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2015 Week 12 FCS Rankings (November 9 – November 15)

November 8, 2015
Jacksonville State senior LB Dawson Wells (#47) jukes past Eastern Illinois WR James Brooks en route to a 35-yard interception return in the Gamecocks' 24-3 win at O'Brien Field in Charleston, IL. (photo courtesy of jsugamecocksports.com)

Jacksonville State senior LB Dawson Wells (#47) jukes past Eastern Illinois WR James Brooks en route to a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown in the Gamecocks’ 24-3 win at O’Brien Field in Charleston, IL. (photo courtesy of jsugamecocksports.com)

Taryn Christion passed for 307 yards and a pair of touchdowns and South Dakota State’s defense held Marshaun Coprich to 55 yards on 22 carries as the Jackrabbits (7-2, 4-2 MVFC) held off top-ranked Illinois State 25-20 in Brookings, SD. Following Christion’s 10-yard touchdown run to tie the game at seven with 3:38 to play in the first half, backup quarterback Zack Lujan hit Jake Wieneke for a 14-yard scoring reception and a 14-7 lead 13 seconds before the break. After the teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter, Christion connected with Wieneke on 70-yard scoring pass just over a minute into the final quarter, but the two-point conversion failed, leaving the hosts with a 25-14 lead. Tre Robertson, who passed for 327 yards and three scores, led the Redbirds (7-2, 5-1 MVFC) on a scoring drive that was capped by a 14-yard touchdown pass, his third, to Anthony Warrum, who finished with 241 receiving yards, with 1:16 to play. However, a failed two-point try left the score at 25-20 and South Dakota State recovered the subsequent on-side kick to exhaust the remaining seconds on the clock and send the home fans at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium into the South Dakota evening with smiles on their faces.

Jacksonville State shrugged off a sluggish first half and used a smothering defense to batter #21 Eastern Illinois 24-3 at O’Brien Field in Charleston, IL. Eli Jenkins threw for 149 yards and touchdown while rushing for 93 yards and Troymaine Pope added 114 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown as the Gamecocks (8-1, 6-0 OVC) take over the top spot in this week’s rankings. Dawson Wells added a fourth-quarter 35-yard interception return for a touchdown only 17 seconds after Pope’s 10-yard run to paydirt to cap the day’s scoring. While the Panthers (5-4, 5-1 OVC) rushed for 175 yards on the day, the passing game was ineffective from the opening gun as the trio of Jalen Whitlow, James Brooks and Mike Bernier completed, only, seven of 26 passes for 64 yards.

New Hampshire, suffering from a sub-par season, built a 21-7 halftime lead and hung on to defeat third-ranked Richmond 30-25 at Cowell Stadium. The Wildcats (5-4, 3-3 CAA) built their first half lead on three touchdown passes, one from Adam Riese and a pair from Sean Goldrich, who finished the day with 264 yards through the air. Richmond (7-2, 5-1 CAA) cut the lead to five in the third quarter and inched to within two following a 28-yard field goal from Peter Yoder with 10:28 left in regulation, but New Hampshire countered with Christian Breda’s field goal from 29 yards out less than four minutes later for the final points of the game. Spiders quarterback Kyle Lauletta passed for 240 yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted four times, twice by Patrick Mensah, while Jacobi Green rushed for 154 yards, but was unable to find the end zone. Trevon Bryant led the Wildcats rushing attack with 88 yards and Goldrich added 25 yards and a touchdown.

Marcus Alford returned an interception 70 yards for a touchdown and Corbin Jountti rushed for 51 yards and three scores to lead Northern Arizona past fourth-ranked Eastern Washington 52-30 on the red turf of Roos Field in Cheney, WA. The Lumberjacks (6-3, 4-2 Big Sky) never trailed to their hosts on Saturday as Case Cookus passed for 224 yards and a touchdown while the defense forced four turnovers to drop the Eagles (6-3, 5-1 Big Sky) a game behind Southern Utah in the Big Sky. Casey Jahn added a pair of rushing touchdowns while Kendyl Taylor dashed for a game-high 66 yards for Northern Arizona. Eastern Washington quarterback Jordan West threw a pair of scoring strikes, to Cooper Kupp and Terence Grady, while Kendrick Bourne registered game highs with nine receptions for 154 yards.

Following their first loss of the season, fifth-ranked Coastal Carolina registered their second shutout of 2015, mauling Gardner-Webb 46-0 at Brooks Stadium in Conway, SC. De’Angelo Henderson led the Chanticleers (8-1, 3-1 Big South), rushing for 114 yards and a pair of touchdowns, which extended his FCS record of consecutive games with a rushing score to 23. Osharmar Abercrombie added 46 yards on the ground and a pair of scores while quarterback Alex Ross threw for 209 yards on 14-of-16 attempts and two touchdowns, to Bruce Mapp and Craig Weick. Joe Moglia’s defense held the Bulldogs (3-6, 2-3 Big South) to 272 yards of offense, including, only, 126 through the air  while allowing, only, eight pass completions on the day.

Meanwhile, team that ended Coastal Carolina’s unbeaten season last week locked up the first post-season automatic bid Saturday, as #18 Charleston Southern clinched their first-ever FCS playoff berth by winning, at least, a share of the Big South regular season title after a 28-14 victory at Kennesaw State.

Elsewhere in the top-ten, #6 North Dakota State humiliated Western Illinois 59-7, Mercer upset #7 Chattanooga 17-14  #8 McNeese State remained undefeated with a 27-10 victory over #15 Sam Houston State and #9 Harvard extended their winning streak to 22 games with a 24-16 win at Columbia.

#11 Portland State was upset at Northern Colorado 35-32, #12 William & Mary won their fifth game in a row, running past Elon 34-13 and #13 Northern Iowa blew out #24 Indiana State 59-13.

#16 Fordham rallied to defeat Bucknell 24-16, #17 North Carolina A&T inched past South Carolina State 9-6, #19 Dayton remained undefeated after rallying late to beat Morehead State 20-15 and #20 The Citadel marched through, over and around VMI, 35-14, to take sole possession of first place in the Southern Conference one week ahead of their showdown with Chattanooga..

#22 Southern Utah extended their winning streak to seven with a 34-23 victory at Montana State, #23 Eastern Kentucky dropped out of the rankings after falling to Tennessee-Martin 42-35 and #25 Dartmouth eased past winless Cornell 21-3.

With Eastern Kentucky and Indiana State dropping out of the rankings, two teams make their 2015 debuts this week: Grambling State enters at #24 after their 41-15 demolition of Texas Southern and Central Arkansas rounds out the top-25 by defeating Stephen F. Austin 36-24 and remaining in the hunt for the Southland’s automatic bid.

Week 11 results and Week 12 rankings and opponents:

(All scheduled game times ET)

1. Jacksonville State (8-1, 6-0 OVC) This week: vs. Southeast Missouri State (4-5, 3-2 OVC) Sat 11/14 2:00PM
(LW – 2) Last week: won at #21 Eastern Illinois (5-4, 5-1 OVC) 24-3

2. Coastal Carolina (8-1, 3-1 Big South) This week: vs. Kennesaw State (6-3, 2-2 Big South) Sat 11/14 2:00PM
(LW – 5) Last week: defeated Gardner-Webb (3-6, 2-3 Big South) 46-0

3. North Dakota State (7-2, 5-1 MVFC) This week: at Youngstown State (5-4, 3-3 MVFC) Sat 11/14 2:00PM
(LW – 6) Last week: defeated Western Illinois (4-5, 3-3 MVFC) 59-7

4. McNeese State (9-0, 8-0 Southland) This week: IDLE
(LW – 8) Last week: defeated #15 Sam Houston State (6-3, 5-2 Southland) 27-10

5. South Dakota State (7-2, 4-2 MVFC) This week: at South Dakota (5-4, 3-3 MVFC) Sat 11/14 2:00PM
(LW – 10) Last week: defeated #1 Illinois State (7-2, 5-1 MVFC) 25-20

6. Illinois State (7-2, 5-1 MVFC) This week: at Southern Illinois (3-6, 2-4 MVFC) Sat 11/14 3:00PM
(LW – 1) Last week: lost at #10 South Dakota State (7-2, 4-2 MVFC) 25-20

7. Harvard (8-0, 5-0 Ivy) This week: vs. Pennsylvania (5-3, 4-1 Ivy) Sat 11/14 12:00PM
(LW – 9) Last week: won at Columbia (2-6, 1-4 Ivy) 24-16

8. Richmond (7-2, 5-1 CAA) This week: at Villanova (5-4, 4-2 CAA) Sat 11/14 3:30PM
(LW – 3) Last week: lost at New Hampshire (5-4, 3-3 CAA) 30-25

9. William & Mary (7-2, 5-1 CAA) This week: vs. Towson (6-3, 4-2 CAA) Sat 11/14 1:30PM
(LW – 12) Last week: won at Elon (3-6, 2-4 CAA) 34-13

10. Northern Iowa (5-4, 3-3 MVFC) This week: at Missouri State (1-8, 0-6 MVFC) Sat 11/14 3:00PM
(LW – 13) Last week: defeated #24 Indiana State (4-5, 2-4 MVFC) 59-13

11. Eastern Washington (6-3, 5-1 Big Sky) This week: at Montana (5-4, 4-2 Big Sky) Sat 11/14 3:05PM
(LW – 4) Last week: lost to Northern Arizona (6-3, 4-2 Big Sky) 52-30

12. James Madison (7-2, 4-2 CAA) This week: at Delaware (3-6, 2-4 CAA) Sat 11/14 3:30PM
(LW – 14) Last week: IDLE

13. The Citadel (7-2, 6-0 Southern) This week: at #18 Chattanooga (7-2, 5-1 Southern) Sat 11/14 2:00PM
(LW – 20) Last week: defeated VMI (2-8, 1-5 Southern) 35-14

14. Charleston Southern (8-1, 5-0 Big South) This week: vs. Liberty (5-4, 2-2 Big South) Sat 11/14 2:00PM
(LW – 18) Last week: won at Kennesaw State (6-3, 2-2 Big South) 28-14

15. Southern Utah (7-2, 6-0 Big Sky) This week: at #21 Portland State (7-2, 4-2 Big Sky) Sat 11/14 5:05PM
(LW – 22) Last week: won at Montana State (4-5, 2-4 Big Sky) 34-23

16. North Carolina A&T (8-1, 6-0 MEAC) This week: vs. Delaware State (0-9, 0-6 MEAC) Sat 11/14 1:00PM
(LW – 17) Last week: won at South Carolina State (5-4, 4-2 MEAC) 9-6

17. Fordham (8-2, 4-1 Patriot) This week: at Georgetown (4-5, 2-2 Patriot) Sat 11/14 12:00PM
(LW – 16) Last week: defeated Bucknell (4-5, 1-3 Patriot) 24-16

18. Chattanooga (7-2, 5-1 Southern) This week: vs. #13 The Citadel (7-2, 6-0 Southern) Sat 11/14 2:00PM
(LW – 7) Last week: lost at Mercer (4-5, 1-4 Southern) 17-14

19. Dayton (9-0, 6-0 Pioneer) This week: vs. Marist (5-4, 4-2 Pioneer) Sat 11/14 1:00PM
(LW – 19) Last week: won at Morehead State (5-4, 4-2 Pioneer) 20-15

20. Sam Houston State (6-3, 5-2 Southland) This week: vs. Northwestern State (3-6, 3-4 Southland) Sat 11/14 3:30PM
(LW – 15) Last week: lost at #8 McNeese State (9-0, 8-0 Southland) 27-10

21. Portland State (7-2, 4-2 Big Sky) This week: vs. #15 Southern Utah (7-2, 6-0 Big Sky) Sat 11/14 5:05PM
(LW – 11) Last week: lost at Northern Colorado (5-4, 3-4 Big Sky) 35-32

22. Dartmouth (7-1, 4-1 Ivy) This week: at Brown (4-4, 2-3 Ivy) Sat 11/14 12:30PM
(LW – 25) Last week: defeated Cornell (0-8, 0-5 Ivy) 21-3

23. Eastern Illinois (5-4, 5-1 OVC) This week: at Tennessee-Martin (5-3, 5-1 OVC) Sat 11/14 3:00PM
(LW – 21) Last week: lost to #2 Jacksonville State (8-1, 6-0 OVC) 24-3

24. Grambling State (7-2, 7-0 SWAC-W) This week: at Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-8, 0-7 SWAC-W) Sat 11/14 3:30PM
(LW – NR) Last week: defeated Texas Southern (3-5, 2-5 SWAC-W) 41-15

25. Central Arkansas (6-3, 6-1 Southland) This week: at Nicholls State (2-7, 2-5 Southland) Sat 11/14 4:00PM
(LW – NR) Last week: defeated Stephen F. Austin (3-6, 3-4 Southland) 36-24

Dropped Out: #23 Eastern Kentucky, #24 Indiana State

Also Receiving Consideration:

Northern Arizona (6-3, 4-2 Big Sky), Pennsylvania (5-3, 4-1 Ivy), Montana (5-4, 4-2 Big Sky), Youngstown State (5-4, 3-3 MVFC), Bethune-Cookman (8-2, 6-1 MEAC), South Dakota (5-4, 3-3 MVFC), Duquesne (7-3, 4-1 NEC), San Diego (7-2, 5-1 Pioneer), Western Carolina (6-3, 4-2 Southern), Eastern Kentucky (5-4, 4-2 OVC), Prairie View A&M (6-2, 6-1 SWAC-W), North Carolina Central (6-3, 5-1 MEAC), Tennessee-Martin (5-3, 5-1 OVC), Western Illinois (4-5, 3-3 MVFC), North Dakota (5-4, 3-3 Big Sky), Towson (6-3, 4-2 CAA), Villanova (5-4, 4-2 CAA), Lehigh (5-4, 3-1 Patriot), Indiana State (4-5, 2-4 MVFC), Colgate (5-4, 4-0 Patriot)

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