Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Three top 10 teams fall, shaking up the FCS poll

The Richmond, William & Mary and Montana football teams all slipped in the top 10 of the Football Championship Subdivision rankings this week, with the Spiders being the only team able to hold a top 10 spot after all three teams suffered tough losses.

Then-No. 5 Richmond fell to No. 10 in the rankings after falling to then-No. 11 New Hampshire, which moved up four spots to crack the top 10 for the first time this season.

After falling behind 10-0 in the first quarter, the Wildcats (2-1) exploded for 28 points in the second to obtain a 28-20 lead at the half. The Spiders (3-1) made it interesting down the stretch, but it was too little too late as UNH held on to win 45-43.

Then-No. 12 James Madison made its case for the top ten with an impressive victory over then-No. 6 William & Mary, handing the Tribe their second loss of the season with a 20-14 win on Saturday, dropping them to No. 11 in the polls.
Despite quarterback Michael Graham throwing for 215 yards for William & Mary (2-2), the Dukes out-gained the Tribe 340-252, paving the way for a James Madison (3-1) win, moving them up to No. 9 in the rankings.

After all the excitement of Montana jumping to No. 10, it was bounced right out just a week later after falling mercilessly to Sacramento State, 42-28, slipping all the way down to No. 19.

The Grizzlies could not keep up with Sacramento State, allowing 462 yards of total offense and making things easy for Hornets quarterback Jeff Fleming to operate as he racked up 283 total yards of his own.

The top four teams in the FCS rankings all stayed put, as Georgia Southern, Northern Iowa, Appalachian State and Montana State all held their ground on Saturday to come out with wins.

No. 3 Appalachian State had to rely on its defense down the stretch against Chattanooga, which dropped two spots to No. 15. Despite the effort, the Mocs could not break through the Mountaineers’ defense as ASU came out victorious by a score of 14-12.

No. 4 Montana State kept then-No. 21 Eastern Washington searching for its first win of the season, knocking it out of the top 25 with a 36-21 win on Saturday.

The Bobcats were led by running back Cody Kirk’s 117 yards on the ground and kicker Jason Cunningham’s five field goals to improve their record to 3-1.

At No. 5 this week is North Dakota State, which jumped up three spots from No. 8 after a stunning, 37-24 pounding of Football Bowl Subdivision opponent Minnesota. The Bisons’ 28 points in the second quarter would be all they needed thanks to the impressive defensive showing in the second half, holding the Golden Gophers to a mere 10 second-half points.

Rounding out the top ten is Delaware, New Hampshire, Wofford, James Madison and Richmond.

At No. 11 is the falling William & Mary, while Southern Illinois, Lehigh and Jacksonville State all climbed the ladder to sit right behind the Tribe, inching closer to a top ten bid.

After Chattanooga sits Sam Houston State at No. 16 as its undefeated season stayed intact after a thrilling, 48-45 win in overtime over New Mexico, highlighted by Tim Flanders’ 4-yard, game-clinching run into the end zone in the extra frame.

Southern Utah climbed all the way up to No. 17 after being ranked No. 23 just last week. The major jump came after punishing FBS foe UNLV, 41-16, on Saturday after the Running Rebels fumbled the ball four times (losing two) and quarterback Caleb Herring threw three interceptions.

Landing the next five spots in the rankings are No. 18 McNeese State, Montana, Massachusetts, South Dakota and South Carolina State.

The FCS rankings also welcomed three newcomers to the poll this week, as No. 23 Towson, Indiana State and Sacramento State all cracked the top 25 after being unranked the previous week.

Nick Canelas can be reached at [email protected].

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