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2015 Week 8 FCS Rankings (October 12 – October 18)

October 11, 2015
Portland State RB David Jones gallops towards the end zone for a 70-yard touchdown at North Texas in the Vikings' 66-7 victory over the Mean Green. Portland State makes their 2015 debut in the rankings this week. (photo courtesy of Portland State University Athletics)

Portland State RB David Jones gallops towards the end zone for a 70-yard touchdown at North Texas in the Vikings’ 66-7 victory over the Mean Green. Portland State makes their 2015 debut in the rankings this week. (photo courtesy of Portland State University Athletics)

Top-ranked Coastal Carolina’s defense withstood a first-and-goal from their own 9-yard line in the final minute to seal a hard-fought 24-17 win over Presbyterian College at Brooks Stadium in Conway, SC. The Chanticleers (6-0, 1-0 Big South) opened their conference schedule with a contest that was expected to be, relatively, easy, but the visitors from Clinton, SC had other ideas, holding their hosts to more than 15 points below their near-40 point per game average. Coastal Carolina running back De’Angelo Henderson rushed 25 times for 124 yards and a touchdown while quarterback Alex Ross threw for 201 yards, 129 of them to wide receiver Bruce Mapp. The host Chanticleers used, as Coastal Carolina radio broadcast tandem Joe Cashion and Layne Harris would call, “trickeration and chicanery”, as kicker Ryan Granger ran for a 4-yard touchdown on a fake field goal attempt early in the second quarter. Joe Moglia’s defense forced five three-and-outs as well as a third quarter safety. For the Blue Hose (1-5, 0-1 Big South), Kaleb Griffin passed for 157 yards and rushed for a fourth quarter touchdown while workhouse running back Darrell Bridges carried the ball 32 times for 186 yards and a score.

Tre Robertson passed for 130 yards and a touchdown and added 90 yards rushing and another score while Marshaun Coprich churned for 131 yards and another touchdown as #2 Illinois State denied a two-point conversion inside the last minute to upend #17 Youngstown State 31-29 at Stambaugh Stadium in Youngstown, OH. The Redbirds (4-1, 2-0 MVFC) led throughout the first three quarters, but the Penguins (3-2, 1-1 MVFC) took their only lead of the game with less than two minutes elapsed in the final quarter after Shane Kuhn’s 1-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion pass from Hunter Wells to Jacob Wood gave the hosts a 20-17 advantage. Following a 39-yard touchdown pass from Robertson to Anthony Warrum for Illinois State and a 49-yard field goal by Youngstown State kicker Zak Kennedy, Coprich scored from 19 yards out for a 31-23 Redbirds lead with 4:18 to play. The ensuing Illinois State kickoff was returned 54 yards by Jody Webb to the Redbirds’ 45-yard line where Hayes drove his squad the distance in ten plays, capped by a 13-yard scoring pass to Martin Ruiz with 32 seconds left in regulation. Trailing 31-29, Youngstown State attempted the two-point conversion, but Hayes’ pass fell incomplete and Illinois State was able to extinguish the clock in three plays.

Carson Wentz threw for 335 yards and four touchdowns and overcame three turnovers by throwing an 18-yard touchdown pass to Darrius Shepherd with 35 seconds remaining to lift North Dakota State to a 31-28 win over #7 Northern Iowa at the Fargodome in Fargo, ND. Trailing 14-10 after 45 minutes of play, the third-ranked Bison (4-1, 2-0 MVFC) took a 17-14 lead less than a minute into the final stanza as Wentz found Jedre Cyr for a 2-yard touchdown connection. Less than two minutes later, the Panthers (2-3, 0-2 MVFC) retook the lead at 21-17 following a 7-yard touchdown run by Darrian Miller and the fourth quarter see-saw was underway. Wentz tossed a 33-yard scoring strike to Shepherd five minutes later for a short-lived 24-21 lead and, following the ensuing kickoff, Northern Iowa backup quarterback back Aaron Bailey took the pigskin to the house on an 83-yard touchdown jaunt. On his next possession under center, Wentz fumbled at the Bison 46-yard line to give the ball back to the Panthers but, five plays later, Northern Iowa kicker Michael Schmadeke missed a 38-yard field goal attempt with 2:30 to play. From there, Wentz engineered a 10-play, 79-yard drive that included a pair of fourth-down conversions and would, eventually, find Shepherd for the game-winning touchdown. The Panthers had one final chance to tie the game, but were able to, only, reach the North Dakota State 47-yard line and a Bailey pass attempt to Charles Brown was broken up by Bison free safety Robbie Grimsley as time expired.

While fourth-ranked Jacksonville State enjoyed a bye, James Madison continues to round out the top-five after a 51-30 road win over Towson at Johnny Unitas Stadium. The Dukes (6-0, 3-0 CAA) led, only, 24-17 at the half, but were able to balloon their advantage to 41-23 after three quarters and cruised to victory. Vad Lee passed for 233 yards and five touchdowns, two to Dominique Taylor, while Khalid Abdullah rushed for 149 yards on 25 totes. The Tigers (2-3, 0-2 CAA) were paced by Connor Frazer, who threw for 176 yards and three touchdowns while leading Towson’s running attack with 54 yards on 13 cracks. Darius Victor rushed for 44 yards and a score and Christian Summers caught 3 passes for 55 yards and two of Lee’s touchdown strikes.

In other top-ten action, #6 South Dakota State (4-1, 1-1 MVFC) grounded #18 Indiana State (3-2, 1-1 MVFC) 24-7, #8 Eastern Washington (3-2, 2-0 Big Sky) rallied to slip past #20 Cal Poly (2-4, 1-2 Big Sky) 42-41 in overtime, #9 Fordham (5-1, 1-0 Patriot) blew a 25-point lead but defeated Pennsylvania (1-3, 0-1 Ivy) 48-45 on a 31-yard field goal from Makay Redd with eight seconds to play and #10 Chattanooga (4-1, 2-0 Southern) had no problem with conference foe Furman (3-3, 1-1 Southern) 31-3.

Elsewhere, #19 McNeese State (5-0, 4-0 Southland) upset #11 Southeastern Louisiana (3-2, 2-1 Southland) 21-7, #12 Richmond (4-1, 2-0 CAA) defeated Elon (2-4, 1-2 CAA) 27-14, Weber State upset #13 Montana 24-21 in overtime to leave both teams at 3-3 and 2-1 in the Big Sky, #14 Harvard (4-0, 2-0 Ivy) crushed host Cornell (0-4, 0-2 Patriot) 40-3 Eastern Kentucky (3-2, 2-0 OVC) hammered Tennessee Tech (2-4, 1-2 OVC) 48-17 and #22 Dartmouth (4-0, 2-0 Ivy) blitzed Yale (3-1, 1-1 Ivy) 35-3 to keep pace with Harvard atop the conference.

Portland State (4-1, 1-1 Big Sky) outgained FBS school and host North Texas 670-198 to humiliate the Mean Green (0-5, 0-2 C-USA/West) 66-7 and debut in the rankings at #20, William & Mary (3-2, 2-1 CAA) returns to the top-25 at #21 after pummeling #16 Villanova (2-3, 1-1 CAA) 38-16, dropping the Wildcats from the rankings, Montana State (3-2, 2-1 Big Sky) reenters the top-25 at #23 following their 35-13 dismantling of Sacramento State (1-5, 0-3 Big Sky), Sam Houston State (3-2, 3-1 Southland) becomes the third Southland team in the rankings, checking in at #24, after a 59-7 blowout of Incarnate Word (3-3, 2-2 Southland) and North Carolina A&T (4-1, 2-0 MEAC) makes their 2015 debut at #25 after a 27-3 win at Norfolk State (2-4, 2-1 MEAC).

Joining Villanova on the outside looking in this week are #20 Cal Poly, #23 North Dakota, #24 Liberty and #25 Northern Arizona.

Week 7 results and Week 8 rankings and opponents:

(All scheduled game times ET)

1. Coastal Carolina (6-0, 1-0 Big South) This week: IDLE
(LW – 1) Last week: defeated Presbyterian (1-5, 0-1 Big South) 24-17

2. Illinois State (4-1, 2-0 MVFC) This week: at Missouri State (1-4, 0-2 MVFC) Sat 10/17 3:00PM
(LW – 2) Last week: won at #17 Youngstown State (3-2, 1-1 MVFC) 31-29

3. North Dakota State (4-1, 2-0 MVFC) This week: vs. South Dakota (2-3, 0-2 MVFC) Sat 10/17 3:30PM
(LW – 3) Last week: defeated #7 Northern Iowa (2-3, 0-2 MVFC) 31-28

4. Jacksonville State (4-1, 2-0 OVC) This week: at Tennessee Tech (2-4, 1-2 OVC) Sat 10/17 7:00PM
(LW – 4) Last week: IDLE

5. James Madison (6-0, 3-0 CAA) This week: at Elon (2-4, 1-2 CAA) Sat 10/17 3:00PM
(LW – 5) Last week: won at Towson (2-3, 0-2 CAA) 51-30

6. South Dakota State (4-1, 1-1 MVFC) This week: at #17 Youngstown State (3-2, 1-1 MVFC) Sat 10/17 4:00PM
(LW – 6) Last week: defeated #18 Indiana State (3-2, 1-1 MVFC) 24-7

7. Northern Iowa (2-3, 0-2 MVFC) This week: vs. Western Illinois (3-2, 2-0 MVFC) Sat 10/17 5:00PM
(LW – 7) Last week: lost at #3 North Dakota State (4-1, 2-0 MVFC) 31-28

8. Eastern Washington (3-2, 2-0 Big Sky) This week: at Idaho State (2-4, 1-2 Big Sky) Sat 10/17 4:35PM
(LW – 8) Last week: defeated #20 Cal Poly (2-4, 1-2 Big Sky) 42-41 (OT)

9. Fordham (5-1, 1-0 Patriot) This week: vs. Holy Cross (2-3, 0-1 Patriot) Sat 10/17 1:00PM
(LW – 9) Last week: won at Pennsylvania (1-3, 0-1 Ivy) 48-45

10. Chattanooga (4-1, 2-0 Southern) This week: at VMI (1-5, 0-2 Southern) Sat 10/17 1:30PM
(LW – 10) Last week: defeated Furman (3-3, 1-1 Southern) 31-3

11. Richmond (4-1, 2-0 CAA) This week: at Rhode Island (1-5, 1-2 CAA) Sat 10/17 12:00PM
(LW – 12) Last week: defeated Elon (2-4, 1-2 CAA) 27-14

12. McNeese State (5-0, 4-0 Southland) This week: at Central Arkansas (3-2, 3-0 Southland) Sat 10/17 7:00PM
(LW – 19) Last week: defeated #11 Southeastern Louisiana (3-2, 2-1 Southland) 21-7

13. Harvard (4-0, 2-0 Ivy) This week: at Lafayette (1-5, 0-2 Patriot) Sat 10/17 3:30PM
(LW – 14) Last week: won at Cornell (0-4, 0-2 Ivy) 40-3

14. Eastern Kentucky (3-2, 2-0 OVC) This week: at Southeast Missouri State (2-4, 1-1 OVC) Sat 10/17 2:00PM
(LW – 15) Last week: defeated Tennessee Tech (2-4, 1-2 OVC) 48-17

15. Southeastern Louisiana (3-2, 2-1 Southland) This week: vs. Stephen F. Austin (1-5, 1-3 Southland) Sat 10/17 8:00PM
(LW – 11) Last week: lost at #19 McNeese State (5-0, 4-0 Southland) 21-7

16. New Hampshire (3-2, 1-1 CAA) This week: at #21 William & Mary (3-2, 2-1 CAA) Sat 10/17 12:00PM
(LW – 21) Last week: IDLE

17. Youngstown State (3-1, 1-1 MVFC) This week: vs. #6 South Dakota State (4-1, 1-1 MVFC) Sat 10/17 4:00PM
(LW – 17) Last week: lost to  #2 Illinois State (4-1, 2-0 MVFC) 31-29

18. Dartmouth (4-0, 2-0 Ivy) This week: at Central Connecticut State (2-4, 1-1 NEC) Sat 10/17 12:00PM
(LW – 22) Last week: defeated Yale (3-1, 1-1 Ivy) 35-3

19. Indiana State (3-2, 1-1 MVFC) This week: vs. Southern Illinois (2-3, 1-1 MVFC) Sat 10/17 3:00PM
(LW – 18) Last week: lost at #6 South Dakota State (4-1, 1-1 MVFC) 24-7

20. Portland State (4-1, 1-1 Big Sky) This week: vs. #23 Montana State (3-2, 2-1 Big Sky) Sat 10/17 3:35PM
(LW – NR) Last week: won at North Texas (0-5, 0-3 C-USA/West) 66-7

21. William & Mary (3-2, 2-1 CAA) This week: vs. #16 New Hampshire (3-2, 1-1 CAA) Sat 10/17 12:00PM
(LW – NR) Last week: won at #16 Villanova (2-3, 1-1) 38-16

22. Montana (3-3, 2-1 Big Sky) This week: IDLE
(LW – 13) Last week: lost to Weber State (3-3, 2-1 Big Sky) 24-21 (OT)

23. Montana State (3-2, 2-1 Big Sky) This week: at #20 Portland State (4-1, 1-1 Big Sky) Sat 10/17 3:35PM
(LW – NR) Last week: defeated Sacramento State (1-5, 0-3 Big Sky) 35-13

24. Sam Houston State (3-2, 3-1 Southland) This week: at Abilene Christian (2-3, 2-2 Southland) Sat 10/17 3:00PM
(LW – NR) Last week: defeated Incarnate Word (3-3, 2-2 Southland) 59-7

25. North Carolina A&T (4-1, 2-0 MEAC) This week: vs. Bethune-Cookman (5-1, 3-0 MEAC) Sat 10/17 1:00PM
(LW – NR) Last week: won at Norfolk State (2-4, 2-1 MEAC) 27-3

Dropped Out: #16 Villanova, #20 Cal Poly, #23 North Dakota, #24 Liberty, #25 Northern Arizona

Also Receiving Consideration:

Lamar (3-2, 2-1 Southland), Princeton (4-0, 1-0 Ivy), Cal Poly (2-4, 1-2 Big Sky), Charleston Southern (4-1, 1-0 Big South), Stony Brook (2-2, 1-2 CAA), Bethune-Cookman (5-1, 3-0 MEAC), North Dakota (4-2, 2-1 Big Sky), Samford (3-2, 1-1 Southern), Villanova (2-3, 1-1 CAA), Jacksonville (5-0, 3-0 Pioneer), Alcorn State (4-1, 3-0 SWAC), Southern Utah (3-2, 2-0 Big Sky), Dayton (5-0, 2-0 Pioneer), Liberty (3-3, 0-1 Big South), Yale (3-1, 1-1 Ivy), Northern Arizona (3-3, 1-2 Big Sky), Western Illinois (3-2, 2-0 MVFC), Central Arkansas (3-2, 3-0 Southland), Weber State (3-3, 2-1 Big Sky), Eastern Illinois (2-3, 2-0 OVC)

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