football-fcs flag | December 19, 2013

FCS Notes: Eagles have standouts at skill positions

Eastern Washington's Vernon Adams

Eastern Washington became the second team in Big Sky history to have a 4,000-yard passer, a 1,000-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers. RB Quincy Forte surpassed 1,000 yards in the quarterfinal win against Jacksonville State, while WR Ashton Clark surpassed 1,000 receiving yards. Entering Saturday’s semifinal, QB Vernon Adams has 4,600 passing yards. Forte has 1,131 rushing yards. Freshman Cooper Kupp has 1,567 receiving yards and Clark has 1,104. Weber State’s 1991 team was the first to accomplish the feat.

• Third-seeded Eastern Washington is making its third semifinal appearance in the past four years, and is looking for the program’s second trip to the national championship game. Eastern Washington brings a 10-game winning streak into Saturday’s showdown against Towson. The Eagles are 7-0 at home this season, and 24-3 all time on their red turf.

• New Hamphire at North Dakota State, 8 p.m. ET Friday (ESPN2)
• Towson at Eastern Washington, 2 p.m. ET Saturday (ESPNU)

New Hampshire has won six consecutive games and nine of its past 10 as it makes its first trip to the semifinals. Sean Goldrich set career highs of 21 carries, 99 rushing yards, three rushing TDs and 24 completions at Southeastern Louisiana. WR Justin Mello and RB Nico Steriti each surpassed 1,000 yards for the season in Saturday’s win.

Towson holds an 8-0 road record in 2013 and enters its first semifinal on an 11-game road win streak. Terrance West rushed for five TDs and an FCS playoff record 354 yards in the win against Eastern Illinois. West finished third in the Walter Payton Award voting.

• CAA Football has been represented in the FCS title game seven times during the past decade, while a CAA Football program has won the national title four times in the past 10 years and twice in the past five seasons.

• The MVFC is 53-34 in the playoffs during the past 16-plus years (since 1997). That includes four national championships in those seasons, and a 14-4 record in the past two-plus seasons.

• Last year, for the second consecutive year, North Dakota State represented Missouri Valley Football in the FCS title game. It marked the sixth appearance all time for an MVFC member.

• Counting this season, an MVFC conference member has reached the FCS playoff semifinals 14 times in the past 18 years and 17 times overall. The conference is 6-10 in previous semifinals

• The MVFC is a combined 17-7 in this decade (2010-present) in the playoffs -- better than any other conference.

• Five leagues (CAA Football, Big Sky, MVFC, Southland and Southern) have dominated the playoffs (153 of 167 total wins from those five leagues -- 91.6 percent) the past 10 seasons. This year, though, is different as seven of the 20 wins have been from leagues other than those five, with the Ohio Valley accounting for four victories, the Big South for two -- both by Coastal Carolina -- and the Patriot, one.

• Four leagues (MVFC, CAA, Southern, Big Sky) own every FCS championship since 1995. The last team to earn an FCS championship who was not a member of those leagues was Youngstown State (1994) -- then an independent (a member of the MVFC since 1997).

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