football-fcs flag | November 7, 2013

Notes: Key battles in the mix

• Two active QBs in the NCAA have thrown for more than 100 TDs. Georgia’s Aaron Murray leads the way with 113, and Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo leads the FCS with 104 career TD passes.

• Among active players, Northern Arizona’s Zach Bauman (5,932 yards) and Sam Houston State’s Tim Flanders (5,874 yards) are No. 1 and No. 2 in the NCAA in combined career rushing/receiving yards. West Virginia’s Charles Sims leads the FBS and is third overall (5,131).

• North Dakota State (36-2) is the winningest Division I program since 2011. Alabama leads the FBS and is ranked No. 2 with a 33-2 record.  The other FCS school in the top 10 (ranked by total wins) is Sam Houston State (32-7). Sam Houston State and NDSU played in the FCS title game in 2011 and 2012.

Key battles

• For the first time since 1994, two Big Sky teams ranked in the top five will go head-to-head. No. 3 Eastern Washington plays host to No. 4 Montana State on Saturday. Eastern Washington is seeking the 500th win in program history.

• No. 3 Coastal Carolina visits No. 16 Charleston Southern on Saturday, marking the first time that two Big South teams ranked in the two major FCS polls (FCS Coaches and The Sports Network) will go head-to-head. It is also the first time two nine-win Big South teams will face each other, and Coastal can clinch at least a share of the 2013 Big South football title with a victory.

• Jackson State and Southern can clinch their divisions with a win on the road this week. JSU faces Alabama A&M in Huntsville, Ala., while SU heads to Montgomery, Ala. to meet Alabama State

Numbers in the FCS
• Eastern Washington WR Cooper Kupp caught eight passes for a career-high 205 yards and two TDs vs. Idaho State. Kupp has caught at least one TD in all nine games, two shy of the FCS record.

• North Dakota WR Kenny Golladay caught a career-high 17 passes with four touchdowns in a loss to Northern Arizona. The 17 catches set a single-game school record, tied for the fourth-most in Big Sky single-game history, and are the most by an FCS receiver this season.

• No. 3 Coastal Carolina at No. 16 Charleston Southern
• No. 17 Southeastern Louisiana at No. T24 Central Arkansas
• No. 15 Wofford at No. 23 Chattanooga
• No. T24 William & Mary at No. 21 Delaware
• No. 5 Montana State at No. 4 Eastern Washington
• Eastern Kentucky at Jacksonville State
• Colgate at Lafayette
• Dayton at Drake
• No. 2 Eastern Illinois at Murray State
• No. 18 James Madison at New Hampshire
• Illinois State at No. 1 North Dakota State

• Coastal Carolina RB Lorenzo Taliaferro has 22 total touchdowns this season, one shy of matching the single-season conference record of 23 set by Stony Brook’s Miguel Maysonet last season. Taliaferro is the first player in Big South history with five three-TD games in a campaign and he has scored a touchdown in every contest this season.

• Delaware’s 21-point fourth-quarter comeback against then-No. 6 Towson was the program’s largest in history (18 was the previous record).

• William & Mary’s 17-0 win of New Hampshire marked the first time UNH has been blanked since 9/23/1995 – (220 games, dating back to a 39-0 Tribe win against UNH).

• Princeton QB Quinn Epperly completed 29 consecutive passes against Cornell. That broke the FCS record for most consecutive completed passes to start a game (previously 20) and most consecutive completions (previously 28).

• The Ivy League had two or more rushes of 90 yards or more on the same day for the first time in conference history. Yale junior TB Kahlil Keys scored from 94 yards out vs. Columbia to add to the two 90-plus yard TD runs by Brown tailback John Spooney.

• Bethune-Cookman (5-0 Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference) extended its conference win streak to 18 games with a 38-14 nationally televised game against North Carolina Central on Saturday.

• Missouri State had four interceptions and returned three of them for touchdowns in its win against Indiana State. The three Pick 6’s set a school and conference single-game record.

• Youngstown State improved to 5-0 in the MVFC for the first time since joining the league in 1997. The Penguins (5-0) and North Dakota State (5-0) are both unbeaten in league play -- they play one another in Youngstown, Ohio, on Nov. 16.

• North Dakota State will look to extend its MVFC-record 17-game winning streak when it hosts Illinois State this Saturday.

• Nick SanGiacomo of Central Connecticut State had the highest single-game completion percentage by a Northeast Conference passer this season, going 22-of-25 passing for 263 yards and three touchdowns in a runaway win vs. 2012 NEC champion Wagner.

• UT Martin LB Tony Bell recorded 4.5 sacks and 16 tackles vs. Murray State. The 4.5 sacks are the most by a Division I (FBS or FCS) this season and tied for the most by any NCAA player in 2013. The 4.5 sacks are tied for the most by an Ohio Valley Conference player over the past decade.

• Eastern Illinois All-American Erik Lora caught three TD passes and returned a punt 80 yards for a TD vs. Tennessee Tech. Lora now has 16 touchdown catches this season (the most by a NCAA player) and 32 for his career; both are tied for the OVC records in their respective categories. Lora ranks second nationally in catches/game (9.7) and receiving yards/game (128.0) and fifth in scoring (11.6 points/game).

• Lafayette goes for its first share of the Patriot League title since 2006 when it hosts Colgate, and a loss from its arch-rival would make it even better. If Lehigh loses to Holy Cross, the Leopards can win the outright Patriot League title for the first time since 1994 and clinch the League’s automatic berth to the FCS postseason. If Lehigh wins, Lafayette cannot clinch the automatic playoff berth with a win vs. Colgate.

• Fordham QB Mike Nebrich threw for a school-record 524 yards and set another school mark with 556 yards of total offense. Nebrich was named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week for the fifth time on Monday, joining Holy Cross’ Dominic Randolph (2008) and Lehigh’s Chris Lum (2011) for the most single-season honors in league history.

• San Diego QB Mason Mills has helped the Toreros rank No. 10 nationally in completion percentage (66.0) and passing offense (320.1 yards per game). Mills is in the top 15 in passing TDs, completion percentage, passing yards per game, and passing efficiency.

• Mercer is now 6-0 at home this year and is one of 27 FCS teams with an unbeaten home record. Only three FCS teams have won six games, however, at home. Mercer has two more home games this year: Jacksonville (this weekend) and Nov. 23 vs. Stetson.

• Furman has exceeded its win total from last year with three games to play. The Paladins finished 3-8 last season and are 4-5 in 2013.

• A SoCon team has led the nation in rushing nine of the last 12 years. The Citadel currently leads the league and ranks fourth nationally with 282 yards per game on the ground.

• Southeastern Louisiana will put a six-game win streak on the line when it visits Central Arkansas in its second of three consecutive games vs. ranked conference foes. The No. 17 Lions, who are 7-2 overall and 4-0 in league play, moved into sole possession of first after beating McNeese State 41-7. Southeastern is in search of its first Southland Conference championship after joining the league in 2005.

• The top two kickoff return specialists in the FCS will duel Saturday when Southeastern Louisiana visits Central Arkansas. Bears’ freshman receiver Jatavious Wilson is the national leader, averaging 37.8 yards per return, while Lions’ sophomore running back Xavier Roberson is averaging 35.5 yards per return to rank second. Each has scored two touchdowns on returns this season.

• Grambling State snapped a 12-game losing streak and a 15-game skid in Southwestern Athletic Conference play with its 47-40 win against Mississippi Valley State.

Career milestones
• With a 19-18 win against Alcorn State, Alabama A&M handed Anthony Jones his 100th career victory. Considered the dean of Southwestern Athletic Conference football head coaches, Jones joins Jackson State’s Rick Comegy (162) as the only coaches currently in the league with 100 or more wins.

• With 25.0 career sacks, Chattanooga junior DL Davis Tull is tied for 10th place on the Southern Conference’s all-time sacks list.

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