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Andy Wittry | NCAA.com | September 6, 2021

South Dakota State, Montana climb in Stats Perform FCS Top 25 after FBS upsets

See the game-winning TD drive that sealed Sam Houston's first FCS championship

After a historic weekend that saw six FCS teams upset their FBS competition, which was the most in a week since 2013, the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 saw some significant shakeups as numerous FCS playoff contenders made strong cases for them to climb in the rankings.

Here are takeaways from the latest Stats Perform FCS Top 25.

Sam Houston's status stays strong

Reigning national champion Sam Houston remained No. 1 after defeating Northern Arizona 42-16. The Bearkats received 32 out of a possible 50 first-place votes after a balanced offensive performance in which they rushed for 285 yards and threw for 275. They averaged 7.6 yards per play and won by 26 points despite committing two turnovers.

Quarterback Eric Schmid threw for three touchdowns, while Ramon Jefferson and Zach Hrbacek combined for 208 yards on the ground on just 18 attempts. Defensively, Sam Houston held Northern Arizona to just 2.6 yards per carry and the Bearkats picked off NAU quarterback Jeff Widener twice.

There's enough first-place votes to go around

Four different teams received multiple first-place votes in the Stats Perform FCS Top 25. In addition to Sam Houston's 32 first-place votes, South Dakota State received 11, while Montana earned five and James Madison received two. 

Five teams — those four, plus North Dakota State — received at least 1,000 points in the latest top 25, with just 162 votes separating No. 1 Sam Houston from No. 5 North Dakota State.

Upsets over FBS opponents lead to shakeups

Here were the six FCS-over-FBS upsets from Week 1, along with each team's change in the latest Stats Perform FCS Top 25 after their respective wins:

  • South Dakota State def. Colorado State 42-23 | No. 3 to No. 2
  • Montana def. Washington 13-7 | No. 9 to No. 4
  • Eastern Washington def. UNLV 35-33 (2OT) | No. 11 to No. 7
  • UC Davis def. Tulsa 19-17 | No. 23 to No. 14
  • East Tennessee State def. Vanderbilt 23-3 | Not ranked to No. 15
  • Holy Cross def. UConn 38-28 | Not ranked to No. 24

Montana's upset over Washington, which was ranked No. 20 in the preseason AP Top 25 poll, was just the sixth time an  FCS team has upset a ranked FBS opponent. The Huskies scored first, taking a 7-0 lead less than five minutes into the game, then the Grizzlies held their FBS opponent scoreless for the final 50 minutes. Washington managed just 65 rushing yards on 2.4 yards per carry, while Montana intercepted three passes from Huskies quarterback Dylan Morris.

FCS-OVER-FBS UPSET HISTORY: All-time victories, upsets, wins vs. ranked teams 

Three teams drop out of the top 25

There are three new names in the latest Stats Perform FCS Top 25 — No. 15 East Tennessee State, No. 24 Holy Cross and No. 25 Richmond — that replaced previously ranked Chattanooga (No. 18), Nicholls (No. 22) and North Carolina A&T (No. 25). Chattanooga lost to No. 20 Austin Peay 30-20, Memphis topped Nicholls 42-17 and Furman bested North Carolina A&T 29-18.

See the full Stats Perform FCS Top 25 rankings from Sept. 6, 2021:

RANK

SCHOOL

RECORD

POINTS

PREVIOUS

1 Sam Houston (32) 1-0 1,212 1
2 South Dakota State (11) 1-0 1,185 3
3 James Madison (2) 1-0 1,150 2
4 Montana (5) 1-0 1,087 9
5 North Dakota State 1-0 1,050 4
6 Delaware 1-0 965 5
7 Eastern Washington 1-0 880 11
8 Southern Illinois 1-0 873 7
9 North Dakota 1-0 858 8
10 Weber State 0-1 764 6
11 Montana State 0-1 598 12
12 Villanova 1-0 585 16
13 Southeastern Louisiana 1-0 584 15
14 UC Davis 1-0 576 23
15 ETSU 1-0 442 NR
16 Jacksonville State 0-1 427 10
17 Austin Peay 1-0 417 20
18 VMI 1-0 415 17
19 Central Arkansas 0-1 407 14
20 Monmouth 0-1 290 13
21 Northern Iowa 0-1 287 21
22 Kennesaw State 1-0 208 19
23 Missouri State 0-1 187 24
24 Holy Cross 1-0 160 NR
25 Richmond 1-0 135 NR

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