Jensen, Dudzik, defense shine for North Dakota State

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Brock Jensen threw four touchdown passes and Christian Dudzik returned two punts for touchdowns as No. 1 North Dakota State avenged its only loss from the 2012 season by beating Indiana State 56-10 on Saturday.

Jensen completed 13 of 14 passes for 186 yards and added 46 yards rushing and Zach Vraa caught seven balls for 122 yards and two touchdowns for the Bison (8-0, 5-0 Missouri Valley Football Conference).

Indiana State (1-7, 0-4) was limited to 157 total yards and converted just three of 15 third downs as NDSU racked up six sacks and 11 tackles for loss. The Bison, the two-time defending national champions, came into the game ranked first in the FCS in four statistical categories, including total defense (257.9) and third-down conversion defense (.250).

Rob Tonyan Jr. and Kendall Walker combined to complete 4 of 20 passes for 59 yards for the Sycamores.

Eastern Illinois defeats Tennessee State 34-16

NASHVILLE, Tenn. Jimmy Garoppolo threw four touchdowns to lead No. 2 Eastern Illinois to a crushing 34-16 victory against No. 21 Tennessee State in a shootout for first place in the Ohio Valley Conference on Saturday.

Eastern Illinois (7-1, 4-0 OVC) had 567 total offensive yards. Garoppolo was 24 of 41 for 410 yards. Wide receivers Keiondre Gober and Jeff LePak each had more than 100 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Shephard Little ran for 138 yards and a touchdown.

The Panthers held Tennessee State (7-2, 4-1) to a single field goal until early in the fourth quarter when the Tigers’ Ronald Butler connected with Weldon Garlington for a touchdown to tighten the score to 28-10. Eastern Illinois expanded its lead on a 25-yard Garoppolo TD pass to LePak but missed the extra point.

TSU mounted one last scoring drive with five minutes left in the game, culminating in another Butler TD pass.

Coastal Carolina rolls to 66-27 win against VMI

CONWAY, S.C. – Devin Brown returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown and De’Angelo Henderson followed less than two minutes later with a 49-yard run for a score as undefeated Coastal Carolina broke away from VMI with a 22-point third quarter in a 66-27 Big South victory Saturday.

VMI (1-7, 0-3) played without injured starting quarterback Eric Kordenbrock. But A.J. Augustine had the Keydets in the game for a half, throwing a 28-yard scoring pass to Samuel Patterson to get VMI within 30-24 seven seconds before halftime.

The third-ranked Chanticleers (8-0, 3-0), also without their injured starting quarterback, Alex Ross, had no problem piling up points. Three QBs played for CCU with Michael Church seeing most of the action. He was 12 of 15 passing for 164 yards and three touchdowns, two going to Matt Hazel. Lorenzo Taliaferro rushed for 126 yards and a score. CCU had 502 yards of total offense.

Adams leads Eastern Washington past Montana 42-37

MISSOULA, Mont. – Vernon Adams threw six touchdown passes to lead No. 4 Eastern Washington to a 42-37 victory against No. 10 Montana on Saturday in a Big Sky Conference showdown.

Adams threw for 457 yards while tying his own school record for touchdown passes in a game.

Eastern Washington (6-2, 4-0 Big Sky) opened a 28-17 halftime lead on Adams’ passes of 19 and 34 yards to Cooper Kupp, 4 yards to Ashton Clark and 86 yards to Shaquille Hill.

Montana (6-2, 3-2) got first-half touchdowns on a 24-yard Jordan Canada run and a 42-yard pass from Jordan Johnson to Ellis Henderson.

Adams continued his hot hand in the second half with a 52-yard scoring toss to Clark and a 9-yard touchdown pass to Mario Brown to put the Eagles up 42-17 at the end of the third quarter.

Eastern Washington ran out the clock after Montana’s onside kick attempt was recovered by Kupp.

McGhee, Kirk pace Montana State to win against UC Davis

BOZEMAN, Mont. – Denarius McGhee completed 10 of 13 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, leading No. 5 Montana State to a 34-17 win against UC Davis on Saturday.

Cody Kirk went over the 3,000-yard mark for career rushing and scored twice for the Bobcats (6-2, 4-0 Big Sky). He finished with 119 yards on 20 carries.

After Brady Stuart’s 29-yard field goal put UC Davis (3-2, 3-6) on the board in the second quarter, Gabe Manzanares capped off the Aggies’ following drive with a 9-yard touchdown run to make it 14-10 with 1:57 to play in the half.

MSU wasted no time answering, however, as it drove 70 yards, keyed by a 45-yard pass from McGhee to running back Shawn Johnson. Kirk rolled in from the 3 with just 42 seconds to play in the half, propelling the Bobcats to a 21-10 halftime lead.

Johnson also had a 47-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter as he piled up 172 all-purpose yards — 92 receiving, 23 rushing and 57 on returns — in the first half.

Jon Ellis scored for MSU late in the third quarter on a reverse from 12 yards out and Kirk added his second touchdown midway through the fourth to put the Bobcats up 34-10.

West rushes for 272 yards, four TDs for Towson

RICHMOND, Va. – Terrance West rushed for 272 yards and four touchdowns, and caught a TD pass, to lead No. 6 Towson to a 48-32 victory against Richmond on Saturday in a Colonial Athletic Association matchup.

Towson (8-1, 4-1) had little trouble with Richmond (2-6, 0-4), building a nine-point halftime advantage then adding to that via a strong run game that amassed 341 yards.

West scored touchdowns in all four quarters, starting with a 6-yard reception from Peter Athens to open the scoring. Towson’s leading rusher then scored on TD runs of 2, 1, 1 and 3 yards.

The Tigers also scored two defensive touchdowns. Christian Carpenter picked off Michael Strauss and returned it 34 yards for a second-quarter score and Telvion Clark sacked Strauss, forced a fumble, recovered it and went 32 yards in the fourth quarter.

Strauss finished 28 of 38 for 281 yards and two TDs to pace the Spiders.

McNeese State runs past Nicholls State 55-30

THIBODAUX, La. – Dylan Long and Marcus Wiltz each had two rushing touchdowns to help No. 7 McNeese State put away Nicholls State 55-30 on Saturday in a Southland Conference matchup.

Facing an early 3-0 deficit, the Cowboys (7-1, 3-0 Southland) scored touchdowns on three consecutive drives as Cody Stroud hit Diontae Spencer for a 5-yard score and Dylan Long had touchdown runs of 2 and 4 yards.

The Colonels (4-4, 1-2) responded with a 42-yard strike from Kalen Henderson to Erik Buchanan. McNeese State added two late field goals to take a 27-10 lead at half.

Wiltz ran for touchdowns of 17 and 5 yards in the third quarter. Following a 4-yard score from Henderson to Buchanan, McNeese State’s Khalil Thomas returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown to fuel the rout.

Wiltz finished with 98 yards rushing on 14 carries. Kelvin Bennett ran for 169 yards on 13 attempts for the Cowboys.

Sam Houston State routs Northwestern State 44-10

HUNTSVILLE, Texas – Brian Bell threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as No. T-8 Sam Houston State extended its home winning streak to 20 with a 44-10 rout of Northwestern State on Saturday.

After scoring just a field goal on its first four drives, SHSU (6-2, 2-1 Southland) scored touchdowns on each of its next six possessions to break open a game that was tied at 3 midway through the second quarter.

Timothy Flanders began the string of touchdowns with a 7-yard scoring run. Bell then tossed touchdown passes on three consecutive drives, connecting with Richard Sincere for a 17-yard score, with Torrance Williams for a 44-yarder and with Chance Nelson for a 9-yarder. Bell then ran for an 18-yard score and Steven Hicks added a 2-yard touchdown run on the following drive.

NSU (3-5, 0-3) gained 412 total yards but lost two fumbles, missed a field goal and had another one blocked.