football-fcs flag | October 3, 2013

Lehigh-Fordham battle of undefeateds on TV

A matchup of two undefeated teams can be seen on national TV as No. 10 Lehigh plays at No. 13 Fordham at noon ET Saturday on CBS Sports Network. Lehigh and Fordham are among 12 undefeated teams in the FCS. With Fordham ineligible for the Patriot League title, the game will not count toward the league standings for either team.

More on Lehigh-Fordham: It is the first matchup of ranked Patriot League teams since 2009, when three such games were played. All six top-25 Patriot League matchups since 2003 have been won by the home team.  Fordham has started 5-0 for the first time since 1988, when it was still a Division III member and opened 6-0. Lehigh is 4-0.

• No. 4 Northern Iowa at No. 1 North Dakota State
• No. 18 New Hampshire at No. 2 Towson
• No. 17 Northern Arizona at No. 7 Montana State
• No. 10 Lehigh at No. 13 Fordham
• No. 14 McNeese State at No. 11 Central Arkansas
• No. 25 Delaware at No. 23 Maine

Who can outduel whom?
Fans can watch the national leader in rushing average this Saturday when Kyle Harbridge (188.3 rush ypg) and Saint Francis (Pa.) open their Northeast Conference schedule at Central Connecticut State. The home team has a dynamic ball carrier of its own as CCSU junior Rob Hollomon averages 204.8 all-purpose yards per game (fourth in the FCS).

Great starts
• Southern Utah beat Northern Colorado 27-21 last Saturday to improve to 4-1. The Thunderbirds are 4-1 for the first time since 1997. Southern Utah has started just 5-1 twice since moving to four-year status in 1963. The Thunderbirds started 5-1 in 1978 and in '86, both under head coach Jack Bishop.

• The Big South is 14-5 through 19 games against FCS opponents -- the most victories against non-conference FCS foes in the league’s 12-year football history. The previous best was 13 wins in 2006. The Big South has won eight of its 14 FCS games on the road this season -- also a league record.

• Mercer, playing its first season of intercollegiate football in more than 60 years, wrapped up its season-opening four-game homestand with a Pioneer Football League victory against Drake. The Bears improved to 4-0; their four-game win streak stands as the fourth-longest streak in the FCS.

• Coastal Carolina is ranked No. 6 this week in the FCS Coaches' poll -- the highest for the Big South at this point in the season in league history.

Numbers in the FCS
• Northern Arizona’s defense scored two more touchdowns in a 34-16 win against Montana, giving the unit five defensive TDs for the year.

• Rhode Island will play its 1,000th game this week when it meets Brown in the annual Governor’s Cup.

• Bethune-Cookman (3-1) boasts a 13-game Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference win streak dating to the 2011 season.

• Murray State snapped a nine-game losing streak against Jacksonville State with a 35-34 overtime win. The Racers successfully converted a 2-point conversion in the extra period to win. It was the third consecutive overtime game for JSU, tying the all-time FCS record (Penn in 2006).

• Prairie View A&M’s 56-48 win against Stephen F. Austin last weekend was the league’s first victory against a non-Historically Black Colleges and Universities FCS team since 2009. The last team from the Southwestern Athletic Conference to accomplish the feat was Grambling State with a 38-17 win against Northwestern State.

• In the loss to Prairie View A&M, Stephen F. Austin racked up 827 yards (an FCS record by a team in a loss). Lumberjacks QB Brady Attaway passed for a league-record 662 yards, which ranks second all time in FCS history. 

Career milestones
• Cornell senior QB Jeff Mathews became the school’s all-time leader in touchdown passes with three-touchdown effort at Yale. Mathews now has 56 career touchdown passes, which ranks tied for fourth in league history.  Mathews’ 14 career 300-yard passing games is tied for the most in Ivy League history.

• Running back Shakir Bell of Indiana State eclipsed 4,000 career yards last week at Tennessee Tech and has 4,108 for his career, which ranks third all time at ISU, and No. 8 in Missouri Valley Football history.

• After head coach Andy Talley won the 200th game of his Villanova tenure last week, the Wildcats’ matchup against William & Mary head coach Jimmy Laycock and his Tribe on Saturday will mark the 35th meeting in Division I history between coaches with 200 or more wins.

• Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo set both the Ohio Valley Conference career passing TDs and passing yards mark in his team’s 42-7 win against Eastern Kentucky. The senior tossed his 86th touchdown pass to break the previous record of 85 held by former EIU All-American and current Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Garoppolo now has 88 career touchdown passes, which ranks 22nd in FCS history. Garoppolo now has 10,159 passing yards, making him one of just 30 players in FCS history to reach the 10,000 yard-plateau. Through five games this season Garoppolo has 2,053 passing yards and 23 touchdowns which leads all Division I players (FBS or FCS).

• Appalachian State’s Jamal Londry-Jackson needs just 697 yards to move into 10th place on the Southern Conference’s career passing list.

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