Eastern Kentucky joins FCS Coaches' Poll; North Dakota State remains No. 1
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- North Dakota State remained the No. 1 team in the FCS Coaches' Poll this week. The Bison were nearly a unanimous No. 1 selection, receiving 25 of the 26 first-place votes after extending their FCS-record winning streak to 26 games.
NDSU improved to 2-0 on the season with a 24-7 road victory against Weber State. It was the Bison’s defense that stepped up this week led by senior linebacker Carlton Littlejohn, who recorded 12 tackles and a fumble return for a touchdown that put NDSU ahead for good.
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North Dakota State and Fargo, N.D., will once again play host to ESPN’s College Gameday this coming Saturday, becoming the only FCS school to ever host the show more than once.
Eastern Washington remained second in the poll earning 619 points. The Eagles eventually fell to Pac-12 opponent Washington 59-52 despite leading 45-44 entering the fourth quarter. EWU quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. had a record-setting day as he threw for 475 yards and a school-record seven touchdowns.
Southeastern Louisiana remained third this week, totaling 600 points and earning one first-place vote. Montana moved up a spot to fourth after a 48-14 win against Central Washington on Saturday. Coastal Carolina rounded out the top five after dropping a spot following a close 31-30 victory against North Carolina A&T.
McNeese State and Villanova both held steady in the poll, coming in sixth and seventh, respectively. McNeese State opened its season on Saturday with hard-fought 31-24 loss to Big Ten opponent Nebraska. Jacksonville State, New Hampshire and South Dakota State rounded out the top 10, in that order.
Southern Illinois made the biggest jump in the poll, 11 spots, to earn a 14th-place ranking. The Salukis, who entered the poll at No. 25 last week, defeated then-No. 14 Eastern Illinois 38-21 to improve to 2-0 on the season. Furman and Bethune-Cookman made significant jumps as well, each moving up five spots, to enter the top 15 at No. 12 and No. 13, respectively.
Eastern Kentucky entered the top 25 for the first time this season, settling at No. 25. The Colonels improved to 2-0 on the season after upsetting FBS opponent Miami (Ohio) 17-10 on Saturday. It was EKU’s first win against an FBS opponent since 1985.
Nine conferences were represented among the 25 teams. The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) and the Missouri Valley Football Conference led all conferences, each placing five schools in the top 25. The Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) was second with four teams while the Big Sky and Southland conferences each placed three.