All year long FCS conferences and institutions will join the rest of the nation in celebrating the 150th anniversary of college football. Schools will be wearing a CFB150 patch or helmet decal this year. Schools and conferences should use the hashtag #FCS_CFB150 for all FCS social media posts.
#FCSonGameDay -- got a suggestion for an FCS matchup or content for College GameDay -- tweet it.
* This year, a whopping 167 players from current FCS schools were part of the 32 opening-day rosters for the NFL's 100th season. Add in 43 players that were signed to practice squads (which go through frequent changes) and the FCS haul in the NFL is 210 (data courtesy Craig Haley of STATS). Notably, there are 39 inductees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame who represent current FCS institutions.
* On Thursday, 16 players joined the watch list of the Buchanan Award. Joining the watch list were DL Ron'Dell Carter and John Daka of JMU, Nick Salley of Charleston Southern, Elerson Smith of UNI, Bryce Sterk of Montana State, Derrek Tuszka of NDSU, Jonah Williams of Weber State and Tomas Wright of Bryant; LBs Willie Eubanks III of The Citadel, Marquis Hendrix of Bethune-Cookman, Jeremiah Tyler of Princeton and Keith Woetzel of Lehigh; and DBs Jeremy Chinn of Southern Illinois, Brandon Easterling of Dayton, Greg Liggs Jr. of Elon and Artevius Smith of ETSU.
* On Wednesday, 16 players were added to the watch list of the 2019 STATS FCS Walter Payton Award. Joining the watch list were QBs Kevin Davidson of Princeton, Felix Harper of Alcorn State, Trey Lance of NDSU, Kurt Rawlings of Yale, Reid Sinnett of San Diego, Breylin Smith of UCA, Daniel Smith of Villanova, Ryan Stanley of Florida A&M, Kevin Thomson of Sacramento State, Aaron Winchester of Central Connecticut and Bailey Zappe of Houston Baptist; RBs Pete Guerriero of Monmouth, Jah-Maine Martin of North Carolina A&T, Alex Ramsey of VMI and Pierre Strong Jr. of SDSU; and WR/RS Chris Rowland of Tennessee State.
* The 24 players nominated to the Jerry Rice Award watch list include QB John Bachus III, QB, UT Martin; CB Omar Brown, UNI; WR Tyrese Chambers, WR, Sacred Heart; QB Ian Corwin, Drake; LB Jacob Dobbs, Holy Cross; DE Nick Eaton, UC Davis; WR/RS Metrius Fleming, Tennessee Tech; S Tra Fluellen, Houston Baptist; RB Ailym Ford, Chattanooga; WR/KR Xavier Gipson, Stephen F. Austin; WR/RS Devron Harper, Gardner-Webb; WR Tyler Hudson, Central Arkansas; WR Abdul-Fatai Ibrahim, Alabama A&M; WR Hendrix Johnson, Northern Arizona; RB/KR Kevin Johnson, Norfolk State; QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State; RB Jalen Leary, Stetson; QB Will McElvain, UNI; QB Keegan Shoemaker, Lafayette; LB Jake Stebbins, Cornell; QB Jeff Undercuffler, UAlbany; LB Tristan Wheeler, Richmond; RB Javon Williams Jr., Southern Illinois; QB Hajj-Malik Williams, Campbell
* This week, 24 of 25 ranked teams are in action, and there are four games on the schedule that feature two ranked FCS teams.
#11/12 Illinois State (6-3) at #4/4 South Dakota State (7-2), 2 pm CT [Midco Sports Network/ESPN+]
#23/25 New Hampshire (5-3) at #2/2 James Madison (8-1), 2:30 pm CT [FloFootball]
#10/9 Princeton (7-0) at #13/13 Dartmouth (7-0), 2:30 pm CT [ESPNU]
#22/22 North Dakota (5-3) at #3/3 Weber State (7-2), 3 pm CT
* North Dakota State has extended its winning streak to 30 games, the second-longest in FCS history. NDSU holds the FCS record with a 33-game winning streak (2012-14). Princeton's winning streak has reached 17 games.
* Three FCS teams are still unbeaten: North Dakota State (9-0); Dartmouth (7-0); Princeton (7-0).
* Southern's Ladarius Skelton, UT Martin's Cecil Cherry, Charleston Southern's Ethan Ray and Northern Iowa's Omar Brown were named Monday as the STATS FCS National Players of the Week
* The STATS FCS Team of the Week was Monmouth, which beat Kennesaw State in a Big South matchup. HONORABLE MENTION: Holy Cross (24-17 win over Lehigh); New Hampshire (28-20 win over No. 11 Villanova); No. 16 North Carolina A&T (22-20 win over South Carolina State); San Diego (49-7 win over Drake); No. 3 Weber State (36-17 win over No. 6 Sacramento State).
FCS CHAMPIONSHIP INFORMATION (42nd Season -- first year was in 1978)
- TEAM COMPOSITION -- (24 TOTAL TEAMS) There are 10 conferences with automatic bids and the selection committee makes 14 at-large selections.
- DATES -- Selection Sunday is on Sunday, Nov. 24. First-round games take place Saturday, Nov. 30. The top eight seeds receive a first-round bye. The title game will take place Saturday, Jan. 11, in Frisco, Texas.
- SITE -- In January 2019, the NCAA announced it agreed to a five-year extension with Frisco, Texas, and Toyota Stadium will host the championship through 2025 (for the 2024 season) with an option for the 2026 championship.
- ESPN provides coverage for all 23 games, and the championship game has aired on ESPN2 since 2002. But this year's title game will be on ABC. The game had aired on ABC previously in 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1983.
- North Dakota State is the two-time defending champion. NDSU has won 7 of the past 8 titles (James Madison is the other.) Last year, NDSU beat Eastern Washington in the title game.
- Conferences with the most titles: Missouri Valley (9), Southern (8), Big Sky (6), CAA Football (6).
INDEPENDENTS -- After collecting its third win over a ranked opponent this season, No. 22/22 North Dakota will look to make it three straight wins on Saturday against No. 3/3 Weber State from Ogden, Utah. This will be the fifth meeting between North Dakota and Weber State, with the Wildcats claiming three of the first four meetings. UND's lone win in the series came in 2016, a 27-19 win in the Hawks' run to the Big Sky title. WSU clipped UND, 35-30, in last year's meeting between ranked opponents.
BIG SKY -- Northern Arizona leads the FCS in passing offense (374.6 ypg) and Eastern Washington leads the FCS in total offense (506 ypg).
NAU's Case Cookus became the second player in Big Sky history to throw for 100 career touchdown passes, joining Eastern Washington's Vernon Adams (2012-14), who holds the record with 110. Cookus leads the FCS in passing yards per game (350.3), passing yards (3,153) and is third in total offense (344.3).
The Big Sky has a total of four teams ranked this week in the STATS FCS and AFCA FCS Coaches' Top 25 polls. Weber State leads the way at No. 3, followed by Montana at No. 5/6, Sacramento State at No. 8, and Montana State at No. 12/14. UC Davis is receiving votes in the STATS FCS Poll.
BIG SOUTH -- Monmouth picked up its first-ever win over Kennesaw State this past Saturday, as the Hawks took over sole possession of first-place in the Big South standings at 4-0 with their 45-21 victory over the Owls. MU totaled 517 yards against a KSU defense that permitted a national-leading 259.0 entering the contest. Monmouth also snapped Kennesaw State's 12-game Big South win streak, ended the Owls' Big South-record 17-game regular-season home win streak, and broke KSU's league-mark of 23 consecutive regular-season FCS victories. In addition, the Hawks' 45 points tied for the most scored by a Big South squad against KSU, as the last time was during the Owls' first season of existence in 2015.
The longest pass play in Big South history was achieved this past Saturday when Monmouth's KENJI BAHAR connected with ZACH TREDWAY on a 92-yard touchdown strike at Kennesaw State. The previous long was a 91-yarder by Coastal Carolina in 2015, and the Bahar-Tredway connection is tied for the longest offensive play from scrimmage in league annals, joining LaQUA MAYES' 92-yard touchdown run for Presbyterian against Bluefield in 2014.
The Big South is enjoying its highest-scoring conference season in league history, as the seven squads have combined for an average of 60.8 points after 12 league games this year. The previous high was 60.3 points during the inaugural 2002 season, though that was for a 6-game Big South slate involving four teams. In previous Big South seasons with seven members (2009-12, 2015), the previous best was an average of 56.0 points during the 21-game schedule of 2011.
CAA FOOTBALL -- For the first time this season, there is a full set of six conference games on the schedule. The slate is headlined by a Top 25 matchup between No. 23 New Hampshire and No. 2 James Madison, while Richmond takes a four-game CAA winning streak to No. 18 Villanova. The schedule also includes Delaware hosting UAlbany, Rhode Island visiting William & Mary, Elon entertaining Maine, and No. 21 Towson traveling to Stony Brook.
There have been 13 conference games this season featuring a nationally ranked CAA team against an unranked CAA squad. Amazingly, the unranked teams are 8-5 in those contests, including Richmond beating No. 20 Stony Brook and New Hampshire knocking off No. 11 Villanova last week.
More than half (16-of-31) of the CAA games played this season have been decided by eight points or less, including four overtime contests. Last Saturday, William & Mary edged Elon, 31-29, in five overtimes. It was the longest game in both programs' history and the 2nd-longest in conference history, trailing only a 6-overtime game between Rhode Island and Maine in 1982.
IVY LEAGUE -- Two of the three remaining unbeaten teams in the FCS—No. 9/10 Princeton and No. 13/13 Dartmouth—will meet at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Yankee Stadium and in front of a national television audience on ESPNU. This the second-straight year that the teams will face off as 7-0 clubs vying for a leg-up in the Ivy League title race. The Tigers are riding a program-record 17-game winning streak, while Dartmouth has won 19 of its last 20 games dating back to Nov. 4, 2017—the lone blemish being a 14-9 defeat at the hands of Princeton in last year's battle of the unbeatens. The matchup has been dubbed the FCS Game of the Week.
Yale aims to remain firmly in the Ivy League title hunt—one game back of the League leader, either Dartmouth or Princeton—as it visits Brown at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Harvard will look to secure head coach Tim Murphy's 179th career win, which would tie him with Yale's Carm Cozza for the all-time Ivy League record, when it travels to Columbia at 1 p.m. Saturday. Penn will host Cornell at 1:30 p.m. Saturday as part of its homecoming festivities.
MEAC -- North Carolina A&T State and Bethune-Cookman are tied atop the MEAC standings, and though they don't meet until next week, the Week 11 slate still features some intriguing match-ups – including the Aggies heading to Baltimore, Md. to face Morgan State (who defeated North Carolina A&T State in Greensboro, N.C. last season). The Wildcats will hit the road to take on Delaware State, while Howard visits South Carolina State and North Carolina Central will celebrate Homecoming by taking on Norfolk State.
North Carolina A&T State's Kylil Carter had a career day in the Aggies' 22-20 win over South Carolina State this past Saturday. He set career highs in passing yards (267), completions (21), passing attempts (38) and total offense (340).
Howard's Kyle Anthony became the program's leader in career receptions with 187 after catching nine passes for 57 yards in a 28-6 loss to North Carolina Central this past Saturday.
Norfolk State's Juwan Carter and Nhyre' Quinerly were named MEAC Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week, respectively, for their efforts in the Spartans' 48-0 win over Morgan State this past weekend. Quinerly had nine tackles and pick-six, which was the first defensive touchdown of the season for the Spartans, in helping Norfolk State pitch its first shutout since 2012. On offense, Carter accounted for 340 yards and four touchdowns. He completed 16 of 28 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns, while adding seven carries for 26 yards and a score.
MISSOURI VALLEY -- Southern Illinois safety Jeremy Chinn accepted an invitation to play in the prestigious Reese's Senior Bowl today. He will be just the third player in school history and the first since tight end Damon Jones in 1996 to play in the postseason all-star game.
For just the fifth time in league history, three MVFC schools occupy 3 of the Top 5 spots in a national poll. NDSU (1), SDSU (4), UNI (5) and Illinois State (11) represent the league this week. Southern Illinois and Youngstown State are also receiving votes. The league previously had 3 of the Top 5 teams on Sept. 28, 2015; Sept. 11, 2017; Sept. 18, 2017; and Sept. 25, 2017.
Coach Bo Pelini of Youngstown State will be aiming for victory No. 100 in his head coaching career on Saturday when the Penguins face South Dakota. He'll be up against one of the winningest coaches among current FCS mentors in Bob Nielson (205 wins). Notably, three current MVFC coaches rank among the Top 9 in the FCS.
NORTHEAST -- Central Connecticut, which moved up to No. 17 in the AFCA Coaches' Top 25 for its highest-ever ranking, puts its perfect FCS record (8-0) on the line against Saint Francis in a game that can be seen live at NECFrontRow.com at 12:00 pm on Saturday. Saint Francis QB Jason Brown and WR Ra'Shaun Henry have connected on 22 pass completions for 379 yards and three TD in the past two games. The CCSU defense's 15 interceptions are second most in FCS.
This year's NEC Steel City Showdown features two teams who are undefeated in league play. Duquesne and Robert Morris both take aim at a fifth conference victory on Saturday in Moon Township. RMU running back Alijah Jackson logged his fifth 100-yard rushing performance of the season last time out vs. LIU. Since returning from injury, Duquesne's AJ Hines has rushed for 480 yards over four conference contests.
Wagner senior Cam Gill, who received an official invitation to the re-launched Hula Bowl, added 2.0 sacks onto his NEC career record (33.0) last week. Sacred Heart sophomore RB Julius Chestnut, the 2018 NEC Offensive Rookie of the Year, ranks first amongst FCS leaders in rush yards (1,108).
OHIO VALLEY -- Three teams (Austin Peay, Southeast Missouri and UT Martin) remain tied for first place in the OVC standings with one loss entering this weekend. Two of those teams, Austin Peay and UT Martin, will play on Saturday in Clarksville.
UT Martin's Terry Williams returned a punt for a touchdown in the team's win over Jacksonville State (its first win over the Gamecocks since 2012). It marked his second punt return for a touchdown this season. He is the only Division I player (FBS or FCS) to have two punt return touchdowns this season.
Tennessee Tech won its third road game of the season, its most since winning the OVC Championship in 2011. From 2012-18 the Golden Eagles won just six combined road games.
Offense & Co-Newcomer: QB John Bachus III, UT Martin | Defense: LB Cecil Cherry, UT Martin (also STATS National Defensive Player of the Week) | Specialist: RS/WR Terry Williams, UT Martin | Co-Newcomer: RB Geno Hess, Southeast Missouri
PATRIOT -- Six Patriot League football teams will be in action in Week 11 with all three games available on the Patriot League Network (PLN). Lafayette travels to Holy Cross to kick off the week of action with coverage on the PLN and Charter TV 3 beginning at Noon. Colgate hosts Fordham with a 1 p.m. kick off on the PLN, and Lehigh travels to Bucknell in the Stadium Game of the Week, also beginning at 1 p.m. Matt Martucci, Dave Owens and Morgan Uber will be on the call in Lewisburg, Pa.
Lafayette freshman quarterback Keegan Shoemaker and Holy Cross freshman linebacker Jacob Dobbs were added to the STATS FCS Jerry Rice Award Watch List, presented annually to the top rookie in the FCS. Shoemaker leads the League in passing yards (234.2 ypg), total offense (261.8 ypg) and is among the leaders in pass efficiency (131.7). Dobbs leads Holy Cross and all League freshmen in tackles (6.7 tpg) to go along with 6.0 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks.
The Patriot League boasts four of the top six FCS active leaders in tackles for loss per game, led by Fordham sophomore linebacker Ryan Greenhagen, a three-time League defensive player of the week this season. Junior linebacker and teammate Glenn Cunningham is second in the nation after leading the Patriot League and placing fourth in the FCS with 21.5 tackles for loss in 2018. Bucknell junior linebacker Simeon Page has 30.5 TFL's in 24 career games and stands fourth. Preseason Player of the Year Nick Wheeler, a senior defensive lineman at Colgate, has 50.0 TFL's in 40 games for the Raiders' defense.
PFL -- League-leading San Diego makes another trek cross country to face Stetson. The Hatters the lone remaining opponent on the Toreros schedule with a winning PFL mark. San Diego travels to DeLand seeking to become the first team to defeat Stetson at home this season
Davidson hits the road looking for its first back-to-back wins since opening the season with three consecutive victories while Butler returns home looking for its second-straight home victory. Davidson has alternated wins and losses since Sept 14, most recently defeating Valparaiso 27-21 at home.
Davidson running back Wesley Dugger pushed past the 3,000 career yard mark against Marist, Oct. 26. One of two juniors among the FCS Top 10 Active Career Leaders, he is ranked third in total rushing yardage (3,113), averaging 107.3 yards per game (2nd among active career leaders).
SOUTHERN -- Furman returned to the top 10 in the national polls this week, moving up four spots to No. 9 in the AFCA FCS Coaches' Top 25 and jumping three to No. 10 in the STATS FCS poll. Wofford dropped three spots to No. 23 in the AFCA poll and one spot to No. 24 in the STATS rankings.
Western Carolina picked up its first league win of the season on Oct. 2, getting a career-best 247 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns from running back Donnavan Spencer and 322 passing yards and three TDs from quarterback Tyrie Adams in the 43-35 win at VMI.
With a 4-for-4 effort in a 31-27 win at ETSU, Citadel senior kicker Jacob Godek pushed his streak to 100 consecutive made point-after attempts, becoming just the fourth player in the SoCon history to reach the milestone.
Bulldog wide receiver Raleigh Webb had two catches for 107 yards and a touchdown in the win, giving him three 100-yard receiving games on the season, the most for a Citadel player since Andre Roberts had seven in 2008.
SOUTHLAND -- Nicholls sophomore RB Julien Gums had a career day on the ground, racking up a career-high 178 yards with two touchdowns, including the game-winning score in a 27-23 victory over UIW.
Of his career-high 18 tackles in the loss to Central Arkansas, Lamar defensive back Michael Thomas made 16 stops on his own, including a pair of tackles for loss.
Ferlando Jordan seems to be an unstoppable force after an interception as the Southeastern Louisiana defensive back now has a school-record three pick-sixes after a 65-yard return for a score on Saturday.
SWAC -- Alcorn is the lone unbeaten team in SWAC play. It has won seven straight games against SWAC West Division opponents. The Braves are riding a five-game winning-streak. They're coming off a bye, but topped Southern 27-13 in their last outing as they scored 24 unanswered points in the second half. Alcorn is looking to defeat GSU for the second straight year. Last season, the Braves won 33-26 as senior Chris Blair caught the game-winning touchdown pass with 12 seconds left.
Last week's SWAC Offensive Player of the week was Alabama A&M RB Jordan Bentley. He accounted for 206 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns as Alabama A&M topped rival Alabama State 43-41. Bentley led Alabama A&M on the ground, rushing for a season-high 197 yards.
Southern QB Ladarius Skelton had a homecoming to remember accounting for 436 yards and four touchdowns. Skelton hit Hunter Register in the back of the endzone with 28 seconds on the clock for the game-winning touchdown in front of 20,344 screaming fans in A. W. Mumford Stadium. The Jaguars are 5-4 overall and 4-1 in SWAC play and sitting at the top of the Western Division.