Week 13 FCS Top 25 Roundup
Bethlehem, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - In the winner-take-all, 149th meeting of college football's most-played rivalry, Lafayette beat No. 17 Lehigh, 50-28, on Saturday to claim the Patriot League championship.
The victory also gave Lafayette (5-6, 4-1) the league's automatic bid to the FCS playoffs as the first-ever sub-.500 qualifier. The playoffs began in 1978.
Freshman quarterback Drew Reed completed 20-of-27 passes for 378 yards and three touchdowns, and junior running back Ross Scheuerman rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns for coach Frank Tavani's Leopards.
Lehigh (8-3, 3-2) turned the ball over three times. Tyler Coyle caught one touchdown each from Mountain Hawks quarterbacks Matt McHale and Nick Shafnisky.
Lafayette, which opened the season by losing five of its first six games but has since won four of its last five, captured its first Patriot League title since 2006 and seventh overall.
Lafayette has a 77-67-5 series lead. The Leopards ended Lehigh's five-game winning streak in the series with the most points scored by either school since Lafayette won 54-20 in 1994.
Next year's 150th Lafayette-Lehigh game will be played at Yankee Stadium on Nov. 22, 2014.
Thursday, Nov. 21
No. 8 Southeastern Louisiana (10-2, 7-0 Southland) 52,
Nicholls (4-8, 1-6) 27
After trailing 14-13 at halftime, Southeastern Louisiana scored 32 points in the third quarter and finished with a school-record 702 total yards in the River Bell Classic.
Quarterback Bryan Bennett threw for 273 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for 120 yards and his 14th rushing touchdown of the season, which tied the school's single-season record held by Horace Belto.
The Lions set the school record for victories in a season.
Saturday, Nov. 23
No. 1 North Dakota State (11-0, 8-0 Missouri Valley) 42,
South Dakota (4-8, 3-5) 0
Likely No. 1 overall playoff seed North Dakota State made it 20 straight wins dating to last season and completed its first perfect regular season since 1990.
Sam Ojuri (118 yards, two touchdowns) and John Crockett (116 yards, two touchdowns) paced the ground game, while junior linebacker Carlton Littlejohn led the defense with 10 tackles and an interception.
Bison quarterback Brock Jensen earned his 44th career win, an FCS record.
Playoff pairings will be announced on Sunday (11:30 a.m., ESPNU).
No. 2 Eastern Illinois (11-1, 8-0 Ohio Valley) 70, UT Martin (7-5, 5-3) 22
The scoring began early and didn't let up for Eastern Illinois as the Panthers cruised to victory behind Jimmy Garoppolo's 477 passing yards and six touchdowns. The Panthers finished the regular season with only a loss to FBS Northern Illinois.
Running back Shepard Little accounted for 123 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, while receivers Adam Drake and Jeff LePak each brought in three touchdown receptions. In all, Eastern Illinois racked up 704 total yards of offense against the Skyhawks.
No. 3 Eastern Washington (10-2, 8-0 Big Sky) 42,
Portland State (6-6, 3-5) 41
Eastern Washington completed a perfect season in the Big Sky Conference when Vernon Adams connected with Cooper Kupp on a 15-yard touchdown pass with 31 seconds left and Kevin Miller kicked the extra point.
Adams was 34-for-56 for 457 yards and five touchdowns with two interceptions. Kupp had nine receptions for 147 yards and two touchdowns, setting an FCS record with a TD reception in a 12th game this season.
Portland State's Kasey Closs caught 10 passes for 155 yards and three touchdowns.
No. 21 New Hampshire (7-4, 6-2 CAA) 24, No. 4 Maine (10-2, 7-1) 3
New Hampshire logged its most important win of the season, retaining the Brice- Cowell Musket for another year and keeping hopes alive of extending the longest active run of playoff appearances to 10.
UNH junior running back Nico Steriti rushed 18 times for 139 yards and a touchdown - a 68-yard dash that iced the win in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Andy Vailas exited the game with a leg injury, but Sean Goldrich took over and completed 5-of-8 passing for 38 yards and a touchdown.
Maine quarterback Marcus Wasilewski was 27-for-43 with 220 yards. The Black Bears had already locked up CAA Football's automatic bid to the postseason.
No. 5 Montana (10-2, 6-2 Big Sky) 28, No. 13 Montana State (7-5, 5-3) 14
The illustrious career of Montana State quarterback DeNarius McGhee is likely over, as the four-year starter couldn't spark his team to victory against intrastate rival Montana. At 7-5, the Bobcats appear on the outside looking in when it comes to an at-large playoff bid.
Montana running back Jordan Canada carried the ball 19 times for a team-high 71 yards with two touchdowns, while backfield mate Travon Van rushed 13 times for 23 yards and a score. Canada scored a Montana touchdown with just over a minute remaining to put the Grizzlies up multiple scores.
McGhee ended his day and in all likelihood his collegiate career with 160 yards on 17-of-33 passing. Senior Bobcats back Cody Kirk was ineffective for a second straight week, gaining 49 yards on 11 carries. Junior Shawn Johnson scored on a 1-yard carry in the fourth quarter and on a 55-yard punt return in the first.
No. 6 McNeese State (10-2, 6-1 Southland) 42, Lamar (5-7, 2-5) 38
McNeese State triumphed on Diontae Spencer's 16-yard touchdown run with 58 seconds left to play. Spencer also caught a touchdown pass.
Kelvin Bennett rushed for 162 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, while Marcus Wiltz had 89 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries.
No. 7 Towson (10-2, 6-2 CAA) 28, James Madison (6-6, 3-5) 17
Running back and Walter Payton Award nominee Terrance West scored three touchdowns on 100 rushing yards to lead Towson, which likely clinched a seed for the playoffs.
James Madison quarterback Michael Birdsong threw for 170 yards and a touchdown and added 136 rushing yards in the loss.
Central Arkansas (7-5, 4-3 Southland) 49,
No. 9 Sam Houston State (8-4, 4-3) 31
After two consecutive national finals appearances, Sam Houston State may have to return to the playoffs through the backdoor, having lost two straight games to end the regular season.
Central Arkansas quarterback Ryan Howard completed 24-of-36 pass attempts for 349 yards and four touchdowns in the win. Dezmin Lewis caught two of Howard's four scoring passes.
Brain Bell led Sam Houston State, passing for 336 yards and four touchdowns, while senior running back Tim Flanders carried the ball 21 times for 77 yards. The Bearkats finished behind Southeastern Louisiana and McNeese State in the Southland standings, and in a tie for third with Central Arkansas.
No. 10 Northern Arizona (9-2, 7-1 Big Sky) 20,
No. 20 Southern Utah (8-4, 5-3) 10
With 10 seconds remaining and Northern Arizona holding a slim three-point lead, Southern Utah quarterback Aaron Cantu was intercepted by Blair Wishom, who returned the ball 52 yards for a game-sealing touchdown which propelled Northern Arizona into solid postseason contention.
The loss drops Southern Utah to 8-4 and in danger of missing the playoff after a surprisingly successful Big Sky season.
Quarterback Kyren Poe led the Lumberjacks with 99 passing yards and a touchdown. Senior running back Zach Bauman carried the ball 35 times for 93 yards. Andy Wilder's 20-yard field goal with 5:43 left to play in the game broke a 10-10 tie and served as the game-winning score.
South Carolina (9-2) 70, No. 11 Coastal Carolina (10-2) 10
Despite the loss to FBS South Carolina, Coastal Carolina clinched the Big South Conference's automatic playoff bid because of Charleston Southern's loss to Liberty earlier in the day. Coastal Carolina and Liberty shared the Big South title this season.
Quarterback Alex Ross completed 15 passes against the Gamecocks for 168 yards and a touchdown to senior running back Lorenzo Taliaferro. The Walter Payton Award candidate Taliaferro was slowed by South Carolina's defense and held to 21 yards on 10 carries.
No. 12 Fordham (11-1) 56, Colgate (4-8) 19
Fordham starting quarterback Michael Nebrich returned from a knee injury in the team's regular season finale to complete 29-of-38 pass attempts for 395 yards and five touchdowns - three of which went to receiver Brian Wetzel.
Senior running back Carlton Koonce added 148 yards and two touchdowns on the ground in the blowout. The Rams are in line for an at-large playoff bid.
No. 14 Bethune-Cookman (10-2, 7-1 MEAC) 29, Florida A&M (3-9, 2-6) 10
Bethune-Cookman won the Florida Classic in Orlando to clinch a share of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title with South Carolina State. The Wildcats earned the automatic playoff bid by virtue of their win in the head-to-head meeting.
Quentin Williams and Isidore Jackson both rushed for two touchdowns to spark Bethune-Cookman.
No. 16 South Dakota State (8-4, 5-3 Missouri Valley) 42,
No. 15 Youngstown State (8-4, 5-3) 13
South Dakota State likely solidified an at-large playoff bid behind strong performances from running back Zach Zenner and quarterback Austin Sumner.
Sumner completed 15-of-19 pass attempts for 170 yards and two touchdowns, while Zenner produced 186 yards on the ground with two scores.
The Jackrabbits finished the season on a four-game win streak and second behind North Dakota State in the Missouri Valley Football Conference by way of a tiebreaker.
Liberty (8-4, 4-1 Big South) 56,
No. 18 Charleston Southern (10-3, 3-2) 14
Liberty earned a share of the Big South Conference title as Josh Woodrum completed 23-of-28 pass attempts for 239 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for one touchdown. Desmond Rice rushed for 80 yards and two touchdowns, while the defense had four interceptions, including a pair by Jacob Hagen.
Liberty shared the Big South title with Coastal Carolina, which collected the conference's automatic bid to the playoffs because of an overtime win in the head-to-head meeting.
Charleston Southern's back-to-back losses to end the regular season may have knocked the Buccaneers out of a potential at-large playoff bid.
Richmond (6-6, 4-4 CAA) 31, No. 19 William & Mary (7-5, 4-4) 20
William & Mary's second straight loss might have cost the Tribe an at-large playoff bid. Seth Fisher rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns to pace Richmond's fourth straight win.
William & Mary's Airek Green scored on a 40-yard fumble return to give the Tribe a 10-7 lead in the second quarter, but Fisher answered with a 1-yard TD on Richmond's next drive.
In the loss, Tribe quarterback Brent Caprio completed 22-of-37 passes for a career-high 250 yards, and wide receiver Tre McBride totaled 282 all-purpose yards.
Dartmouth (6-4, 5-2 Ivy) 28, No. 22 Princeton (8-2, 6-1) 24
Princeton was denied an outright Ivy League championship by Dartmouth and settled for a co-title with Harvard.
Dartmouth quarterback Dalyn Williams struggled through the air, completing 4- of-15 attempts for 92 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, but rushed for two touchdowns.
Princeton signal caller Quinn Epperly threw for a pair of touchdowns and rushed for one. He was intercepted by Garrett Waggoner at the Dartmouth 37 with 24 seconds remaining to play.
Alabama (11-0) 49, No. 23 Chattanooga (8-4) 0
Tennessee at Chattanooga was rolled by the two-time reigning BCS champion Tide and now await Sunday's playoff bids following a second straight loss.
The Mocs started backup quarterback Terrell Robinson with Jacob Huesman nursing a knee injury. They shared the Southern Conference title with Furman and Samford.
No. 24 Samford (8-4, 6-2 Southern) 33, Elon (2-10, 1-7) 32
Samford quarterback Andy Summerlin threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Chris Cephus on 4th-and-goal with seven seconds to play to erase a 32-27 deficit and likely give the Bulldogs an at-large playoff bid.
Samford were part of a three-way tie for the Southern Conference title with Chattanooga and Furman. Furman won the automatic qualifier on a tiebreaker.
Summerlin was 36-of-55 for 415 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions.
Regular Season Complete
No. 25 Tennessee State (9-3)
11/23 22:31:16 ET