N.C. Central playing like Bears
Notes: Eastern Illinois' Lora needs eight catches to break mark
Da Eagles and Da Bears: What does North Carolina Central and the Chicago Bears have in common? Besides NCCU Hall of Famer and Bears’ award-winning equipment manager Tony Medlin, the Eagles and Bears each have a knack for finding the end zone when the offense is off the field. Through 10 games, NCCU has scored nine touchdowns on defense and special teams. The Eagles have made trips to the end zone on five punt returns (the most in college football), a kickoff return, two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
Who’s at QB? Since the end of the 2009 season, William & Mary hasn't had the same quarterback start three consecutive games. In that time, five different players have started behind center, almost exclusively because of shoulder injuries, more specifically torn labrums as three different guys have gone down with them since 2010 (two this year). The healthiest quarterback in that span is the person starting this weekend, and all he has dealt with is a staff infection, then, he came out of the hospital to start a game before his next start ended with him having a spiral fracture on his index finger on his right hand. This year, he has been pretty healthy, as he only has suffered a high ankle sprain, foot sprain and a concussion.
Pick ‘em: The 2012 NCAA Division I Football Championship bracket will be unveiled Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU. The show will be the exclusive announcement of the 20 teams that will make the field. Matt Schick will be the host of the show, while Jay Walker will provide the analysis.
Panther Pass Catcher: Eastern Illinois wide receiver Erik Lora needs eight receptions on Saturday at Central Arkansas to break the FCS single season record for catches. He has 115 this season to rank 5th on the single season list. He has already broken the school and Ohio Valley Conference record for receptions and receiving yards in a season.
Running Wild: Columbia junior RB Marcorus Garrett faces Brown this weekend trying to jump into second place on the school single season rushing list. He has 901 rushing yards on the season, which is the fifth-highest, single-season total in school history. Sitting just ahead of him by only 66 yards are the next three on the list -- Ayo Oluwole in fourth with 903 in 2003, Doug Jackson in third with 914 yards in 1975 and Reese in second with 967 yards in 2001. Garrett is the first Columbia player since Jonathan Reese in 2001 to have four 100-plus rushing yard games in one season.
Record Setter: Appalachian State QB Jamal Jackson is on the verge of nearly every single-season passing record in Mountaineer history, needing just 386 yards, 22 completions, one 200-yard game and two 300-yard games to match the school record in each category. The current Appalachian records of 3,291 passing yards, 257 completions and 10 200-yard passing games were all set by Armanti Edwards when he won the second of his two Walter Payton Awards in 2009.
Play ‘em Again: Lehigh and Lafayette meet up this weekend for the 148th time making it college football’s most played rivalry. Lehigh has a four-game winning streak against the Leopards, but the Mountain Hawks will have more than numbers on their mind. After losing to Colgate Saturday, Lehigh needs a win to finish 10-1 and solidify its hopes for an at-large berth into the postseason. For its part, Lafayette aims to end its skid against its rival and finish with a winning record for the first time since 2009.
The Chief Caddo Trophy: The Northwestern State at Stephen F. Austin game this weekend will be for the Chief Caddo, college football’s largest trophy, standing 7-foot-6-inches and weighing 320 pounds. Northwestern State leads the Chief Caddo series 28-17-1 though Stephen F. Austin has won the last three meetings, including 33-0 last year in Natchitoches. Northwestern State holds a 43-22-3 all-time advantage in the series with SFA.
They Call it a Streak: Montana faces its in-state rival Montana State, needing a victory to secure its 27th consecutive winning season. Appalachian State has already racked up its 19th consecutive winning season as they are 8-3 on the year. Harvard is next on the streak list at 12 years, while Montana State is at 11 and Jacksonville State and James Madison are at 10. A courtesy to McNeese State for coming up with the stat.
The Causeway Classic: This rivalry game between Sacramento State and UC Davis will have extra meaning this year as it will be the final game for Bob Biggs of UC Davis, who is retiring after 20 years at the helm. He has compiled a record of 143-84-1 during his career at the helm and 15-4 vs. Sacramento State during that time. The last five meetings between the two have been decided by 10 points or less.
Within Sight of the Crown: Both Drake and San Diego enter Week 12 with one conference loss, meaning both are still within sight of a share of the 2012 PFL crown. Drake will travel to Jacksonville needing a win to claim a share of the title. San Diego has two games remaining, a Saturday contest at Davidson followed by a Dec. 1 outing at Marist, needing to win both to pick up a share.
More than a Passing Fancy: Both Wagner and Wofford have thrown only two interceptions all year, the lowest of any team in the nation. Wagner starting QB has only thrown one of those despite throwing 184 of the team’s 207 passes. Wofford meanwhile has only thrown 72 passes on the entire year. Richmond’s Michael Straus has also only thrown one interception on the year on 152 attempts, but the Spiders have thrown two other interceptions on the season for a team-total of three.
Game of the Week: North Dakota State at Illinois State The number one team in the nation heads to Normal, Illinois looking to win the Missouri Valley Football Conference title outright. Three other teams are lurking with two losses in conference including the Redbirds. This is the sixth meeting between North Dakota State and Illinois State in a series that started in 2007. The Bison lead the all-time series, 3-2.