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Wayne Cavadi | NCAA.com | October 3, 2021

Seven top-25 DII teams fall on an absolutely bonkers Saturday

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Seven. Seven AFCA DII football top-25 teams fell last Saturday as the 2021 upset train keeps rolling. Perhaps it was the year away or maybe it is the extra year of eligibility that's providing teams with a wealth of experience, but the DII football landscape is more level than it has ever been.

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That means the DII football fan has zero idea what will happen on a week-to-week basis. And that sure makes it a lot of fun. Let’s get you caught up on what you missed as well as the bevy of 100-yard performances in the top 25 so far this past week. 

FULL SCOREBOARD: Week 5 DII football scores

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1. What’s a Saturday without a top-10 upset? Charleston (WV) used a 14-point fourth quarter to upend No. 6 Notre Dame (OH), 38-28. Running back Tyreik McAllister was sensational in the win, rushing for 180 yards and three touchdowns. The Golden Eagles shutdown the Falcons' air attack, holding Chris Brimm to his lowest total of the season and not allowing a passing touchdown, a first for Brimm in a game this season. 

2. Well, what’s a Saturday without another top-10 upset? No. 9 West Georgia and No. 15 West Alabama battled in a huge Gulf South Conference matchup with the Tigers pulling away victorious, 38-20. This was an aerial assault for both teams, and two very good wide receivers caught our eye. West Georgia’s Mechane Slade is fun to watch and a one-on-one nightmare for the opposition, but Tyriq Martin was sensational. He’s big — listed at 6’3" — and has soft hands, but with a quick first step, he gets separation very easily and always seems to be open. He pulled in 166 yards and a touchdown in the win — not a bad time for a 2021 breakout performance.

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3. No. 12 Nebraska-Kearney had never beaten Fort Hays State entering Saturday’s matchup. That streak continued as the Tigers upset the Lopers 42-35 on Saturday. Perhaps the most remarkable part of this upset is all 42 Tiger points came in the second half. Trailing 21-0 at halftime, quarterback Chance Fuller threw for 345 yards and three touchdowns to lead the comeback. The MIAA battle behind Northwest Missouri State is shaping up to be a very balanced one near the top. 

4. But wait, there’s more on the upset circuit:

  • In late night action, unranked Central Washington took down No. 11 Midwestern State. It was a 13-0 final quarter from Central Washington that did the Mustangs in. Quincy Glasper had one of his two touchdown passes in that final 15, and he also rushed for a touchdown on the day. 
  • The Key to the City will go to Sioux Falls as the Cougars upset No. 14 Augustana (SD) 28-26. USF quarterback Adam Mullen threw for 251 yards and three scores. 
  • No. 16 Lenoir-Rhyne falls to 2-2, losing a stunner to UVA Wise 35-28. With two losses, the Bears spot in the top 25 is now in jeopardy.
  • One week after pulling an upset of its own over Tiffin, No. 18 Truman loses to Lindenwood 31-21. Robert Giaimo had a big day for the Lions, rushing for 108 yards and three touchdowns while adding 42 yards receiving. 

5. Welcome to this week’s episode of Tony Annese, Quarterback Whisperer. Every quarterback that has started under Annese at Ferris State — there have been eight of them — has had a five-touchdown day. Mylik Mitchell joined the club Saturday, breaking the school record for passing yards in a game with 508 to go with six touchdown passes. He is the THIRD Bulldogs’ quarterback to have a six-touchdown day THIS SEASON. Jared Bernhardt and Evan Cummins already accomplished the feat this season. 

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6. On a Saturday chock full of DII top 25 upsets, No. 1 West Florida survived a scare. The Argos went in the half down 20 to Delta State, marking the second time this season they trailed a team that has been in the top 25 at the half. Once again, Pete Shinnick made the right adjustments and the Argos remained cool and collected, storming to a 29-3 second half and the thrilling 39-33 come-from-behind win. Delta State quarterback Patrick Shegog had a monster day, throwing for 459 yards and two scores, but Austin Reed’s three second-half touchdowns sealed the deal. 

7. Chowan’s Bryce Witt played a football game so that means Chowan’s Bryce Witt put up an insane number of touchdowns. This week, the quarterback totaled 471 yards with eight touchdowns. It is his second week in a row with eight total touchdowns and has 23 in his last three games. That is pretty good.

8. Keep an eye on Wayne State (NE). The Wildcats are now 4-1 and have consecutive wins over then-No. 11 Minnesota Duluth and a very good Winona State team. This week is a showdown with the top-25 Minnesota State Mavericks. 

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9. Breon Michel of Missouri S&T and Eugene Witherspoon of Quincy met in a battle of DII football receiving leaders. Both led the division with eight touchdowns entering the game and both added to their totals. Michel went for 179 yards and a touchdown while Witherspoon reeled in 86 yards and two scores in the Hawks' victory — one that was won on a pick-six. 

10. Buckle up, here are some DII football quick hits:

  • Kutztown improved to 4-1 thanks to a Darryl Davis-McNeil rushing touchdown with just 44 seconds remaining. With all the wild upsets this week, can the Golden Bears become the fifth PSAC team in the top 25?
  • Frostburg State improved to 5-0 with a 51-21 thumping of UNC Pembroke. Next up for the Bobcats is Notre Dame (OH) in a MEC showdown for the top spot in the conference. 
  • It appears there is no answer for Barton's Jordan Terrell. After 166 yards rushing this week, he has now eclipsed the century mark in every one of his five games this season — with a pair of 200-yard performances in the mix. The redshirt freshman leads DII with 936 yards through five weeks.
  • UIndy dropped two games in a row and fell out of the top 25 for the first time in quite a few years. The Greyhounds responded with a 77-point output and Toriano Clinton led the charge with 197 yards rushing and a score. 

The best stats from the AFCA Top 25

It was a wild week when it came to top individual performances. This is by far the largest number of 100-yard days we've seen in the top 25 thus far. Here are the standout stat lines from those teams inside the AFCA Top 25 rankings.

Player School Position Stats
Mylik Mitchell Ferris State QB 508 pass, 6 TD
Harrison Frost West Georgia QB 345 pass, 1 TD
Tyson Bagent Shepherd QB 336 pass, 5 TD
Andrew Koester Slippery Rock QB 328 pass, 5 TD
Jack McDaniels West Alabama QB 323 pass, 2 TD
Noah Mitchell Cal (Pa) QB 304 yards, 3 TD
Stephen Sturm Bentley QB 207 pass, 72 rush, 4 total TD
Austin Reed West Florida QB 285 pass, 4 TD
Ivory Durham Valdosta State QB 258 pass, 82 rush, 4 total TD
Ja'rome Johnson Bowie State QB 227 pass, 4 TD
       
Isaac Edwards Ouachita Baptist RB 190 rush, 2 TD
Al McKeller Northwest Missouri State RB 171 rush, 2 TD
Dwayne McGee Lenoir-Rhyne RB 160 rush, 1 TD
Idis Lawrence Notre Dame (OH) RB 149 rush, 2 TD
Jarod Epperson Augustana (SD) RB 148 rush, 2 TD
Ronnie Brown Shepherd RB 145 rush, 87 receiving, 2 total TD
Michael Zeman Colorado School of Mines RB 144 rush, 41 receiving
Cody Schrader Truman State RB 132 rush, 1 TD
Tyler Minor Ferris State RB 131 rush, 2 TD
Chamere Thomas Minnesota Duluth RB 121 rush, 1 TD
Chantz Swartz Shepherd RB 120 rush, 2 TD
Calil Wilkins Bowie State RB 120 rush, 1 TD
Jamar Thompkins Valdosta State RB 108 rush
Seth McGill Valdosta State RB 104 rush, 2 TD
Cole Chancey Harding RB 103 rush, 3 TD
Montrez Jackson Nebraska-Kearney RB 102 rush
Nijere Peoples Wingate RB 102 rush
       
Tyriq Martin West Alabama WR 166 receiving, 1 TD
Lio'undre Gallimore Valdosta State WR 135 receiving, 2 TD
CJ Jefferson Ferris State WR 130 receiving
Tyson Hill Cal (Pa) WR 125 receiving
Deondre Lester Lenoir-Rhyne WR 122 receiving
Ja'Juan Mason Midwestern State WR 121 receiving, 1 TD
Mechane Slade West Georgia WR 119 receiving
Zay Decias Bentley WR 114 receiving, 1 TD
Byron Bynom Minnesota Duluth WR 113 receiving, 1 TD
Armani Carmickle Minnesota Duluth WR 113 receiving, 1 TD
Imoni Donadelle Northwest Missouri State WR 105 receiving, 1 TD
Xavier Wade Ferris State WR 104 receiving, 1 TD
David Durden West Florida WR 103 receiving, 1 TD
Duane Brown Indiana (Pa) WR 101 receiving, 1 TD
Max Maciejewski Slippery Rock WR 100 receiving, 1 TD
Logan Uttecht Augustana (SD) WR 100 receiving

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