National Notes Week 9
Kevin Marshall, National Contributor | October 29, 2015
The State of the Nation
The only constant in the FCS this season is change. There is a new number one team in the AnyGivenSaturday.com Top 25 Poll for the second straight week.The Illinois State Redbirds have claimed the top spot. The stage was set for James Madison to make a huge statement and put some distance between themselves and the teams who were chasing them for the number one ranking. ESPN College Gameday was in attendance and instead of the Dukes making the statement it was their opponent, the Richmond Spiders, who let their play on the field make a statement for them. The Spiders racked up a program record 720 yards of total offense in a 59-49 triumph over the Dukes. Jacobi Green ran for 276 yards and 5 touchdowns. It was an expensive loss for James Madison as Vad Lee was hurt and is out for the rest of the season.
The North Dakota State Bison got their stuff back into a pile last week. The Easton Stick Era is fairly begun in Fargo. Stick used his mobility and his strong arm to lead the Bison to a much needed victory over Indiana State 28-14. Northern Iowa saved their season for another week with the play of their defense beating the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State 10-7. Just imagine if the Panthers could get out of their own way on offense. The Jacksonville State Gamecocks continued to be impressive. The Cocks whipped Austin Peay 27-7 and outgained them 427-82 on offense.
Illinois State took sole possession of not only the number one spot in the AGS Poll but also the Missouri Valley Football Conference with their 48-28 victory over Western Illinois. Redbird receiver Anthony Warrum was the star of the game again this week. Warrum had 170 receiving yards and two touchdowns on just four receptions. The Eastern Washington Eagles lived on the edge once again. The Eagles kicked a field goal as time expired to defeat Northern Colorado. Cooper Kupp was amazing again with 20 catches for 275 yards and three touchdowns. Kupp passed Jerry Rice on the career touchdown list in the victory. Both of the Montana schools looked impressive in victories last week. The Griz, behind six touchdown passes from Makena Simis, whipped North Dakota.
The Bobcats manhandled an over matched East Tennessee State team 63-7. The Harvard Crimson threw for the third most yards in school history, 437, to rout Princeton 42-7. There is some very good football being played in Charleston, South Carolina right now. The Charleston Southern Buccaneers and their top ranked defense pitched a shutout against Gardner-Webb and won 34-0. The Citadel Bulldogs rolled over their hated rival the Furman Paladins 38-17. Both of these squads moved into the Top 25 for the first time this season. Western Carolina beat Samford 56-36 in Cullowhee, NC. The Chattanooga Mocs again relied on their talented placekicker Henrique Ribeiro to pull their chestnuts out of the fire. The Brazil native kicked another game winner to lead the Mocs to a 20-17 victory at Wofford.
Brandon Lawrence, of thefcswedge.com, joins us this week and we talk about the best position groups in the FCS so far this season. Brandon writes an excellent column each Sunday on thefcswedge.com called ICYMI (In Case You Missed It). Y’all should give it a read each week.
In our Coach Interview Segment Mr. Jerome Souers, of Northern Arizona, joins us. You will want to tune in to hear what these gentlemen have to say.
Coastal Carolina @ Charleston Southern
The Buccaneers defense will be tested by the Chanticleers. I think this is the week that Coastal gets beat. CSU 24-23.
James Madison @ William and Mary
The Dukes will struggle without Vad Lee. The Tribe are playing great right now. William and Mary 27-24.
Western Carolina @ Chattanooga
Last season the Catamounts talked a lot of smack before the game with the Mocs. Nary a peep has come out of Cullowhee so far this week. I think living dangerously catches up to Chattanooga this week. WCU 42-38.
Eastern Kentucky @ Jacksonville State
Both of these squads should have victories over SEC opponents. Two very good teams matched up in this one. I just think Jacksonville State is better. JSU 27-17.
Youngstown State @ Western Illinois
Youngstown is fading, again, and the Leathernecks need to rebound from the disappointing loss last week. WIU 28-13.
South Dakota @ Northern Iowa
The Coyotes are proving they are better than they appeared to be early in the season. Northern Iowa is fighting for their playoff life. UNI 17-14.
Indiana State @ Illinois State
Tre Roberson and Anthony Warrum prove too much for the Sycamore defense. Redbirds 38-17.
NDSU @ Southern Illinois
Easton Stick was impressive last week and the Bison defense seems to be coming together. NDSU 28-17.
Cal Poly @ Southern Utah
Can the Thunderbirds defense continue to play so well? I think they can. SUU 31-17.
Montana State @ North Dakota
UND can and will stop the Bobcat offense. Can the NoDak offense keep up? I don’t think so. MSU 38-20.
Montana @ Portland State
When will people quit asking if the Vikings are for real? This is the week. PSU 38-31.