National Notes Week 10
Kevin Marshall, National Contributor | November 06, 2015
The State of the Nation
Last Saturday was the best so far in the FCS! This week promises to be even better. Several teams showed through their play on the field that they have been underrated thus far. Several traditional powers saw their playoff hopes placed on life support and their fans sitting Shiva on their seasons.
For the third consecutive week we have a new number one team in the Anygivensaturday.com Top 25 Poll. The AGS Poll is the best in the FCS and it isn’t even close. Jacksonville State reclaimed the top spot after dismantling Eastern Kentucky 34-0. Gamecock quarterback Eli Jenkins thrilled the 21,998 on hand with 342 total yards.
The most significant victory of the week goes to the Charleston Southern Buccaneers. The Bucs scored touchdowns on all four of their first half possessions and their defense made those points hold up in the 33-25 victory over Coastal Carolina.
The Chattanooga Mocs made short work of the Western Carolina Catamounts 41-13. The Mocs offense was impressive. Derrick Craine ran for 103 yards and four touchdowns. Senior quarterback Jacob Huesman rushed for 168 yards and was efficient when throwing. Huesman was 14-15 for 191 yards through the air. The Mocs defense held a very good Catamount offense to 283 yards and 13 points. It’s the best they have looked on that side of the ball all season.
Portland State moved to 7-1 for the first time in school history after defeating Montana 35-16. The Vikings ran for 339 yards. David Jones lead the way with 165 yards and a touchdown. The win snapped an 8 game Montana winning streak in the series.
Eastern Washington, who seems to enjoy living on the edge, outlasted Weber State 14-13 in Cheney, Washington. Eagle quarterback Jordan West hooked up twice with receiver Cooper Kupp for touchdowns and the EWU defense made that one point lead stand up for the final 21 minutes of the game. The Weber State special teams let them down. The Wildcats missed three field goals in the rain and the wind.
James Madison proved that even without Vad Lee they are a very dangerous football team. The William and Mary Tribe showed what they were made of on their last drive of the game. Trailing the Dukes by five points with just a smidge over 5 minutes remaining on the clock the Tribe calmly drove 84 yards in twelve plays to win the game 44-41. William and Mary running back Kendell Anderson capped the drive with a two yard touchdown plunge and ended the game with 138 yards rushing. Anderson has run for 100 yards in six consecutive games for the Tribe.
The Colgate Red Raiders defense was magnificent last Saturday. Colgate held Fordham running back Chase Edmonds to 51 yards on 18 carries and sacked the Fordham quarterback 8 times in their 31-29 victory.
North Dakota State rushed for 397 yards and the Bison defense made the plays when it mattered in their 35-29 win over Southern Illinois. King Frazier carried the ball 16 times for 177 yards for the Bison. Quarterback Easton Stick also carried the mail 16 times but for only 130 yards. All hail the King…Frazier that is! One thing lacking for the Bison so far in 2015 is the big play. Coming into the game last week the Bison only had one play of 50 yards or more all season. They had four such plays last Saturday. Excellent road win for NDSU.
Northern Iowa got back to .500 on the season with a 20-7 win over South Dakota. Panther quarterback Aaron Bailey was impressive. Bailey went 16-27 for 231 yards and a touchdown through the air and also ran one in for a touchdown for good measure. Northern Iowa still has a tough row to hoe to make it to the postseason.
Southern Utah moved to 5-0 in the Big Sky Conference with a good win over Cal Poly. Thunderbird defensive end James Cowser broke the career record in the FCS for tackles for loss in the win. It wasn’t just Cowser who made a difference on the Southern Utah defense. That unit put up 21 points and is getting better each week.
North Dakota running back James Santiago rushed for 230 yards and three touchdowns en route to setting the school record, since the move to Division I, for rushing yards in a single season. We still have three game to go! Santiago is quite a player. Santiago’s teammates didn’t let his good work go to waste. The NoDaks beat Montana State 44-38. Bobcat quarterback Dakota Prukop played well as usual but defense continues to be a problem in Bozeman.
This week in the Voices of the FCS Segment we are joined by Mr. Kevin O’Rourke. Kevin is the Voice of the Charleston Southern Buccaneers.
In a special segment this week I am joined by Lance Berndt and Kris Kallem of thefcswedge.com and our Big Sky Conference Segment. In this segment we take a snapshot of the playoff picture as it stands right now. You’ll want to tune in to hear Mr. O’Rourke discuss the success the Buccaneers have had thus far and to see if your team is in or out right now.
Northern Arizona @ Eastern Washington
The Eagles almost stubbed their talon last week against Weber. The Lumberjacks offense looked better than they have at any point in the season. This should be a shootout. Eastern Washington 48-38.
Southern Utah @ Montana State
The Thunderbirds are peaking and the Bobcats are running out of things to play for. Southern Utah will get the stops on defense they have to have and will win. SUU 38-24.
Charleston Southern @ Kennesaw State
The Bucs cannot afford a letdown against Kennesaw after beating Coastal last week. I think they handle the success very well. CSU 33-17.
Richmond @ New Hampshire
The Spiders are just better this year. Richmond 24-20.
Towson @ Maine
Towson has played their way back into the playoff discussion. They will handle the Black Bears of Maine on the road. Towson 21-14.
Sam Houston State @ McNeese State
McNeese is tough at home and Sam Houston just hasn’t really faced a quality defense like the Cowboys have all season. McNeese State 24-21.
Illinois State @ South Dakota State (AGS Game of the Week)
The Redbirds struggled a bit last week and cannot afford a slow start against the Jackrabbits. I think ISU comes out swinging. Redbirds 27-24.
Jacksonville State @ Eastern Illinois
For the second week in a row the Gamecocks will face a team that enters the contest undefeated in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Gamecocks are far and away the best team in that league and will show it again. Cocks 38-10.
Bucknell @ Fordham
Emory Hunt has a saying that sometimes teams let one loss become two. I don’t think Fordham lets that happen. Fordham 38-28.
Chattanooga @ Mercer
Mercer has given most everyone fits this season but just can’t close the deal. Will the Mocs overlook the Bears? I don’t think so. Chattanooga 31-24.
Virginia Military Institute @ The Citadel The Military Classic of the South
These two hate and respect the hell out of one another. VMI would like nothing more than to ruin The Citadel’s best season since 1992. It will be close but The Citadel keeps the coveted Silver Shako and beats VMI 27-24.