Another notable week of FCS games have come and gone, so let's put everything in perspective.
1. North Dakota State stayed unbeaten in top-ranked thriller
The No. 2 Bison of North Dakota State traveled to Youngstown, Ohio Saturday to take on No. 8 Youngstown State. The Penguins controlled the first quarter, jumping out to an early 10-0 lead after a Nathan Mays passing touchdown to Damoun Patterson. The Bison answered quickly on Easton Stick’s pass to RJ Urzendowski from 16 yards out. The game was knotted at half 10-10.
Cam’s 36 yarder is good and the Bison win 27-24! pic.twitter.com/nNgoKmGd57— NDSU Football (@NDSUfootball) October 15, 2017
Mays opened the second half by putting the Penguins back ahead on his 29-yard touchdown to Kevin Rader. However, the back and forth battle was answered by Stick who connected with Nate Jenson for a score; then, four minutes later, he scrambled and weaved in-and-out of Penguin defenders 80-yards to the house. NDSU led 24-17. Youngstown state, down to its last possession, used nine plays to travel 90 yards and converted on 3rd and goal for a Tevin McCaster game-tying score. Overtime.
NDSU won the toss and chose defense. Their defense came to play, giving up just two yards and forcing a 39-yard Zak Kennedy field goal that swung wide-right. The Bison answered the opportunity and iced the Penguins at their place on a field goal by Cam Pedersen.
2. James Madison made Corso’s headgear pick come true
The fans of the No. 1 James Madison Dukes were treated well all-day long. After packing The Quad for College GameDay and watching Lee Corso throw on the Duke Dog head, fans packed Bridgeforth Stadium for the showdown with No. 14 Villanova. James Madison’s defense controlled the first three quarters, not allowing a point. The defense was aided by kicker Tyler Gray who converted three field goals (22, 36, 17) and a touchdown catch by Clayton Cheatham from quarterback Bryan Schor.
The Dukes led 16-0 after three quarters. However, the Wildcats answered the call early in the fourth and cut the lead in half thanks to a Kyle McCloskey pass TD to Todd Summers from 4 yards out. Eight points is all they could muster though as the stout defense of James Madison shut down Nova from there on out. Schor’s second touchdown went 29 yards to David Eldridge and the Dukes put the icing on the cake with a Brandon Hereford pick six.
Final: James Madison 30, Villanova 8
3. Northern Iowa rebounded to upset the Jackrabbits
Final: Northern Iowa, 38, South Dakota State 18
4. Wofford capitalized in the last minute to stay undefeated
No. 22 Citadel opened their game against No. 5 and undefeated Wofford by milking out 81 yards on 16 plays, capped by a Dominique Allen 7-yard touchdown. Brandon Goodson put Wofford on the board on a 1-yard scamper. The Terriers, however, would not see the ball again in the first half as the Bulldogs churned out eight more minutes and scored on a 2-yard rush by Rod Johnson.
Wofford opened the second half with a quick-striking 59-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Goodson to Jason Hill to notch the score at 14 before things got messy. A pair of fumbles and a Citadel touchdown put the Bulldogs ahead 16-14 midway through the third. Wofford struggled to find an answer, but came up big multiple times on 3rd down and took the 20-16 lead with 1:10 left and hung on to win.
Final: Wofford 20, The Citadel 16
5. Southern Illinois, Stony Brook and Southern Utah stun top-25 opponents
The defense of No. 15 Illinois State could not slow down Southern Illinois’ quarterback Sam Straub who passed for 370 yards and four touchdowns. The Salukis controlled all aspects of the game and put a couple cherries on top with touchdown runs by Cameron Walter and Jonathan Mixon in the 4th quarter.
Southern Illinois 42, Illinois State 7
A trio of field goals began the scoring for No. 12 New Hampshire and Stony Brook. Down 6-3 early, Stony Brook running back Stacey Bedell scampered into the end zone for 63 of his 157 yards on the day. New Hampshire’s offense dominated the second quarter and the Wildcats led by eight at the half. However, 22 unanswered second half points by Stony Brook sent the Seawolves home victorious.
Stony Brook 38, New Hampshire 24
The back and forth first half between No. 16 Weber State and Southern Utah ended with a Chance Bearnson 13-yard pick six to put the Thunderbirds ahead 20-13 at half. A Manny Berz field goal and Patrick Tyler’s third touchdown pass to open the second half was all Southern Utah would need to roll over the ranked Wildcats.
Southern Utah 32, Weber State 16
Other Notable Games
- No. 9 Sam Houston State survived a Northwestern State upset bid 40-36.
- No. 6 Central Arkansas hung on to beat Stephen F. Austin 24-20.
- No. 3 Jacksonville State won its 27th straight OVC game over EKU 41-25.
- No. 9 Eastern Washington defeated Montana State 31-19.
- No. 25 Western Carolina won its first game as a ranked team over ETSU 49-10.
- No. 4 South Dakota shut down Indiana State 56-6.
- No. 11 North Carolina A&T remained unbeaten against FAMU 31-20.