Week 3 in DII football was one full of non-stop action. Four top 25 teams fell, while some of the biggest stat lines of the season were dropped in box scores across the top 25.
Twenty-four of the top 25 (Indianapolis was on a bye) combined to score a mind-boggling 972 points this week. Just one top 25 team scored less than 21 points. It was a week of huge scores and eye-popping stats, so let's go beyond the box scores and break down the big week in the top 25 by the numbers.
Week 3 in the top 25 by the numbers
3 – Teams that posted shutouts this past weekend. No. 4 Northwest Missouri State dominated Missouri Southern 63-0. No. 15 Central Washington did not take its first-week loss to Eastern Washington lightly. The Wildcats have outscored their opponents 99-17 the past two weeks, most recently blanking Humboldt State 49-0. No. 21 Harding bounced back from being upset last week to shut out Southern Nazarene 42-0.
3 -- Weeks in a row that Sioux Falls running back Gabriel Watson has run for more than 172 yards. The junior back has now reeled off 200, 172, and 193 yards to start off his 2018 season.
4 – Top 25 teams that were upset in Week 3, all by unranked teams. Valdosta State dominated No. 8 West Alabama, winning 58-24. No. 9 Colorado State-Pueblo fell to Colorado Mines 35-21. Upper Iowa barely eked out a victory, ending No. 11 Winona State's perfect season, 34-33. And Hillsdale surprised Ohio Dominican, winning 34-18 and making the Great Midwest Athletic Conference a wide-open competition.
14 -- Teams that broke 40 points this week. Six teams eclipsed the 50 point barrier. Simply put, this was a week of big scores and monster stats.
30.6 -- Average margin of victory by the 20 top 25 winning teams. That's 11.1 points per game better than Week 2.
63 – Most points scored by a winning top 25 team this week. Freshman quarterback Braden Wright has Northwest Missouri State rolling once again. He had another huge performance, throwing for 267 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for one more this week as the Bearcats blanked Missouri Southern 63-0.
89 -- Career touchdowns for Indiana (Pa)'s versatile quarterback Lenny Williams, Jr., the program record. He has been remarkably consistent in 2018, throwing three touchdowns in each of his first three games. This past week he threw for 204 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 59 and another score while sitting for most of the second half.
Here is a position by position breakdown of this weekend's standout performers in the top 25.
|Jeremy Hunt||Central Missouri||424 total yards, 5 total TD|
|A.J. Long||West Chester||393 total yards, 5 total TD|
|Sam Vaughn||West Florida||369 pass yards, 4 total TD|
|Barrett Renner||Southern Arkansas||362 pass yards, 4 pass TD|
|Jayru Campbell||Ferris State||323 total yards, 4 total TD|
|Willie Candler||West Georgia||322 total yards, 4 total TD|
|Eystin Salum||Colorado Mesa||303 total yards, 3 total TD|
|Layton Rabb||Midwestern State||301 total yards, 4 total TD|
|Bart Williams||Grand Valley State||296 total yards, 5 total TD|
|Vincent Johnson||Midwestern State||195 yards, 2 TD|
|Gabriel Watson||Sioux Falls||193 yards, 2 TD|
|Cedric Cooper||Central Washington||178 yards, 1 TD|
|EJ Colson||Ohio Dominican||174 yards|
|Justin Taormina||Minnesota State||158 yards, 1 TD|
|Devontae Jackson||West Georgia||140 yards, 1 TD|
|Brayden Brazeal (QB)||Ouachita Baptist||136 yards, 1 TD|
|Chawntez Moss||Grand Valley State||130 yards|
|Tyler Adkins||Pittsburg State||125 yards, 1 TD|
|Tristan Tucker||Harding||118 yards, 1 TD|
At the half, No. 24 @USFCooFootball leads Southwest Minnesota State, 26-14. Cougars have 317 total yards, including 171 rushing. Gabriel Watson has 142 yards rushing on nine carries and 81 yard TD run. Nate Johnson has three receptions for 72 yards and two TDs. #CooPride pic.twitter.com/IO7ia7mHey— USF Cougars (@USF_Athletics) September 16, 2018
|Karonce Higgins||Southern Arkansas||237 yards, 2 TD|
|Keyondre Craig||Ferris State||162 yards, 1 TD|
|Juwan Johnson||Midwestern State||132 yards|
|Nick Dodson||Grand Valley State||129 yards, 2 TD|
|Peter Anderson||Colorado Mesa||129 yards, 1 TD|
|Shae Wyatt||Central Missouri||129 yards, 1 TD|
|Dom McNeil||IUP||120 yards, 2 TD|
|Qua Boyd||West Alabama||117 yards, 2 TD|
|Kyrion Parker||Central Missouri||104 yards, 1 TD|
|Isaiah Frandsen||Winona State||101 yards, 2 TD|
|Nate Johnson||Sioux Falls||87 yards, 3 TD|
Outside the top 25:
After Week 2, we put several teams on watch. Pittsburg State was one and jumped into the top 25. Here are a few others to keep your eye on.
Last week we said we would reserve this top spot for the Colorado School of Mines until it cracked the top 25. Expect this to be the Orediggers last week here. Running back Cameron Mayberry led the charge with 203 yards and three touchdowns on a week that the ThunderWolves were able to handle the Mines' aerial attack.
Bowie State's quarterback Amir Hall is something else. The senior quarterback is one of the most dynamic and versatile players in all of college football. He's now thrown for at least 352 yards in each of his first three games this season. This past week, he finally crossed the goal line on the ground, adding two rushing touchdowns to his season total.
Valdosta State's time receiving votes may be coming to an end after its big victory this past week. Quarterback Rogan Wells threw for 341 yards and five touchdowns while the defense got in on the fun with two pick sixes. The Blazers are a balanced team and are rolling. They should find themselves in the top 25 come Monday.
The Shepherd Rams knew it would be a transition this season with the graduation of quarterback Connor Jessop. But freshman Tyson Bagent has stepped in and has one of the bigger cannons in DII. He got the Rams back in the win column after a Week 1 upset throwing for 378 yards and three touchdowns. He now has 896 yards passing through two games.