football-fcs flag | September 26, 2013

FCS Notes: Flanders, Garoppolo star

• Last week, there was yet another FCS win against an FBS school -- Jacksonville State knocked off Georgia State 32-26 in overtime -- raising the season total to 14. Six of those 14 include wins vs. teams from BCS conferences. The 14-such wins is an all-time record, surpassing the previous record of 13 established in 2000.

• Sam Houston State RB Timothy Flanders is the Division I active career leader in net rushing with 4,720 yards. Notably, the top nine active leaders in career rushing yards are all from the FCS.

• In 35 games, Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo has 85 career TD passes, best in the FCS and second only among active Division I players to Georgia’s Aaron Murray (105 career TDs in 44 games).

• No. 1 North Dakota State at No. 6 South Dakota State
• No. 3 Eastern Washington at No. 4 Sam Houston State
• No. 9 McNeese State at No. 5 UNI
• No. 2 Towson at No. 23 Stony Brook
• T-7 New Hampshire at No. 17 Lehigh
• T-7 Montana at No. 22 Northern Arizona

Starting strong
• The 6-2 record on the first Saturday was the Ivy League’s best showing since going 7-1 to open the 2005 season. League teams have combined to start with a .500 record or better in seven of the past nine seasons (2005-13).

• The Big South is the only FCS conference with two 4-0 teams -- Coastal Carolina and Charleston Southern -- and is 12-3 through 15 games against FCS opponents, extending the conference’s best start against FCS competition in league history. Gardner-Webb is the first team in Big South history to defeat nationally ranked opponents in consecutive weeks (Richmond and Wofford).

Who can outduel who?
With Bryant and Wagner battling this weekend, fans will get to see two of the best offensive players in the country in Bryant wide receiver Jordan Harris and Wagner running back Dominique Williams. Harris is the active career receiving leader in the FCS with 3,082 yards, while Williams and his 3,739 yards rushing is fifth on the FCS list of active career rushing leaders.

Comeback kids
For the second time this season, Lehigh came back from at least a 19-point margin when it rallied from a 22-3 halftime deficit to beat Princeton 29-28. Lehigh previously came from 20 down in the fourth quarter to defeat Central Connecticut State 51-44 in double overtime and also rallied in the fourth quarter for a 28-25 win at Monmouth.

Keeping within the team
LB Daerius Washington became the third consecutive of Alabama State player -- joining Derrick Billups and Kourtney Berry -- to earn defensive player of the week honors in the Southwestern Athletic Conference after he had eight tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss and an interception return for a touchdown in a win against Grambling State. ASU’s offense, meanwhile, rolled in the game, gaining 667 total yards in a 52-21 win.

• Sam Houston State leads the FCS and is tied with Michigan for the Division I lead with its 17-game home winning streak The Bearkats welcome No. 3 Eastern Washington to Bowers Stadium this week.

• Central Arkansas has won its past 12 home games. The Bears are unbeaten on “The Stripes,” its purple and gray two-tone playing surface at First Security Field at Estes Stadium, which went in after the 2010 season.

• Furman visits The Citadel in the longest-running rivalry in the Southern Conference. Saturday’s game will be the 93rd matchup between the two schools with Furman holding a 57-32-3 advantage in the series. The two teams have split the past six meetings, 3-3.

Career milestones
• Northern Arizona head coach Jerome Souers won his 86th career game and moved into sole possession of second place on the Big Sky’s all-time win list. Hall of fame coach Chris Ault (Nevada) is the all-time leader with 111 wins.

• Last week, Montana State’s Tanner Bleskin became the school’s all-time leader in receiving yards with 2,268.

• Villanova head coach Andy Talley will look for his 200th win at Nova when the Wildcats welcome Penn on Saturday. The game also marks just the fourth FCS matchup in which both coaches have 220-plus career wins as Penn head coach Al Bagnoli has 229 wins and Talley has won 227.

• Davidson QB Jonathan Carkhuff has moved within sight of his 10,000th passing yard after his school-record 464-yard game in Week 4 at Johnson C. Smith. He has 9,531 career yards and is third among active FCS quarterbacks (Jimmy Garoppolo of Eastern Illinois and Denarius McGhee of Montana State).

• Sam Houston State RB Timothy Flanders, a candidate for the Walter Payton Award, became the Southland Conference’s all-time leading rusher in the Bearkats’ 52-21 win against Incarnate Word last Saturday. Flanders, who ran for 157 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries, passed Claude Mathis of Texas State with a 41-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and set the conference record with 4,720 yards, which ranks No. 26 in FCS annals.

• Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo tied the Ohio Valley Conference career passing touchdowns mark last Saturday, throwing his 85th touchdown against Northern Illinois. That ties him with former EIU All-American Tony Romo for the OVC record. Garoppolo leads all Division I players with 1,731 passing yards and has 20 touchdown passes through four games this season.

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