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2016 FCS Week 4 Top-25 Rankings

September 18, 2016
Cam Pedersen (#36) celebrates with Cole Davis (#7) after his 37-yard field goal attempt split the uprights as time expired and gave top-ranked North Dakota State a 23-21 win over FBS #13 Iowa. (photo courtesy of gobison.com)

Cam Pedersen (#36) celebrates with Cole Davis (#7) after his 37-yard field goal attempt split the uprights as time expired and gave top-ranked North Dakota State a 23-21 win over FBS #13 Iowa. (photo courtesy of gobison.com)

Week 3 of the FCS season provided numerous exciting finishes, stunning upsets and, quite possibly, the most volatile shuffling of the top-25 in recent years.

Cam Pedersen’s 37-yard field goal as time expired capped a fourth-quarter comeback that propelled top-ranked North Dakota State past FBS #13 Iowa 23-21 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, IA. King Frazier rushed for 99 yards and a touchdown while the Bison defense held the Hawkeyes to 231 yards of offense. North Dakota State (3-0, 0-0 MVFC) has defeated two FBS opponents in 2016 and have won six straight games against FBS foes. The victory was, also, the fourth for an FCS squad over a ranked FBS team since the two divisions split in 1978.

Stacey Bedell rushed for 100 yards and four touchdowns as Stony Brook upset #2 Richmond 42-14 at LaValle Stadium. The Seawolves (2-1, 1-0 Colonial) forced Richmond (2-1, 0-1 Colonial) quarterback Kyle Lauletta into three interceptions and shut down the Spiders’ running game, allowing, only, 32 yards on 20 carries while blanking the visitors in the second half.

Eli Jenkins’ 14-yard touchdown run with 6:44 to play lifted #3 Jacksonville State to a 27-26 victory over #11 Coastal Carolina. Jenkins threw for 248 yards and a pair of scores and added 111 rushing yards along with his game-winning scamper for the Gamecocks (2-1, 0-0 OVC) while Roc Thomas rushed for 144 yards on 25 carries. The Chanticleers (2-1, IND), in the first year of their transition to the FBS, allowed 534 yards of offense and 30 first downs while being dominated in time of possession.

Jeremiah Briscoe passed for 328 yards and three touchdowns to lead #4 Sam Houston State to a 44-31 victory at Lamar. Corey Avery rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown as the Bearkats (2-0, 1-0) rolled up 598 yards of offense in their Southland Conference opener. Despite trailing 30-3 at halftime, Lamar (0-3, 0-1 Southland) engineered four second half touchdown drives, led by quarterback Andrew Allen’s two touchdown passes and long scoring runs from Carson Earp and Brendan Langley.

Alejandro Bennifield rushed for a touchdown and passed for another score as #5 Chattanooga opened its Southern Conference schedule by beating Furman 21-14 at Paladin Stadium in Greenville, SC. C.J. Board’s 33-yard touchdown run opened the scoring for the Mocs (3-0, 1-0 Southern) in the first quarter and the visitors upped their lead to 21-0 at halftime on touchdown runs from Derrick Craine and Bennefield. The Paladins (0-3, 0-2 Southern) made the game interesting with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown runs, but a failed on-side with 1:01 to play allowed Chattanooga to escape with the win.

In, arguably, the craziest finish of the day, #15 Eastern Washington, successfully, converted a fake field goal for a touchdown with 43 seconds remaining to defeat #12 Northern Iowa 34-30 on the red turf of Roos Field in Cheney, WA. Trailing 30-28, the Eagles (2-1, 0-0 Big Sky) lined up for a 40-yard field goal into the wind, but holder Reilly Hennessey, who replaced quarterback Gage Gubrud in the third quarter, found tight end Beau Byus for a 23-yard touchdown strike and a four-point lead. Following a missed two-point conversion, the Panthers (1-2, 0-0 MVFC) had one final possession to regain the lead, but Cal Twait fumbled on the opening play and the hosts ran out the clock.

In addition to Richmond losing via upset, South Dakota State and Illinois State drop out of the top-10, following losses to Cal Poly and Eastern Illinois, respectively. James Madison, Portland State and North Carolina A&T took losses, but to FBS programs, while dropping out of the rankings are McNeese State, Towson, Eastern Kentucky and New Hampshire.

Stony Brook returns to the rankings at #11, Cal Poly and Eastern Illinois make their 2016 debuts at #15 and #16, respectively and Dartmouth grabs the final spot in the rankings following their 22-21 win over New Hampshire.

1. North Dakota State (3-0, 0-0 MVFC) This week: IDLE
(LW – 1) won at FBS #13 Iowa (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten/W) 23-21

2. Jacksonville State (2-1, 0-0 OVC) This week: at Liberty (1-2, 0-0 Big South) Sat 9/24 7:00PM ET
(LW – 3) defeated #11 Coastal Carolina (2-1, IND) 27-26

3. Sam Houston State (2-0, 1-0 Southland) This week: at Houston Baptist (2-1, 1-1 Southland) Sat 9/24 8:00PM ET
(LW – 4) won at Lamar (0-3, 0-1 Southland) 44-31

4. Chattanooga (3-0, 1-0 Southern) This week: vs. Samford (2-0, 0-0 Southern) Sat 9/24 2:00PM ET
(LW – 5) won at Furman (0-3, 0-1 Southern) 21-14

5. Montana (2-0, 0-0 Big Sky) This week: at #16 Cal Poly (2-1, 0-0 Big Sky) Sat 9/24 3:00PM ET
(LW – 6) IDLE

6. Charleston Southern (1-2, 0-0 Big South) This week: at Monmouth (2-1, 0-0 Big South) Sat 9/24 1:00PM ET
(LW – 7) IDLE

7. Eastern Washington (2-1, 0-0 Big Sky) This week: at Northern Arizona (1-2, 0-0 Big Sky) Sat 9/24 7:00PM ET
(LW – 15) defeated #12 Northern Iowa (1-2, 0-0 MVFC) 34-30

8. The Citadel (3-0, 2-0 Southern) This week: IDLE
(LW – 10) won at Gardner-Webb (1-2, 0-0 Big South) 31-24

9. William & Mary (2-1, 0-0 Colonial) This week: vs. Elon (1-2, 0-0 Colonial) Sat 9/24 7:00PM ET
(LW – 13) defeated Norfolk State (1-2, 0-0 MEAC) 35-10

10. Coastal Carolina (2-1, 0-0 Big South) This week: vs. Furman (0-3, 0-1 Southern) Sat 9/24 6:00PM ET
(LW – 11) lost at #3 Jacksonville State (2-1, 0-0 OVC) 27-26

11. Stony Brook (2-1, 1-0 Colonial) This week: vs. Sacred Heart (3-0, 0-0 NEC) Sat 9/24 6:00PM ET
(LW – NR) defeated #2 Richmond (2-1, 0-1 Colonial) 42-14

12. Villanova (2-1, 1-0 Colonial) This week: at Lafayette (1-2, 0-0 Patriot) Sat 9/24 6:00PM ET
(LW – 17) defeated #21 Towson (1-2, 0-1 Colonial) 40-21

13. Richmond (2-1, 0-1 Colonial) This week: vs. #22 Colgate (1-1, 0-0 Patriot) Sat 9/24 3:30PM ET
(LW – 2) lost at Stony Brook (2-1, 1-0 Colonial) 42-14

14. James Madison (2-1, 0-0 Colonial) This week: at Maine (0-2, 0-0 Colonial) Sat 9/24 12:00PM ET
(LW – 14) lost at North Carolina (2-1, 0-0 ACC/C) 56-28

15. Eastern Illinois (2-1, 0-0 OVC) This week: vs. Austin Peay (0-2, 0-1 OVC) Sat 9/24 2:00PM ET
(LW – NR) won at #9 Illinois State (2-1, 0-0 MVFC) 24-21

16. Cal Poly (2-1, 0-0 Big Sky) This week: vs. #5 Montana (2-0, 0-0 Big Sky) Sat 9/24 3:00PM ET
(LW – NR) won at #8 South Dakota State (2-1, 0-0 MVFC) 38-31

17. Northern Iowa (1-2, 0-0 MVFC) This week: IDLE
(LW – 12) lost at #15 Eastern Washington (2-1, 0-0 Big Sky) 34-30

18. South Dakota State (1-2, 0-0 MVFC) This week: IDLE
(LW – 8) lost to Cal Poly (2-1, 0-0 Big Sky) 38-31

19. Illinois State (2-1, 0-0 MVFC) This week: at Indiana State (2-1, 0-0 MVFC) Sat 9/24 3:00PM ET
(LW – 9) lost to Eastern Illinois (2-1, 1-0 OVC) 24-21

20. Western Illinois (2-0, 0-0 MVFC) This week: at Northern Illinois (0-3, 0-0 MAC/W) Sat 9/24 3:30PM ET
(LW – 18) IDLE

21. Youngstown State (2-1, 0-0 MVFC) This week: IDLE
(LW – 20) defeated Robert Morris (0-3, 0-0 NEC) 38-6

22. Colgate (1-1, 0-0 Patriot) This week: at #13 Richmond (2-1, 0-1 Colonial) Sat 9/24 3:30PM ET
(LW – 22) won at Yale (0-1, 0-0 Ivy) 55-13

23. North Carolina A&T (2-1, 0-0 MEAC) This week: IDLE
(LW – 24) lost at Tulsa (2-1, 0-0 AAC/W) 58-21

24. Portland State (1-2, 0-0 Big Sky) This week: at Southern Utah (1-1, 0-0 Big Sky) Sat 9/24 8:00PM ET
(LW – 19) lost at FBS #8 Washington (3-0, 0-0 PAC-12/N) 41-3

25. Dartmouth (1-0, 0-0 Ivy) This week: at Holy Cross (1-2, 0-0 Patriot) Sat 9/24 1:05PM ET
(LW – NR) defeated #25 New Hampshire (1-2, 0-0 Colonial) 22-21

Dropped out: #16 McNeese State, #21 Towson, #23 Eastern Kentucky, #25 New Hampshire

Also Receiving Consideration:

Albany (3-0, 1-0 Colonial), Central Arkansas (2-1, 2-0 Southland), Delaware (2-1, 0-0 Colonial), Eastern Kentucky (1-2, 0-0 OVC), Fordham (1-1, 0-0 Patriot), Harvard (1-0, 0-0 Ivy), Indiana State (2-1, 0-0 MVFC), New Hampshire (1-2, 0-0 Colonial), Sacred Heart (3-0, 0-0 NEC), Samford (2-0, 0-0 Southern), Southern Illinois (2-1, 0-0 MVFC), Southern Utah (1-1, 0-0 Big Sky), Stephen F. Austin (2-1, 1-0 Southland), Tennessee State (3-0, 0-0 OVC), Towson (1-2, 0-1 Colonial)

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