football-fcs flag | November 16, 2013

FCS Notes

McNeese State's Diontae Spencer

• QB Brock Jensen has won 42 games at North Dakota State. One more win will tie him with former Appalachian State QB Armanti Edwards, who won an FCS-record 43 games from 2006-09.

• Saturday’s game against New Hampshire will mark Bob Ford’s final home game after his more than four decades as head coach at Albany.

• Tennessee Tech head coach Watson Brown and his brother Mack (the head coach at Texas) each recorded victories on Saturday, increasing their career combined Division I victory total to 363 (237 by Mack and 126 by Watson). That is the most all time by a set of brothers, passing the 362 victories by Bill and Vince Dooley.

• No. 1 North Dakota St. at No. 15 Youngstown St.
• No. 23 Jacksonville St. at No. 2 Eastern Illinois
• No. 4 Sam Houston St. at No. 14 Southeastern Louisiana
• No. 7 Towson at No. 20 William & Mary
• Southern Utah at No. 10 Montana St.
• No. 17 Lehigh at Colgate
• No. 18 Chattanooga at Samford
• Yale at No. 24 Princeton

Key battles
• No. 1 North Dakota State plays at No. 15 Youngstown State. The Bison haven’t lost on the road since 2010 (13-0, plus 3-0 in neutral games) and have an FCS-best 18-game winning streak, dating to October 2012.

• South Dakota plays host to South Dakota State in the 107th meeting between the two schools. USD has never trailed in the series it leads 50-49-7. SDSU has not played in Vermillion, S.D. (home to USD) in 10 years.

• Colgate can win the league AQ with a win against visiting Lehigh. The Raiders have seven Patriot League titles under 18th-year head coach Dick Biddle, but have only repeated once (2002-03) and have never won the league’s AQ in consecutive seasons. Colgate beat Lehigh, 35-24, last season in a Patriot League title matchup. The Raiders are 0-4 this season at home.

• The Pioneer Football League regular-season title and the league’s automatic bid to the Division I Football Championship likely will be decided in Week 12. Three games will have an impact on the title race: Butler at Morehead State, Mercer at Marist and Drake at San Diego.

• If No. 14 Southeastern Louisiana can beat two-time defending Southland Conference champion Sam Houston State on Saturday, the Lions can not only clinch their first Southland title, but also the league’s automatic berth into the FCS playoffs. Each team is 8-2 overall, but the Lions are unbeaten in conference play at 5-0 while the No. 4 Bearkats are 4-1 along with McNeese State. Sam Houston State leads the all-time series against Southeastern Louisiana 10-4 and is riding a three-game series win streak after last year’s 70-0 win in Huntsville, Texas.

Numbers in the FCS
• Eastern Washington’s dynamic duo of QB Vernon Adams and WR Cooper Kupp are on the verge of records. Adams has 39 passing touchdowns this season. He needs just three more to tie the Big Sky single-season record of 42. Kupp has caught a TD pass in 10 consecutive games, just one shy of the all-time FCS record. Kupp also needs just 105 yards to break the FCS single-season record for receiving yards by a freshman.

• Montana State’s Brad Daly continues to lead the nation in sacks and tackles for loss. The senior defensive end tallied his 13th sack in a loss to Montana State. Daly also had 18.5 tackles for loss. Daly has 53 total tackles, six quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and an interception. 

• Charleston Southern is the fourth team in Big South history to win 10 games in a season, which ties the league record for most victories in a campaign. The Buccaneers join Coastal Carolina (2004), Liberty ('08) and Stony Brook ('12) in the 10-win club. CSU will attempt to become the first Big South team to win 11 games this weekend at Gardner-Webb that will clinch at least a share of the Big South title.

• Coastal Carolina’s season average of 499.6 yards of offense is pacing ahead of the Big South single-season record of 468.1 established by the Chanticleers in 2006. In addition, CCU is second in the nation in scoring offense at 45.5 points per game, also ahead of the Big South season record of 42.6 points (Liberty in 2007).

• Maine is off to its best start in school history at 9-1 and will look for its 12th consecutive win against an FCS opponent when it plays host to Rhode Island on Saturday.

• William & Mary will look for its fourth consecutive win against a top-20 opponent on Saturday against No. 7 Towson behind its FCS-best scoring defense that has allowed just one offensive touchdown during the past three games.

• After a 1-6 start, Missouri State has won four consecutive games. The Bears, who play host to Northern Iowa on Saturday, have not won five consecutive league games since 1988.

• Jacksonville State junior DaMarcus James has seven rushing touchdowns in his past two games. Two weeks ago he tied the Ohio Valley Conference single-game record with five scores against Austin Peay and with two against Eastern Kentucky on Saturday he increased his season total to 19, which is just two away from tying the OVC single-season record. James currently ranks third nationally in rushing touchdowns this season.

• Fordham is 10-0 for the first time, and reached 10 wins in a season for the first time since 2002 after having only seven combined wins in the past two years. Fordham joins top-ranked North Dakota State as the only undefeated teams left in the FCS, and on Monday the Rams bumped up to No. 5 in both FCS polls. Fordham became the first Patriot League team since 2004 (Colgate) to be ranked in the top five of both national polls.

• Fordham junior Sam Ajala leads the nation with 1,263 receiving yards, and has 11 TDs. Lehigh senior Lee Kurfis tops the nation with 129.9 receiving yards per game, just ahead of second-place Ajala with 126.3. Kurfis is also second with 9.3 receptions per contest. Kurfis’ 84 receptions stand 17 from the Patriot League single-season record, while Ajala is 351 yards away from the league’s single-season mark.

• Dayton DE Pat Dowd tied a nine-year old FCS record with six sacks against Drake. He earned national defensive player of the week honors, in addition to earning the Pionner Football League weekly award.

• Chattanooga clinched a share of the Southern Conference championship with Saturday’s win against Wofford. The Mocs can win the title outright with a victory at Samford this weekend.

• South Carolina State will play host to Morgan State in a nationally televised game on ESPNU at 7:30 p.m. ET Thursday. S.C. State leads the nation in team pass sacks (4.90 avg.) and are ranked second in total defense (246.2 avg.). 

• Norfolk State defeated Bethune-Cookman last week, ending the Wildcats’ 18-game conference win streak dating to 2011. 

• North Carolina Central sophomore Adrian Wilkins returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown last week against Hampton. It was his third kickoff return TD of the season and fifth return TD (two punts) this season. Wilkins leads the FCS in kickoff return TDs , and ranks seventh in kickoff returns and fifth in punt returns. 

Career milestones
• RS/WR Diontae Spencer of McNeese State set or tied 10 school, conference and FCS records with a total of three touchdown returns against Stephen F. Austin.  He had kickoff returns of 93 and 85 yards for TDs and a punt return TD of 35 yards. He also had seven receptions for 152 yards and two touchdowns, giving him 365 all-purpose yards to go with five total TDs.

• San Diego QB Mason Mills is within reach of the Pioneer Football League’s career passing mark. He enters the regular-season finale against Drake with 10,817 yards and he needs 414 to break the PFL record.

• Georgia Southern QB Jerick McKinnon has rushed for 3,774 yards, the second-highest total by a quarterback in league history. McKinnon trails Appalachian State’s Armanti Edwards (2006-09), who recorded 4,361 yards on the ground.

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