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2016 FCS Week 8 Top-25 Rankings

October 16, 2016
#13 South Dakota State defeated #1 North Dakota State 19-17 and took possession of the Dakota Marker for the first time since 2009. (photo courtesy of gojacks.com)

#13 South Dakota State defeated #1 North Dakota State 19-17 and took possession of the Dakota Marker for the first time since 2009. (photo courtesy of gojacks.com)

One loss does not a season make, but it sure creates headlines – especially if it involves a five-time defending champion team and one second on the clock.

Taryn Christion found Jake Wieneke for a 2-yard touchdown with one second remaining to lift #13 South Dakota State past top-ranked North Dakota State 19-17 at the Fargodome in Fargo, ND. The Jackrabbits (4-2, 3-0 MVFC) fell behind, 17-3, in the early minutes of the third quarter following Easton Stick’s 26-yard scoring run for the Bison (5-1, 2-1 MVFC), but closed to within a touchdown on Christion’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Goedert with 5:26 to play in the third quarter. Chase Vinatieri’s 42-yard field goal trimmed the deficit to 17-13 at the 11:04 mark of the final quarter, capping a 5-play, 25-yard drive. South Dakota State’s defense held the defending champs to 20 yards on eight plays on their next two drives before embarking on their game-winning possession. With 2:28 on the clock, Christion, who passed for 303 yards and two touchdowns, engineered a 14-play, 80-yard drive that culminated with his pass to Wieneke on fourth-and-one from the North Dakota State two-yard line. The victory gives the Jackrabbits the Dakota Marker, the annual prize awarded to the winner of the matchup, for the first time since 2009.

Eli Jenkins rushed for two touchdowns and passed for a third while Josh Clemons added a pair of rushing scores to lead #2 Jacksonville State past Austin Peay 34-14 at Burgess-Snow Field in Jacksonville, AL. The Gamecocks (5-1, 2-0 OVC) led, only, 14-7 at halftime, but used a relentless ground attack led by Clemons (143 yards) and Jenkins (117) yards to keep the Governors (0-6, 0-5 OVC) winless in 2016.

Jeremiah Briscoe threw for 404 yards and six touchdowns as #3 Sam Houston State pummeled Abilene Christian 48-21 at Bowers Stadium in Huntsville, TX. The Bearkats (6-0, 5-0 Southland) built a 48-7 lead through three quarters as Briscoe, Remus Bulmer, Tyler Scott and Nathan Stewart ran roughshod through the Wildcats (0-7, 0-5 Southland). Bulmer rushed for 73 yards and a score and, also, caught a touchdown pass while Scott caught eight passes for 130 yards and a touchdown and Stewart added five receptions for 129 yards and two scores.

Dominique Allen rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns as #7 The Citadel defeated #4 Chattanooga 22-14 in a battle of undefeated Southern Conference squads at Hagood Stadium in Charleston, SC. Allen passed, only, four times in the game as the Bulldogs (6-0, 4-0 Southern) rushed 77 times for 342 yards and had, nearly, a two-to-one advantage in time of possession. Cam Jackson rushed for 69 yards and Tyler Renew added 65 yards for The Citadel, who never trailed in the game. Alejandro Bennifield passed for 240 yards and a touchdown for the Mocs (6-1, 4-1 Southern) while running back Derrick Craine tallied 35 yards and a rushing touchdown.

Elsewhere, Charleston Southern and Eastern Washington were idle, #8 Villanova was shut out at #9 Richmond 23-0 and #10 Coastal Carolina defeated former Big South foe Gardner-Webb 17-7.

Dropping out of the rankings this week are #17 Albany, who lost at Maine, and #22 Harvard, after a loss at Holy Cross. Replacing the Great Danes and Crimson are Princeton (#23) and Eastern Illinois, who reenters the top-25 at #24.

1. Jacksonville State (5-1, 2-0 OVC) This week: at Eastern Kentucky (2-4, 1-2 OVC) Sat 10/22 3:00PM ET
(LW – 2) defeated Austin Peay (0-6, 0-5 OVC) 34-14

2. Sam Houston State (6-0, 5-0 Southland) This week: at Nicholls State (3-3, 3-1 Southland) Sat 10/22 4:00PM ET
(LW – 3) defeated Abilene Christian (0-7, 0-5 Southland) 48-21

3. The Citadel (6-0, 4-0 Southern) This week: at Wofford (4-2, 2-1 Southern) Sat 10/22 1:30PM ET
(LW – 7) defeated #4 Chattanooga (6-1, 4-1 Southern) 22-14

4. South Dakota State (4-2, 3-0 MVFC) This week: vs. #14 Youngstown State (5-1, 3-0 MVFC) Sat 10/22 3:00PM ET
(LW – 13) won at #1 North Dakota State (5-1, 2-1 MVFC) 19-17

5. North Dakota State (5-1, 2-1 MVFC) This week: at #17 Western Illinois (5-1, 2-1 MVFC) Sat 10/22 7:00PM ET
(LW – 1) lost to #13 South Dakota State (4-2, 3-0 MVFC) 19-17

6. Charleston Southern (3-2, 1-0 Big South) This week: vs. Presbyterian (2-4, 1-1 Big South) Sat 10/22 6:00PM ET
(LW – 5) IDLE

7. Eastern Washington (5-1, 3-0 Big Sky) This week: at Montana State (2-5, 0-4 Big Sky) Sat 10/22 2:00PM ET
(LW – 6) IDLE

8. Chattanooga (6-1, 4-1 Southern) This week: vs. VMI (3-3, 1-2 Southern) Sat 10/22 2:00PM ET
(LW – 4) lost at #7 The Citadel (6-0, 4-0 Southern) 22-14

9. Richmond (6-1, 3-1 Colonial) This week: at Elon (2-4, 1-2 Colonial) Sat 10/22 3:30PM ET
(LW – 9) defeated #8 Villanova (5-2, 3-1 Colonial) 23-0

10. Coastal Carolina (4-2, 0-0 IND) This week: vs. Central Connecticut State (1-5, 0-2 NEC) Sat 10/22 2:00PM ET
(LW – 10) won at Gardner-Webb (3-4, 1-0 Big South) 17-7

11. James Madison (6-1, 4-0 Colonial) This week: IDLE
(LW – 11) won at #19 New Hampshire (4-3, 3-1 Colonial) 42-39

12. Montana (5-1, 2-1 Big Sky) This week: at Northern Arizona (3-4, 2-2 Big Sky) Sat 10/22 7:00PM ET
(LW – 12) defeated Sacramento State (1-6, 1-3 Big Sky) 68-7

13. Villanova (5-2, 3-1 Colonial) This week: vs. Albany (4-2, 1-2 Colonial) Sat 10/22 3:30PM ET
(LW – 8) lost at #9 Richmond (6-1, 3-1 Colonial) 23-0

14. Youngstown State (5-1, 3-0 MVFC) This week: at #4 South Dakota State (4-2, 3-0 MVFC) Sat 10/22 3:00PM ET
(LW – 14) defeated Northern Iowa (2-4, 1-2 MVFC) 14-10

15. North Carolina A&T (5-1, 3-0 MEAC) This week: at Howard (1-6, 1-3 MEAC) Sat 10/22 1:00PM ET
(LW – 15) won at Bethune-Cookman (0-5, 0-3 MEAC) 52-35

16. North Dakota (5-2, 4-0 Big Sky) This week: at Idaho State (2-4, 1-2 Big Sky) Sat 10/22 4:35PM ET
(LW – 16) defeated Southern Utah (3-3, 2-2 Big Sky) 45-23

17. Western Illinois (5-1, 2-1 MVFC) This week: vs. #5 North Dakota State (5-1, 2-1 MVFC) Sat 10/22 7:00PM ET
(LW – 18) won at Missouri State (3-3, 1-2 MVFC) 38-35

18. Cal Poly (4-2, 2-1 Big Sky) This week: vs. UC Davis (2-5, 1-3 Big Sky) Sat 10/22 9:05PM ET
(LW – 20) won at Portland State (2-5, 1-3 Big Sky) 55-35

19. Stony Brook (4-2, 3-0 Colonial) This week: at Delaware (2-4, 0-3 Colonial) Sat 10/22 1:00PM ET
(LW – 21) defeated Rhode Island (1-6, 0-4 Colonial) 14-3

20. Central Arkansas (5-1, 4-0 Southland) This week: vs. Lamar (3-3, 3-1 Southland) Sat 10/22 7:00PM ET
(LW – 23) won at McNeese State (3-4, 2-3 Southland) 35-0

21. Grambling State (4-1, 3-0 SWAC-W) This week: at Mississippi Valley State (0-7, 0-5 SWAC-E) Sat 10/22 3:00PM ET
(LW – 24) IDLE

22. Samford (5-1, 3-1 Southern) This week: vs. Western Carolina (1-5, 0-4 Southern) Sat 10/22 7:00PM ET
(LW – 25) vs. VMI (3-3, 1-2 Southern) 55-21

23. Princeton (4-1, 2-0 Ivy) This week: vs. Harvard (4-1, 2-0 Ivy) Sat 10/22 1:00PM ET
(LW – NR) defeated Brown (1-4, 0-2 Ivy) 31-7

24. Eastern Illinois (5-2, 3-1 OVC) This week: vs. Murray State (1-5, 1-2 OVC) Sat 10/22 2:00PM ET
(LW – NR) won at Tennessee Tech (2-5, 2-3 OVC) 30-24

25. New Hampshire (4-3, 3-1 Colonial) This week: at Towson (1-5, 0-3 Colonial) Sat 10/22 3:30PM ET
(LW – 19) lost to #11 James Madison (6-1, 4-0 Colonial) 42-39

Dropped out: #17 Albany, #22 Harvard

Also Receiving Consideration:

Albany (4-2, 1-2 Colonial), Dayton (5-2, 3-1 Pioneer), Fordham (4-2, 1-0 Patriot), Harvard (4-1, 2-0 Ivy), Lehigh (5-2, 2-0 Patriot), North Carolina Central (5-2, 4-0 MEAC), Pennsylvania (3-2, 2-0 Ivy), Sacred Heart (5-1, 0-1 NEC), San Diego (5-1, 4-0 Pioneer), South Dakota (3-3, 2-1 MVFC), Tennessee-Martin (4-3, 3-1 OVC), Tennessee State (5-1, 2-1 OVC), Wagner (4-2, 2-0 NEC), Weber State (4-2, 3-0 Big Sky), Wofford (4-2, 2-1 Southern)

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