FCS Top 25 Roundup - Week 4

Fargo, ND (SportsNetwork.com) - Whenever North Dakota State's record winning streak ends - if it ends, some may wonder - it's going to take a rare occurence:

The Bison being off their game.

That just doesn't seem to happen to the top-ranked team in the FCS.

NDSU won a matchup of elite FCS programs on Saturday, never trailing against fourth-ranked Montana while posting a methodical, 22-10 victory at the Fargodome - the three-time reigning national champion's FCS-record 28th straight dating to the 2012 season.

NDSU improved to 4-0 under first-year coach Chris Klieman, controlling the game clock with its ground game. John Crockett rushed for 144 yards, just over half of the Bison's 280 yards on the ground, and the Bison won as usual with defense and special teams, including Adam Keller's school-record five field goals.

The Bison built a 12-10 halftime lead and then extended it to 19-10 on Carson Wentz's 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Kevin Vaadeland with 8:22 left in the third quarter. Then on Montana's ensuing possession, the Grizzlies' first turnover of the season was ill-timed as Bison safety Christian Dudzik intercepted a Jordan Johnson pass in the back of NDSU's end zone.

Keller kicked a 30-yard field goal with 1:43 remaining in the fourth quarter to finalize the scoring at 22-10. He's connected on 13 straight field goal attempts, including from 41, 22, 32 and 47 yards in the first half.

Montana (2-2) was held to nine first downs and 256 yards (NDSU had 24 and 447). A Jamal Jones 72-yard reception set up Montana's only touchdown, a 4-yard run by Jordan Canada in the second quarter. Dan Sullivan also kicked a 20-yard field goal in the final minute of the first half, pulling the Grizzlies within 12-10.

Linebacker Travis Beck led NDSU's defense with a season-high nine tackles, and cornerback Jordan Champion collected a career-high eight stops and two pass breakups.

The two teams met for the first time since 2003, with NDSU taking a 4-3 series lead. While NDSU has become the pre-eminent power in the FCS, Montana has made the second-most national title game appearances in history with seven (two titles and five runner-up finishes).

The Sports Network FCS Top 25

Saturday, Sept. 20

No. 2 Eastern Washington (3-1) 52, No. 14 Montana State (2-2) 51

Eastern Washington's win over Montana State was ridiculously good. After Mario Brown scored on a 1-yard run with 27 seconds left to pull the Eagles within 51-50, quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. ran in the two-point conversion to produce the road win (place-kicker Roban Alcobendas was injured).

Adams went 25-for-43 for 358 yards and two touchdowns to Cooper Kupp, with two interceptions. Quincy Forte rushed for 146 yards in the first quarter and 190 overall as well as four touchdowns on 17 carries.

Montana State's Dakota Prukop threw for four touchdowns and rushed for one, while Shawn Johnson had 374 all-purpose yards and scored three touchdowns.

EWU, which stopped MSU twice on attempted fourth-down conversions in the fourth quarter, finished with 582 offensive yards, while the Bobcats had 547.

The game did not count toward the Big Sky Conference standings.


Southeast Missouri State (2-2) 24, No. 3 Southeastern Louisiana (2-2) 23

Kyle Snyder threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Paul Roberts with four seconds remaining and Ryan McCrum added the extra point to lift Southeast Missouri State to a stunning victory.

Southeastern Louisiana went ahead 23-17 on Bryan Bennett's 22-yard touchdown run with 2:53 remaining to play. The Lions missed a PAT after a Bennett TD pass with 5:18 left, keeping them behind 17-16.

Bennett was 15-for-29 for 200 yards with one interception. The Lions have lost back-to-back games.


No. 5 Coastal Carolina (4-0) 48, Florida A&M (0-3) 3

Coastal Carolina fell behind 3-0 in the game's first four minutes and then rolled to 48 straight points as quarterback Alex Ross (one rushing, one passing) and running back De'Angelo Henderson (two rushing) accounted for a pair of scores each.

Calvin Hollenhorst scored on a 4-yard fumble return and All-American linebacker Quinn Backus had six tackles, 1 1/2 tackles for loss, an interception, a forced fumble and a quarterback hurry.

Alex Catron included a 51-yarder among his two field goals as the Chanticleers improved to 20-1 all-time against Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opponents.


No. 6 McNeese State (1-1), Idle


No. 7 New Hampshire (2-1, 1-0 CAA) 29, No. 17 Richmond (2-2, 0-1) 26

With quarterback Sean Goldrich on the bench after being injured earlier in the fourth quarter, Andy Vailas led New Hampshire on a game-winning, 15-play, 75- touchdown drive, which was capped by Nico Steriti's 2-yard run with 19.1 seconds remaining to play.

Goldrich threw for 212 yards and rushed for 87 yards and three touchdowns before departing the CAA Football matchup.

Richmond's Seth Fisher rushed for two touchdowns in the loss. Quarterback Michael Strauss was 26-for-34 and 339 yards.


No. 8 Villanova (2-1) 49, James Madison (2-2) 31

In the CAA opener for both teams, Villanova overcame a 21-14 deficit with 35 second-half points, although the visiting Dukes outgained the Wildcats in the offensive slugfest, 568 yards to 563.

'Nova quarterback John Robertson completed 22-of-27 pass attempts for a career- high 337 yards and four touchdowns, including a pair to tight end Earnest Pettaway. Kevin Monangai rushed for 129 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.

Vad Lee threw for a James Madison-record 406 yards as well as three touchdowns with two interceptions.


No. 9 Jacksonville State (2-1) 45, West Alabama (2-1) 34

Jacksonville State's Josh Barge caught three touchdowns and the Gamecocks built a 45-14 lead early in the fourth quarter. Max Shortell threw for two of the scores to Barge and Christian LeMay passed for the other.

Starting quarterback Eli Jenkins also threw for a TD, an 88-yarder to Markis Merrill.

Troymaine Pope (10 carries, 121 yards) and Miles Jones (20 carries, 108 yards) both surpassed 100 yards on the ground.


No. 10 South Dakota State (3-1) 41, Wisconsin-Oshkosh (0-3) 3

Jackrabbits senior Zach Zenner rushed for 209 yards, including 174 in the first half, scoring three times. The Missouri Valley Conference's all-time leading rusher surpassed the 5,000-yard mark in his career.

Quarterback Zach Lujan and wide receiver Jason Schneider connected on a pair of touchdowns.


No. 11 Northern Iowa (1-2) 46, Northern Colorado (1-2) 7

UNI won its home opener after falling to two FBS opponents. David Johnson rushed for 173 yards, including a 41-yard touchdown, on 18 carries.

Darrian Miller rushed for a touchdown and caught one while the Panthers built a 39-0 lead.


UCF (1-2) 41, No. 12 Bethune-Cookman (2-1) 7

Bethune-Cookman came up short of a second win over an FBS team this season. Anthony Jordan's 1-yard touchdown run for the Wildcats with 1:40 left in the first quarter tied the game at 7-7, but UCF scored the next 34 points.

Quarterback Quentin Williams threw for 102 yards and passed for 32 in the loss.


No. 13 William & Mary (3-1) 33, Lafayette (1-2) 19

After William & Mary trailed 19-9 at halftime, quarterback Steve Cluley took command in the third quarter, rushing for two touchdowns and throwing for one.

He finished with 228 yards of total offense and Tre McBride added 181 all- purpose yards.

For Lafayette, senior Ross Scheuerman had a 72-yard touchdown run among his 160 yards on the ground.


No. 15 Chattanooga (1-2), Idle


Purdue (2-2), 35, No. 16 Southern Illinois (3-1) 13

The Salukis' first-ever game against Purdue was rather forgettable after the Boilermakers scored the game's first 25 points.

A week after throwing for six touchdowns, SIU quarterback Mark Iannotti didn't threw for any, although he rushed for the Salukis' only touchdown. Tight end MyCole Pruitt caught 10 passes for 136 yards.


No. 18 Fordham (3-1) 49, Columbia (0-1) 7

Fordham retained the Liberty Cup, which is played in remembrance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, by defeating Columbia for the fifth straight season.

Michael Nebrich threw for 435 yards and four touchdown passes, including a pair to Tebucky Jones Jr., and freshman running back Chase Edmonds had 240 all- purpose yards, including 174 on the ground, with two touchdowns.

The Rams gained 36 first downs and 653 yards.


No. 19 Youngstown State (3-1) 52, Saint Francis (1-3) 23

Youngstown State stretched its winning streak to three as Dante Nania threw for 180 yards and three touchdowns, and Martin Ruiz rushed for 82 yards and two touchdowns.

Khairi Dickson rushed for 151 yards and one touchdown for Saint Francis. He entered the game averaging an FCS-high 202.7 yards per game.


No. 20 Tennessee State (3-1, 1-0 OVC) 10, Tennessee Tech (1-2, 0-1) 7

Defense is Tennessee State's forte and it showed in it OVC opener as the Tigers won a game without an offensive touchdown. Ronnie Vinson's 50-yard interception return for a touchdown and a 10-7 first-quarter lead trumped an earlier interception return for a touchdown by Tennessee Tech's Austin Tallant.

TSU controlled the game clock and limited Tech to 150 yards, including on 34 on 25 carries. Lane Clark kicked a 26-yard field goal in the win.


South Carolina State (2-2) 17, No. 21 Furman (2-2) 7

South Carolina State avenged a 30-20 loss to Furman in last year's FCS playoffs. It was the Paladins' second straight loss.

Mykal Moody caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from Dennis Rowe and Jalen Simmons scored on a 4-yard run for SCSU.


South Dakota (2-2) 28, No. 22 Northern Arizona (2-2) 21

Playing a ranked FCS opponent for the sixth straight time, South Dakota broke through with a win by picking off NAU quarterback Kyren Poe three times and gaining three touchdowns from its own signal caller, Ryan Saeger (two rushing, one passing).

For NAU, Casey Jahn rushed for two touchdowns and Ify Umodu caught six passes for 152 yards.


No. 23 Eastern Kentucky (4-0, 1-0 OVC) 49, UT Martin (1-3, 0-1) 24

Eastern Kentucky scored three touchdowns in the third quarter of its Ohio Valley Conference opener, including Dy'Shawn Mobley on a 75-yard run, to pull away from a 28-24 halftime lead.

Mobley finished with 183 yards on 11 carries with three touchdowns. Bennie Coney threw for a pair of touchdowns and the Colonels forced four turnovers in the win.


No. 24 Liberty (3-1) 38, Bryant (3-1) 21

Liberty's John Lunsford opened the scoring with a 57-yard field goal and the Flames went on to build a 24-0 lead.

Quarterback Josh Woodrum was 24-for-34 for 319 yards and one touchdown, and he added two rushing touchdowns.

Bryant entered the game one spot shy of the Top 25.


No. 25 Sam Houston State (1-3), Idle