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2016 FCS Week 3 Top-25 Rankings

September 11, 2016
Lance Dunn outruns Nzuzi Webster for a 25-yard touchdown in overtime to cap top-ranked North Dakota State's heart-stopping 50-44 win over Eastern Washington at the Fargodome in Fargo, ND. (photo courtesy of gobison.com)

Lance Dunn (#10) outruns Nzuzi Webster (#6) for a 25-yard touchdown in overtime to cap top-ranked North Dakota State’s heart-stopping 50-44 win over Eastern Washington at the Fargodome in Fargo, ND. (photo courtesy of gobison.com)

For the second time in three weeks, the nation’s top-ranked team was taken to overtime, but survived. Five-time defending national champion North Dakota State held off #13 Eastern Washington 50-44 in Fargo, ND. Lance Dunn rushed for 128 yards, including the game-winner from 25 yards out in overtime. Dunn’s second touchdown of the day followed Tre Dempsey’s interception of Eastern Washington’s Gage Gubrud, who threw three picks on the day, including one that was returned 40 yards for a score by Nick DeLuca. Before leaving with a shoulder injury, EWU wide receiver Cooper Kupp scored a pair of touchdowns, setting a new FBS/FCS record of 61 while surpassing the 5,000 career receiving yards plateau.

Second-ranked Richmond used a smothering defense to blank Norfolk State 34-0 in winning their 11th consecutive home opener. The Spiders held the visiting Spartans to 122 total yards and forced three turnovers while David Jones sparked the hosts’ special teams squad with a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown. Quarterback Kyle Lauletta added scoring passes of 20 and 51 yards, but threw two interceptions.

Jerry Louie-McGee returned a second quarter punt 81 yards for a touchdown as #15 Montana upset #3 Northern Iowa 20-14 at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, IA. Despite gaining, only, 206 yards in the game, the Grizzlies built a 20-7 halftime advantage and used a stifling defense that held Panthers quarterback Aaron Bailey to 16 of 37 completions for 194 yards.

FBS #21 LSU used backups at quarterback and running back and beat #4 Jacksonville State 34-13, but the roster moves were not an ounce of disrespect to last year’s FCS runner-up squad. Danny Etling replaced struggling starting quarterback Brandon Harris after two possessions and Derrius Guice subbed for injured Heisman Trophy candidate Leonard Fournette in the backfield and played solid games. Etling passed for 100 yards and a touchdown and added a rushing score while Guice piled up 155 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown. The host Tigers scored 27 points in the second quarter, capped by a 60-yard punt return by Tre’Davious White to take control of the game before the break. Payton Award candidate Eli Jenkins led the Gamecocks with 330 combined yards and a touchdown pass.

Alejandro Bennefield accounted for all five of his team’s touchdowns as #6 Chattanooga blanked Presbyterian 34-0. Bennefield threw four touchdown passes, three to Xavier Borishade, and added a 9-yard scoring run early in the second half. The Mocs’ defense held the visiting Blue Hose to 196 yards. Presbyterian’s lone bright spot on the offense was Darrell Bridges, who tallied 89 yards on 18 carries.

In other FCS notes, Week 2 yielded three more teams beating FBS competition. #14 Illinois State beat Northwestern 9-7 as Sean Slattery’s 33-yard field goal bounced off the left post and through the uprights as time expired to give the Redbirds their first win over a Big Ten school in ten attempts. North Carolina A&T fifth-year senior and third-string quarterback Oluwafemi Bamiro found Denzel Keyes for a 15-yard touchdown strike in the fourth overtime to defeat Kent State 39-36 and, in Oxford, OH, Mitch Kimble threw two touchdown passes in the final four minutes to rally Eastern Illinois past Miami (OH) 21-17.

North Carolina A&T’s overtime victory moved the Aggies into the rankings at #24 and New Hampshire, courtesy of a 39-28 win over Holy Cross, enters the top-25 in the final spot. Stony Brook (#24) and Northern Arizona (#25) fall out of the rankings this week.

 

1. North Dakota State (2-0, 0-0 MVFC) This week: at FBS #13 Iowa (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten/W) Sat 9/17 12:00PM ET
(LW – 1) defeated #13 Eastern Washington (1-1, 0-0 Big Sky) 50-44 (OT)

2. Richmond (2-0, 0-0 Colonial) This week: at Stony Brook (1-1, 0-0 Colonial) Sat 9/17 12:00PM ET
(LW – 2) defeated Norfolk State (1-1, 0-0 MEAC) 34-0

3. Jacksonville State (1-1, 0-0 OVC) This week: vs. #11 Coastal Carolina (1-0, IND) Sat 9/17 2:00PM ET
(LW – 4) lost at FBS #21 LSU (1-1, 0-0 SEC/W) 34-13

4. Sam Houston State (1-0, 0-0 Southland) This week: at Lamar (0-2, 0-0 Southland) Sat 9/17 8:00PM ET
(LW – 5) IDLE

5. Chattanooga (2-0, 0-0 Southern) This week: at Furman (0-2, 0-0 Southern) Sat 9/17 7:00PM ET
(LW – 6) defeated Presbyterian (0-2, 0-0 Big South) 34-0

6. Montana (2-0, 0-0 Big Sky) This week: IDLE
(LW – 15) won at #3 Northern Iowa (1-1, 0-0 MVFC) 20-14

7. Charleston Southern (1-2, 0-0 Big South) This week: IDLE
(LW – 7) lost at FBS #3 Florida State (2-0, 0-0 ACC/C) 52-8

8. South Dakota State (1-1, 0-0 MVFC) This week: vs. Cal Poly (1-1, 0-0 Big Sky) Sat 9/17 7:00PM ET
(LW – 9) defeated Drake (0-2, 0-0 Pioneer) 56-28

9. Illinois State (2-0, 0-0 MVFC) This week: vs. Eastern Illinois (1-1, 0-0 OVC) Sat 9/17 3:00PM ET
(LW – 14) won at Northwestern (0-2, 0-0 Big Ten/W) 9-7

10. The Citadel (2-0, 1-0 Southern) This week: at Gardner-Webb (1-1, 0-0 Big South) Sat 9/17 6:00PM ET
(LW – 8) defeated Furman (0-2, 0-0 Southern) 19-14

11. Coastal Carolina (2-0, 0-0 Big South) This week: at #3 Jacksonville State (1-1, 0-0 OVC) Sat 9/17 2:00PM ET
(LW – 10) defeated Florida A&M (0-2, 0-0 MEAC) 49-10

12. Northern Iowa (1-1, 0-0 MVFC) This week: at #15 Eastern Washington (1-1, 0-0 Big Sky) Sat 9/17 7:05PM ET
(LW – 3) lost to #15 Montana (2-0, 0-0 Big Sky) 20-14

13. William & Mary (1-1, 0-0 Colonial) This week: vs. Norfolk State (1-1, 0-0 MEAC) Sat 9/17 6:00PM ET
(LW – 11) won at Hampton (1-1, 0-0 MEAC) 24-14

14. James Madison (2-0, 0-0 Colonial) This week: at North Carolina (1-1, 0-0 ACC/C) Sat 9/17 3:30PM ET
(LW – 12) defeated Central Connecticut State (0-2, 0-0 NEC) 56-21

15. Eastern Washington (1-1, 0-0 Big Sky) This week: vs. #12 Northern Iowa (1-1, 0-0 MVFC) Sat 9/17 7:05PM ET
(LW – 13) lost at #1 North Dakota State (2-0, 0-0 MVFC) 50-44 (OT)

16. McNeese State (1-1, 0-0 Southland) This week: vs. Stephen F. Austin (1-1, 0-0 Southland) Sat 9/17 7:00PM ET
(LW – 16) lost at Louisiana-Lafayette (1-1, 0-0 Sun Belt) 30-22

17. Villanova (1-1, 0-0 Colonial) This week: vs. #21 Towson (1-1, 0-0 Colonial) Sat 9/17 3:30PM ET
(LW – 17) defeated Lehigh (0-2, 0-0 Patriot) 26-21

18. Western Illinois (2-0, 0-0 MVFC) This week: IDLE
(LW – 19) defeated #25 Northern Arizona (0-0, 0-0 Big Sky) 34-20

19. Portland State (1-1, 0-0 Big Sky) This week: at FBS #8 Washington (1-0, 0-0 PAC-12/N) Sat 9/17 8:00PM ET
(LW – 18) lost at San Jose State (1-1, 0-0 MWC/W) 66-35

20. Youngstown State (1-1, 0-0 MVFC) This week: vs. Robert Morris (0-2, 0-0 NEC) Sat 9/17 4:00PM ET
(LW – 20) lost at West Virginia (2-0, 0-0 Big 12) 38-21

21. Towson (1-1, 0-0 Colonial) This week: at #17 Villanova (1-1, 0-0 Colonial) Sat 9/17 3:30PM ET
(LW – 21) defeated St. Francis (PA) (0-2, 0-0 NEC) 35-28

22. Colgate (0-1, 0-0 Patriot) This week: at Yale (0-0, 0-0 Ivy) Sat 9/17 1:30PM ET
(LW – 22) IDLE

23. Eastern Kentucky (1-1, 0-0 OVC) This week: at Ball State (1-1, 0-0 MAC/W) Sat 9/17 3:00PM ET
(LW – 23) defeated Pikeville (2-1, 1-0 MSC/NAIA) 55-14

24. North Carolina A&T (2-0, 0-0 MEAC) This week: at Tulsa (1-1, 0-0 AAC/W) Sat 9/17 2:00PM ET
(LW – NR) won at Kent State (0-2, 0-0 MAC/E) 39-36 (4OT)

25. New Hampshire (1-1, 0-0 Colonial) This week: at Dartmouth (0-0, 0-0 Ivy) Sat 9/17 7:00PM ET
(LW – NR) defeated Holy Cross (1-1, 0-0 Patriot) 39-28

Dropped out: #24 Stony Brook, #25 Northern Arizona

Also Receiving Consideration:

Dartmouth (0-0, 0-0 Ivy), Delaware (2-0, 0-0 Colonial), Eastern Illinois (1-1, 0-0 OVC), Fordham (1-1, 0-0 Patriot), Harvard (0-0, 0-0 Ivy), Holy Cross (1-1, 0-0 Patriot), Indiana State (1-1, 0-0 MVFC), Liberty (1-1, 0-0 Big South), Samford (2-0, 0-0 Southern), South Dakota (1-1, 0-0 MVFC), Southern Illinois (1-1, 0-0 MVFC), Southern Utah (1-1, 0-0 Big Sky), Stony Brook (1-1, 0-0 Colonial), Tennessee State (2-0, 0-0 OVC), Yale (0-0, 0-0 Ivy)

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