Published January 13, 2015
Youngstown, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - And the only unbeaten team in the FCS ... top-ranked North Dakota State.
No surprise there as the Bison clinched their third straight Missouri Valley Football Conference title and the automatic bid to the FCS playoffs by defeating No. 15 Youngstown State, 35-17, on Saturday.
Quarterback Brock Jensen completed 17-of-22 pass attempts for 200 yards and four touchdowns with one interception. He has 62 career touchdown passes, a new school record.
Jensen also rushed for a touchdown,
Sam Ojuri and John Crockett rushed for 146 and 120 yards, respectively, as NDSU (10-0, 7-0) outgained YSU (8-3, 5-2), 483 yards to 302.
Youngstown State quarterback Kurt Hess opened the scoring with a 6-yard touchdown pass, but later suffered an ankle injury.
The two-time defending FCS champion Bison, who have three straight Missouri Valley titles, will end the regular season at home against South Dakota next Saturday.
The nation's only other unbeaten team, No. 5 Fordham, fell to Lafayette on Saturday.
No. 2 Eastern Illinois (10-1, 7-0 OVC) 52,
No. 22 Jacksonville State (8-3, 4-3) 14
Eastern Illinois clinched the Ohio Valley Conference title and its automatic playoff bid with a decisive victory. Sophomore running back Shepard Little rushed for 245 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries for the Panthers, and he threw a touchdown pass.
Eastern Illinois notched 413 rushing yards in the effort, which included 111 yards and two touchdowns from junior Jimmy Lera. One week after rushing for 299 yards against Eastern Kentucky, the Gamecocks were held by EIU to 98 rushing and 253 total offensive yards.
No. 3 Eastern Washington (9-2, 7-0 Big Sky) 35, Cal Poly (5-6, 4-3) 22
Freshman receiver Cooper Kupp was marvelous again in Eastern Washington's win over Cal Poly.
Kupp racked up 139 receiving yards to give him an FCS freshman record 1,231 this season. He also caught his 15th and 16th touchdown receptions to tie an FCS record by catching a touchdown in his 11th straight game.
The Eagles built a 35-3 lead. Quarterback Vernon Adams was pulled midway through the third quarter and replaced by Anthony Vitto, who threw a touchdown pass. Adams finished with 224 yards and two touchdowns through the air
Cal Poly rushed for 313 yards in the loss, including Kristaan Ivory's 88 yards.
No. 14 Southeastern Louisiana (9-2, 6-0 Southland) 34,
No. 4 Sam Houston State (8-3, 4-2) 21
Southeastern Louisiana clinched at least a share of its first Southland Conference title by knocking off two-time defending champion Sam Houston State. The Lions also secured the conference's automatic bid to the FCS playoffs.
Junior quarterback Bryan Bennett threw for 268 yards and three touchdowns, including two to Marcus Fruge.
For Sam Houston, quarterback Brian Bell passed for 135 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 112 yards. Running back Timothy Flanders had 53 yards on 14 carries.
Lafayette (4-6) 27, No. 5 Fordham (10-1) 14
With standout quarterback Michael Nebrich sidelined by a knee injury, Fordham lost for the first time. Peter Maetzold threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns to Brian Wetzel, but was intercepted four times.
Lafayette overcame four interceptions by its quarterback, Drew Reed, as Ross Scheuerman rushed for 169 and two touchdowns. The Leopards will visit rival Lehigh next Saturday for the Patriot League title.
No. 6 Maine (10-1, 7-0 CAA) 41, Rhode Island (3-9, 2-6) 0
Maine clinched the CAA Football title and the conference's automatic FCS playoff bid with a shutout win against Rhode Island. It was the fourth time this season the Rams have been shut out in a contest.
Black Bears quarterback Marcus Wasilewski completed 22-of-26 passing for 307 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Rickey Stevens rushed for 125 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries.
No. 7 Montana (9-2, 5-2 Big Sky) 42, Weber State (1-10, 0-7) 6
Jordan Canada rushed for 189 yards and two touchdowns, including an 80-yarder to extend Montana's third-quarter lead to 21-8.
Three other UM players ran for touchdowns as the Grizzlies racked up 338 yards on the ground. Weber State committed six turnovers.
Southern Utah (8-3, 5-2 Big Sky) 22, No. 8 Montana State (7-4, 5-2) 14
Southern Utah built a 15-0 lead through three quarters and held on for a huge Big Sky Conference win. Quarterback Aaron Cantu scored on a pair of 1-yard runs in the win.
The Thunderbirds forced three turnovers, including two interceptions of Montana State quarterback DeNarius McGhee.
Both teams are seeking at-large playoff bids. Southern Utah will host Northern Arizona and Montana State will host rival Montana next Saturday.
No. 9 McNeese State (9-2, 5-1 Southland) 43,
Northwestern State (5-6, 2-4) 17
Running backs Marcus Wiltz (135 yards, one touchdown) and Kelvin Bennett (115) both went over 100 yards to power McNeese State.
Quarterback Cody Stroud passed for 195 yards and two touchdowns in the second quarter as the Cowboys built a 21-10 halftime lead.
No. 10 Towson (9-2, 5-2 CAA) 15, No. 16 William & Mary (7-4, 4-3) 9
William & Mary's nation-leading scoring defense did all it could, but Towson running back Terrance West was too much to handle. The junior carried the ball 30 times for 157 yards and two touchdowns - giving him an FCS-best 27 this season.
Tribe kicker John Carpenter kicked three field goals, and sophomore running back Mikal Abdul-Saboor rushed for 105 yards on 20 carries in the losing effort.
No. 11 Coastal Carolina (10-1, 4-1 Big South) 46,
Presbyterian (3-7, 1-3) 13
Despite an injury suffered last weekend against Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina running back Lorenzo Taliaferro was the star performer with 132 yards and two touchdowns. He set the Big South Conference record with his 24th touchdown, surpassing the 23 that Stony Brook's Miguel Maysonet had last year.
Matt Hazel hauled in seven passes for 119 yards and set the CCU career record for receptions, now with 162.
The Chanticleers racked up 642 yards of total offense, including 410 team rushing, and 32 first downs. They face FBS South Carolina to end the season.
No. 12 Northern Arizona (8-2, 6-1 Big Sky) 24, Northern Colorado (1-10, 0-7) 7
Northern Arizona remained alive for the Big Sky title as Zach Bauman rushed for 145 yards on 24 carries and Randy Hale Jr. had a 51-yard interception return for a touchdown.
To earn a share of the conference title, NAU must defeat Southern Utah and have Eastern Washington lose at home to Portland State next Saturday.
Gardner-Webb (6-5, 1-3 Big South) 27,
No. 13 Charleston Southern (10-2, 3-1) 10
Gardner-Webb's first Big South win stunned Charleston Southern to tighten the conference title race. Coastal Carolina moved back into first place at 4-1 with the two 3-1 squads - Liberty and Charleston Southern - set to meet next Saturday.
Gardner-Webb built a 20-0 halftime lead and J.J. Hubbard scored on an 87-yard kickoff return in the third quarter. Defensive end Shaquille Riddick finished with eight tackles, including four for loss and two sacks.
CSU standout running back Christian Reyes was limited to 32 yards on 13 carries.
Samford (7-4, 5-2), 17, No. 17 Chattanooga (8-3, 6-2) 14
After leading 14-0 through three quarters, Samford still needed overtime to defeat the Mocs and keep the Southern Conference automatic playoff bid up for grabs for one more week.
Warren Handrahan's 43-yard field goal in the extra period gave the Bulldogs the win.
Samford quarterback Andy Summerlin threw for 199 yards and two touchdowns, but threw a key interception that Mocs linebacker Wes Dothard returned 70 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
No. 18 Bethune-Cookman (9-2, 6-1 MEAC) 42, Hampton (4-7, 4-3) 12
The Wildcats easily handled Hampton with 475 rushing yards and five touchdowns on the ground.
Running back Isidore Jackson led the way with 102 rushing yards, while Quentin Williams scored twice on the ground. Bethune-Cookman racked up 557 total offensive yards and 30 first downs, while allowing just nine first downs (including 1-of-11 on third-down tries) to the Pirates.
No. 19 South Dakota State (7-4, 4-3 Missouri Valley) 27,
South Dakota (4-7, 3-4) 12
South Dakota State running back Zach Zenner rushed for 137 yards and a touchdown on 37 carries, and quarterback Austin Sumner tossed two touchdown passes to Jason Schneider in the Jackrabbits' third straight win.
South Dakota quarterback Kevin Earl was intercepted late in the fourth quarter by Winston Wright, who returned the ball 80 yards for a touchdown to put the game out of reach.
No. 20 Lehigh (8-2, 3-1 Patriot) 31, Colgate (4-7, 3-2) 14
Keith Sherman rushed for 184 yards and one touchdown and quarterback Nick Shafnisky threw a pair of touchdowns to Lee Kurfis to fuel Lehigh.
Lehigh will host Lafayette in the 149th meeting between the two rivals next Saturday, with the winner securing the Patriot League title and automatic playoff bid.
Richmond (5-6, 3-4 CAA) 46, No. 21 Delaware (7-4, 4-3) 43
Michael Strauss' 3-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Diggs with four seconds left lifted Richmond to its third straight CAA Football win and likely ended Delaware's bid for an FCS playoff berth.
Strauss completed 35-of-46 pass attempts for a school-record 543 yards and five touchdowns - all to different receivers.
Delaware quarterback Trent Hurley returned from an injury to throw for 286 yards and four touchdowns. The Blue Hens had gone ahead 43-39 on Andrew Pierce's 11-yard touchdown run with 45 seconds remaining before Richmond drove 75 yards on seven drives for the winning score.
No. 23 New Hampshire (6-4, 5-2 CAA) 37, Albany (1-10, 0-7) 20
Quarterback Andy Vailas threw two touchdowns and freshman running back Dalton Crossan had 185 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns to give New Hampshire the win - its fifth in six weeks.
Crossan rushed for a 51-yard TD and returned a kickoff 58 yards for another score.
Great Danes running back Omar Osbourne rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown in his team's loss.
Appalachian State (3-8, 3-4 Southern) 33, No. 24 Wofford (5-5, 4-3) 21
Wofford was knocked from the playoff picture by dropping its third straight Southern Conference game.
Appalachian State freshman Marcus Cox rushed for 107 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries, and Kameron Bryant was 33-of-43 for 305 yards and a touchdown pass to Tony Washington.
Andrew Peacock became ASU's all-time leader in receptions when he made the 203rd catch of his career.
No. 25 Princeton (8-1, 6-0 Ivy) 59, Yale (5-4, 3-3) 23
Princeton clinched a share of the Ivy League title - its first since 2006 - and can win the outright crown with a win at Dartmouth or a Harvard loss to Yale next Saturday.
As Princeton reached the 50-point mark for the fifth time this season, quarterback Quinn Epperly threw for three touchdowns and rushed for one. Jakobi Johnson scored on a 46-yard kickoff return and Phillip Bhaya returned an interception 34 yards for a score.