Patriot) This week: vs. #7 Villanova (0-1, 0-0 CAA) Sat 9/12 6:00PM
(LW – 15) Last week: won at Army (0-1, IND) 37-35

13. Cal Poly (1-0, 0-0 Big Sky) This week: at Arizona State (0-1, 0-0 PAC-12 North) Sat 9/12 8:00PM
(LW- NR) Last week: won at #2 Montana (1-1, 0-0 Big Sky) 20-19

14. Southeastern Louisiana (1-0, 1-0 Southland) This week: vs. Florida Tech (0-1, 0-0 GSC D-2) Sat 9/12 8:00PM
(LW – 13) Last week: won at Northwestern State (0-1, 0-1 Southland) 34-20

15. James Madison (1-0, 0-0 CAA) This week: vs. Lehigh (1-0, 0-0 Patriot) Sat 9/12 4:00PM
(LW – 14) Last week: defeated Morehead State (0-1, 0-0 Pioneer) 56-7

16. Chattanooga (0-1, 0-0 Southern) This week: vs. Mars Hill (0-1, 0-0 SAC D-2) Sat 9/12 1:00PM
(LW – 12) Last week: lost to #10 Jacksonville State (1-0, 0-0 OVC) 23-20

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

18. Richmond (0-1, 0-0 CAA) This week: at Hampton (1-0, 0-0 MEAC) Sat 9/12 12:00PM
(LW – 16) Last week: lost at Maryland (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten-E) 50-21

19. Liberty (1-0, 0-0 Big South) This week: at West Virginia (1-0, 0-0 Big 12) Sat 9/12 3:00PM
(LW – 18) Last week: defeated Delaware State (0-1, 0-0 MEAC) 32-13

20. Eastern Kentucky (1-0, 0-0 OVC) This week: at North Carolina State (1-0, 0-0 ACC-A) Sat 9/12 6:00PM
(LW – 19) Last week: def Valparaiso (0-1, 0-0 Pioneer) 52-10

21. Indiana State (1-0, 0-0 MVFC) This week: at Purdue (0-1, 0-0 Big Ten-W) Sat 9/12 12:00PM
(LW – 21) Last week: defeated Butler (0-1, 0-0 Pioneer) 52-17

22. Sacred Heart (1-0, 0-0 NEC) This week: at Valparaiso (0-1, 0-0 Pioneer) Sat 9/12 2:00PM
(LW – 22) Last week: defeated St. Anselm (0-1, 0-0 NE Ten – D2) 43-19

23. William & Mary (1-0, 0-0 CAA) This week: IDLE
(LW – 24) Last week: won at Lafayette (0-1, 0-0 Patriot) 34-7

24. Northern Arizona (1-0, 0-0 Big Sky) This week: vs. New Mexico Highlands (0-1, 0-0 RMAC D-2) Sat 9/12 7:00PM
(LW – NR) Last week: won at #20 Stephen F. Austin (0-1, 0-0 Southland) 34-28

25. Youngstown State (0-1, 0-0 MVFC) This week: vs. Robert Morris (0-1, 0-0 NEC) Sat 9/12 7:00PM
(LW – 23) Last week: lost at Pittsburgh (1-0, 0-0 ACC-C) 45-37

Dropped Out: #20 Stephen F. Austin, #25 Bethune-Cookman

Also Receiving Consideration:

Southern Illinois (0-1, 0-0 MVFC), Morgan State (0-1, 0-0 MEAC), Montana State (1-0, 0-0 Big Sky), Bethune-Cookman (0-1, 0-0 MEAC), North Carolina A&T (1-0, 0-0 MEAC), Idaho State (1-0, 0-0 Big Sky), McNeese State (0-0, 0-0 Southland), Bucknell (1-0, 0-0 Patriot), Yale (0-0, 0-0 Ivy), South Carolina State (1-0, 0-0 MEAC), Charleston Southern (1-0, 0-0 Big South), Bryant (1-0, 0-0 NEC), Lamar (1-0, 0-0 Southland), Sacramento State (1-0, 0-0 Big Sky), Samford (1-0, 0-0 Southern), Stephen F. Austin (0-1, 0-0 Southland), Alcorn State (0-1, 0-0 SWAC), San Diego (0-1, 0-0 Pioneer), Dartmouth (0-0, 0-0 Ivy), Wagner (0-1, 0-0 NEC)

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