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2015 Week 5 FCS Rankings (September 21 – September 27)

September 20, 2015
Stony Brook WR Ray Bolden caught seven passes for 102 yards and two TDs in the Seawolves' 31-6 win over New Hampshire. (photo courtesy of stonybrookathletics.com)

Stony Brook WR Ray Bolden caught seven passes for 102 yards and two TDs in the Seawolves’ 31-6 win over New Hampshire. (photo courtesy of stonybrookathletics.com)

Week 4 of the FCS schedule produced close calls, offensive explosions and three major upsets involving top-ten teams.

Coastal Carolina remains atop the rankings after rallying to beat Western Illinois 34-27 in a matchup that featured eight lead changes at Brooks Stadium in Conway, SC. De’Angelo Henderson rushed for 165 yards and two touchdowns, including the eventual game-winner with 7:55 to play in regulation to keep the Chanticleers (3-0, 0-0 Big South) undefeated. Despite the loss, the Leathernecks (1-2, 0-0 MVFC) outgained their host 546-349 as Trenton Norvell passed for 370 yards and two touchdowns and had the ball in Coastal Carolina territory in the final minute but misfired on a 4th-and-9 from the CCU 35 as time expired.

Following New Hampshire’s surprising loss to Stony Brook, Illinois State moves up to second after Sean Slattery’s 32-yard field goal in overtime gave Brock Spack’s Redbirds a 34-31 road victory over Eastern Illinois at O’Brien Stadium. The Redbirds (2-1, 0-0 MVFC) led late, but the Panthers tied the game with 1:48 to play on a 5-yard rushing touchdown from quarterback Jalen Whitlow. After a three-and-out possession for Illinois State, the Panthers (0-3, 0-0 OVC) had a chance to win the game, but Nick Bruno’s 31-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right as regulation expired. Eastern Illinois had the first possession of overtime, but turned the ball over after Devin Church fumbled, setting up the winning field goal attempt for the Redbirds.

North Dakota State handled in-state rival North Dakota with ease, winning 34-9 at the Fargodome and moves up to third. Following a trade of field goals in the first quarter, the Bison (2-1, 0-0 MVFC) opened a 24-3 lead with 7:21 remaining in the first half on three touchdown passes from Carson Wentz. Wentz finished with four scoring strikes and 262 yards passing while King Frazier rushed for 80 yards to pace the offense and the defense stifled the North Dakota (2-1, 0-0 Big Sky) offense, allowing, only, 61 yards to the former Fighting Sioux.

Villanova rallied to defeat Delaware 28-21 at Villanova Stadium in the CAA opener for both squads as backup quarterback Zack Bednarczyk scored on a 21-yard run and a subsequent two-point conversion with 2:35 to play in regulation. Bednarczyk replaced injured All-American signal-caller John Robertson in the fourth quarter with the Wildcats (2-1, 1-0 CAA) trailing 21-14 and connected with Kevin Gulyas on a 6-yard touchdown pass with 6:18 remaining, but Steve Weyler failed on the extra point kick, cutting the lead to 21-20. Following a three-and-out by the Blue Hens (1-2, 0-1 CAA), Villanova took the lead as Bednarczyk engineered a 6-play, 74-yard drive to take the lead and cemented the victory when Wesley Smith intercepted a Joe Walker pass in the final minute.

Rounding out the top-five is Jacksonville State, who pounded Tennessee State 48-13 in the teams’ Ohio Valley Conference opener at JSU Stadium. The Gamecocks (2-1, 1-0 OVC) pounded the turf at Burgess-Snow Field for 349 yards and four scores while quarterback Eli Jenkins passed for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Ronald Butler led the Tigers (2-1, 0-1 OVC) with 155 passing yards and two scores, but was intercepted twice.

Elsewhere, two other top-ten teams, besides New Hampshire (1-2, 0-1 CAA), took losses and fall in the rankings. While the Wildcats plunges, all the way, to 25th after their 31-6 loss at Stony Brook, Montana (1-2, 0-0 Big Sky) lost at #19 Liberty (2-1, 0-0 Big South) 31-21 and drops ten spots to 16th and Sam Houston State (0-2, 0-1 Southland), ranked eighth last week, disappears from the rankings after their 49-46 home loss to Lamar (2-1, 1-0 Southland). Also falling out of the rankings is Sacred Heart (2-1, 0-0 NEC), who dropped a 34-27 shootout at Marist (1-2, 0-0 Pioneer).

Stony Brook (2-0, 1-0 CAA) makes their 2015 rankings debut at #21 while McNeese State (2-0, 2-0 Southland), following a 28-14 win at Stephen F. Austin (0-3, 0-1 Southland), debuts at #22.

The shootout of the weekend took place on the red turf of Roos Field as Eastern Washington outlasted Montana State 55-50. The teams combined for 1,385 yards of offense, led EWU’s Jordan West, who shredded the Bobcats’ defense for 410 passing yards and six touchdowns. Cooper Kupp led the Eagles (1-2, 0-0 Big Sky) with 12 receptions for 201 yards and three scores while Jabari Wilson rushed for 188 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. Montana State (1-1, 0-0 Big Sky) quarterback Dakota Prukop passed for 353 yards and four touchdowns and rushed 28 times for 196 yards and a score.

Week 4 results and Week 5 rankings and opponents:

(All scheduled game times ET)

1. Coastal Carolina (3-0, 0-0 Big South) This week: vs. Bryant (2-0, 0-0 NEC) Sat 9/26 6:00PM
(LW – 1) Last week: vs. Western Illinois (1-2, 0-0 MVFC) 34-27

2. Illinois State (2-1, 0-0 MVFC) This week: IDLE
(LW – 3) Last week: won at Eastern Illinois (0-3, 0-0 OVC) 34-31 (OT)

3. North Dakota State (2-1, 0-0 MVFC) This week: IDLE
(LW – 4) Last week: defeated North Dakota (2-1, 0-0 Big Sky) 34-9

4. Villanova (2-1, 1-0 CAA) This week: vs. Pennsylvania (0-1, 0-0 Ivy) Thu 9/24 7:00PM
(LW – 5) Last week: defeated Delaware (1-2, 0-1 CAA) 28-21

5. Jacksonville State (2-1, 1-0 OVC) This week: at Tennessee-Martin (1-1, 0-0 OVC) Sat 9/26 3:00PM
(LW – 7) Last week: defeated Tennessee State (2-1, 0-1 OVC) 48-13

6. South Dakota State (2-0, 0-0 MVFC) This week: vs. Robert Morris (1-2, 0-0 NEC) Sat 9/26 6:00PM
(LW – 9) Last week: IDLE

7. Northern Iowa (2-1, 0-0 MVFC) This week: IDLE
(LW – 10) Last week: won at #12 Cal Poly (1-2, 0-0 Big Sky) 34-20

8. Eastern Washington (1-2, 0-0 Big Sky) This week: at Sacramento State (1-2, 0-0 Big Sky) Sat 9/26 9:05PM
(LW – 11) Last week: defeated Montana State (1-1, 0-0 Big Sky) 55-50

9. James Madison (3-0, 1-0 CAA) This week: at SMU (1-2, 0-0 American-West) Sat 9/26 7:00PM
(LW – 14) Last week: defeated Albany (1-2, 1-1 CAA) 42-28

10. Fordham (2-1, 0-0 Patriot) This week: vs. Monmouth (1-2, 0-0 Big South) Sat 9/26 1:00PM
(LW – 15) Last week: defeated Columbia (0-1, 0-0 Ivy) 44-24

11. Chattanooga (2-1, 1-0 Southern) This week: at Presbyterian (1-2, 0-0 Big South) Sat 9/26 7:00PM
(LW – 16) Last week: won at Samford (2-1, 0-1 Southern) 31-21

12. Cal Poly (1-2, 0-0 Big Sky) This week: at Montana State (1-1, 0-0 Big Sky) Sat 9/26 3:35PM
(LW – 12) Last week: lost to #10 Northern Iowa (2-1, 0-0 MVFC) 34-20

13. Southeastern Louisiana (2-1, 1-0 Southland) This week: IDLE
(LW – 13) Last week: lost at Ohio (3-0, 0-0 MAC-East) 35-14

14. Liberty (2-1, 0-0 Big South) This week: at Southern Illinois (0-2, 0-0 MVFC) Sat 9/26 7:00PM
(LW – 19) Last week: defeated #6 Montana (1-2, 0-0 Big Sky) 31-21

15. Richmond (2-1, 0-0 CAA) This week: IDLE
(LW – 18) Last week: defeated VMI (1-2, 0-0 Southern) 42-10

16. Montana (1-2, 0-0 Big Sky) This week: vs. #24 Northern Arizona (2-1, 0-0 Big Sky) Sat 9/26 4:00PM
(LW – 6) Last week: lost at #19 Liberty (2-1, 0-0 Big South) 31-21

17. Harvard (1-0, 0-0 Ivy) This week: vs. Brown (0-1, 0-0 Ivy) Sat 9/26 7:00PM
(LW – 17) Last week: won at Rhode Island (0-3, 0-1 CAA) 41-10

18. Eastern Kentucky (1-1, 0-0 OVC) This week: vs. Austin Peay (0-3, 0-0 OVC) Sat 9/26 6:00PM
(LW – 20) Last week: IDLE

19. Youngstown State (2-1, 0-0 MVFC) This week: IDLE
(LW – 25) Last week: defeated St. Francis-PA (1-2, 0-0 NEC) 48-3

20. Indiana State (2-1, 0-0 MVFC) This week: IDLE
(LW – 21) Last week: defeated Southeast Missouri State (1-2, 0-0 OVC) 29-28

21. Stony Brook (2-0, 1-0 CAA) This week: at #23 William & Mary (1-1, 0-0 CAA) Sat 9/26 7:30PM
(LW – NR) Last week: defeated #2 New Hampshire (1-2, 0-1 CAA) 31-6

22. McNeese State (2-0, 2-0 Southland) This week: vs. Mississippi College (2-1, 0-1 GSC D-2) Sat 9/26 7:00PM
(LW – NR) Last week: won at Stephen F. Austin (0-3, 0-1 Southland) 28-14

23. William & Mary (1-1, 0-0 CAA) This week: vs. #21 Stony Brook (2-0, 1-0 CAA) Sat 9/26 7:30PM
(LW – 23) Last week: lost at Virginia (1-2, 0-0 ACC-C) 35-29

24. Northern Arizona (2-1, 0-0 Big Sky) This week: at #16 Montana (1-2, 0-0 Big Sky) Sat 9/26 4:00PM
(LW – 24) Last week: lost at FBS #22 Arizona (3-0, 0-0 PAC-12 South) 77-13

25. New Hampshire (1-2, 0-1 CAA) This week: vs. Central Connecticut State (1-2, 0-0 NEC) Sat 9/26 6:00PM
(LW – 2) Last week: lost at Stony Brook (2-0, 1-0 CAA) 31-6

Dropped Out: #8 Sam Houston State, #22 Sacred Heart

Also Receiving Consideration:

Lamar (2-1, 1-0 Southland), Portland State (2-0, 1-0 Big Sky), Montana State (1-1, 0-0 Big Sky), Bryant (2-0, 0-0 NEC), Samford (2-1, 0-1 Southern), Sam Houston State (0-2, 0-1 Southland), Bethune-Cookman (2-1, 0-0 MEAC), Mercer (2-1, 0-0 Southern), North Carolina A&T (2-1, 0-0 MEAC), The Citadel (2-1, 1-0 Southern), Kennesaw State (3-0, 0-0 Big South), Jacksonville (2-0, 0-0 Pioneer), Yale (1-0, 0-0 Ivy), Tennessee State (2-1, 0-1 OVC), Dartmouth (1-0, 0-0 Ivy), Charleston Southern (2-1, 0-0 Big South), Sacred Heart (2-1, 0-0 NEC), Alcorn State (2-1, 2-0 SWAC), South Carolina State (2-1, 0-0 MEAC), Idaho State (1-2, 0-1 Big Sky)

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