Big time in the Big South
Notes: 8-0 Coastal Carolina leading nation in scoring offense
• For just the second time in Big South history, two teams have won at least eight games -- Charleston Southern (8-1) and Coastal Carolina (8-0).
• Coastal Carolina leads the nation in scoring offense with 47.4 points per game, and has set the Big South single-season record with five 50-point games this year. Coastal’s five are part of an overall league-record nine 50-point performances by Big South members this season.
|KEEP YOUR EYES ON THESE GAMES THIS WEEK|
|• Delaware at No. 6 Towson|
|• No. 25 Southeastern Louisiana at No. 7 McNeese State|
|• No. 10 Youngstown State at South Dakota|
|• No. 24 Tennessee State at Eastern Kentucky|
• There are only eight active NCAA head football coaches across all divisions who have won more than 200 games at their current school, with three hailing from the Colonial Athletic Conference -- Albany’s Bob Ford (256), William & Mary’s Jimmye Laycock (220) and Villanova’s Andy Talley (202).
• Delaware junior Michael Johnson became the first wide receiver in school history to surpass 100 yards rushing with 123 yards and a score on just three carries in the win against Rhode Island.
• The Ivy League has four teams averaging right at or above 30 points per game -- Princeton (43.8 ppg, 3rd), Harvard (40.2 ppg, 9th), Brown (33.2 ppg, 29th) and Dartmouth (29.8 ppg, 42nd).
• Northern Iowa fell to South Dakota State in overtime, marking the third consecutive overtime loss for the Panthers. That tied an NCAA FCS record for consecutive OT losses (Penn, 2006).
• Christian Dudzik of North Dakota State tied a league record with two punt returns for TDs in a win against Indiana State. The Bison returned four TDs for scores in the game, including a pick-six and a 100-yard kickoff return.
• Three of the top seven rushers in FCS compete for Northeast Conference programs. Walter Payton Award candidate Kyle Harbridge (1,216 yards), a fifth-year senior at Saint Francis (Pa.), ranks third overall in the nation and has played two fewer games than each of the two men ranked ahead of him. Sacred Heart’s Keshaudas Spence (fourth) has 1,141 yards in nine games, while Central Connecticut State’s Rob Hollomon (seventh) has logged 1,006 yards in eight appearances.
• After starting out 0-5, Hampton has rebounded to record a three-game win streak in conference play and is currently tied for second place in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference with South Carolina State.
• Eastern Kentucky senior punter Jordan Berry not only averaged 59.3 yards/punt on three attempts in a win against Southeast Missouri State, he also scored his first collegiate TD. In the second quarter he was the holder on a 42-yard field goal attempt when he took the snap and raced 25 yards untouched for the score.
• The longest winning streak in any Patriot League matchup came to an end on Saturday, as Bucknell took out its frustrations for 15 years of losses to Lehigh by manhandling the Mountain Hawks 48-10. The Bison beat Lehigh for the first time since 1997, as the Mountain Hawks had also won each of the previous 11 meetings by at least 16 points. Bucknell also knocked off a ranked opponent for the first time since beating No. 13 Holy Cross in the 2009 season finale.
• Butler’s defense has been one of the nation’s best at generating takeaways this season, ranking third nationally with 24 takeaways. The Bulldogs rank behind Sacred Heart (28) and Charlotte (25) in the category.
• Mercer is one of the nation’s best teams when it comes to controlling the ground. The Bears’ defense ranks second nationally, holding opponents to 93.8 yards per game, second only to North Dakota State. On the other side of the ball, Mercer is rolling up 279.0 yards per game, which ranks second-best (behind Cal Poly 281.0).
• The Southern Conference has played 22 league games this season, and 11 of those games have been decided by one possession.
• Southeastern Louisiana plays at McNeese State this week at Cowboy Stadium in Lake Charles, La., and the winner will be the favorite to claim the Southland Conference title. Each team is 3-0 in league play. The Lions have wins against Stephen F. Austin, Northwestern State and Lamar while the Cowboys have beaten Central Arkansas, Sam Houston State and Nicholls. McNeese holds a 22-16 lead all time in the series, though the Lions won last year to snap a six-game win streak by the Cowboys.
• The Battle of the Piney Woods between Sam Houston State and Stephen F. Austin returns to Reliant Stadium in Houston on Saturday. It will be the 88th football duel between the two rivals in the second-oldest FCS rivalry in Texas. The Battle of the Piney Woods dates to 1923, with Sam Houston State holding a 50-35-2 edge in the series. The Bearkats won last year 51-43 in the third of what was originally scheduled to be a four-game series to be played at Reliant.
• Towson’s Terrance West became the program’s all-time rushing leader with 3,742 yards as just a junior and tied a school record with five touchdowns against Richmond.
• Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo threw his 35th TD of the season against Tennessee State, breaking the record previously held by former EIU QB Tony Romo. That touchdown was also the 100th of his career, moving him into 13th place in FCS history. He broke the Ohio Vally Conference record for career passing attempts (1,432).
• Eastern Washington’s Beau Baldwin became the 15th head coach in league history to notch 50 wins while coaching in the Big Sky as his Eagles beat Montana 42-37. Baldwin is 50-21 in his sixth season.
• Elon quarterback Mike Quinn has completed 207 consecutive passes without an interception to set a new Southern Conference single-season record. The league’s previous mark was 203, set by Furman’s Braniff Bonaventure in 1996.
• Samford wide receiver Kelsey Pope has moved into fifth place on the league’s all-time receptions list with 217 career catches.