Sept. 7, 2010


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TEXAS TWO-STEP:  It was a good opening weekend for the Lone Star Conference as a pair of its members upset Top 10 teams in non-conference play. 

Texas A&M-Kingsville started the LSC off by upending defending NCAA champion Northwest Missouri State, 16-7, on Sept. 1 on the road.  The Javelinas were lead by junior quarterback Nate Poppell, who completed 26-of-38 passes for 258 yards and touchdown in his first career start.  Poppell also rushed for a third-quarter score to give the Javelinas a two-possession scoring advantage.  He was named LSC Co-South Offensive Player of the Week for his performance.  On the other side of the ball, defensive end Matt Romig garnered LSC South Defensive Player of the Week honors as he posted 3.5 sacks and forced a fumble as the Javelinas held Northwest to 189 yards of total offense.

Abilene Christian also knocked off a Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association member, topping then-No. 9 Washburn, 34-26, on Sept. 3.  Sophomore quarterback Mitchell Gale connected on 24-of-30 passes for 247 yards and three touchdowns while guiding a turnover-free offense.  Gale shared LSC South Offensive Player of the Week honors with Poppell.


TAMUK jumped eight spots to No. 6 following the upset of Northwest – the Javelinas’ highest ranking since 2005. The Wildcats also inched up a spot to No. 5 following the defeat of Washburn. 


NOT SO FAST: Edinboro University avenged last year’s NCAA playoff loss to then-No.7 West Liberty State, edging the Hilltoppers, 20-19, to open the 2010 season last Saturday.  The Fighting Scots fell to West Liberty, 84-63, in last year’s meeting.

Junior cornerback Branden Williams sparked Edinboro’s defense with eight tackles, an interception, a pass break-up and a blocked extra point that would prove to be the difference in the one-point victory.  Despite missing most of the second half due to injury, Williams was named Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in holding last year’s Division II leader in scoring and total offense to just 19 points.

The Fighting Scots broke into the latest AFCA Division II Top 25 at No. 24 following the upset of the Hilltoppers, while West Liberty dropped 13 spots to No. 20 in the poll.

T-RIFFIC:  West Alabama freshman running back T-Ray Mitchell tallied 119 yards rushing on 29 carries in his first career start as the Tigers downed Arkansas-Monticello, 27-20, to move to 2-0 on the season.

Mitchell, a product of Selma, Ala., also scored two touchdowns, including the eventual game-winner in the fourth quarter.  His rushing total outdid UAM’s entire offense, which ran for just 107 yards on the day.  Mitchell was named Gulf South Conference Offensive Player of the Week for his contributions.

West Alabama continued to move up the AFCA Division II Top 25, climbing three spots to No. 7 following the weekend.

NEW NO. 1:  Grand Valley State took over the top spot in the after the Lakers 34-31 downed No. 8 West Texas A&M and previous No. 1 Northwest Missouri State fell to Texas A&M-Kingsville.  It was GVSU first-year head coach Matt Mitchell’s first career win, and extended the Lakers’ streak of season-opening wins to 10.  The Lakers have won 95 of their last 100 games.

GVSU was led by senior quarterback Kyle McMahon in the comeback win against WTAMU as he completed 17-of-32 passes for 295 yards and two touchdowns in addition to 61 yards rushing.  McMahon drove the Lakers to the end zone three times in the fourth quarter, earning Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors for his outstanding play.

GAME OF THE WEEK:  Delta State hosts Arkansas Tech in the nationally-televised Division II Game of the Week on Thursday, Sept. 9, which will be broadcast on CBS College Sports Network at 7 p.m. CT. The Statesmen, who dropped out of the latest Division II Top 25 poll following a loss to Division I FCS Jackson State last weekend, are looking for their first victory of the season in a Gulf South Conference match-up with the Wonder Boys.  Tech is coming off its seventh straight season-opening win after a 34-19 victory against Lambuth University last Thursday.