NCAA: Top 10 Preview
09-19-2013 06:37 PM
Delaware State at No. 1 North Dakota State, 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday
Three weeks removed from one of the biggest wins in program history against defending Big 12 champion Kansas State, ESPN's College GameDay is in Fargo, N.D., this week as North Dakota State (2-0) returns from an open week to host Delaware State (0-2).
This is the first meeting between North Dakota State and Delaware State. NDSU is 1-0 against teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference with a 35-9 home win against Morgan State in 2010.
North Dakota State did not play last week after beating Division II Ferris State 56-10 on Sept. 7. The Bison opened up a 35-0 lead in the second quarter and rolled for 293 yards of total offense before halftime. Quarterback Brock Jensen went 19 of 23 passing for a career-high 259 yards and two touchdowns. Fullback Andrew Grothmann scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 4-yard pass from Jensen and wide receiver Zach Vraa caught four passes for 100 yards and a touchdown.
North Dakota State is Delaware State’s highest ranked opponent since the Hornets played host to No. 1 Southern Illinois in 2004.
DSU is coming of a 49-7 loss to No. 4 Towson last week. For the second consecutive week, Delaware State tallied more passing yards than the opponent but failed to muster much of a running game. DSU netted just 15 yards on the ground.
Hornets quarterback Corey Murphy connected on 26 of 53 passes for 234 yards and a touchdown. Murphy has 536 yards passing in the first two games this season.
No. 2 Montana State at Stephen F. Austin, 7 p.m. ET Saturday
Montana State's defense receives a stern test, facing an explosive Stephen F. Austin offense averaging 516.7 yards and 34.3 points per game. The Lumberjacks (1-2) responded to a pair of road losses last weekend, hammering McMurry 50-13. Quarterback Brady Attaway averages 287.7 passing yards a game, with receiver Mike Brooks accounting for 112.3 of those yards each time out.
Montana State (2-1) is one of three FCS teams, with Western Illinois and Bucknell, bereft of turnovers through Week 3.
Montana State and Stephen F. Austin are playing for the second consecutive year, with Montana State winning 43-35 in 2012. The Bobcats lead the overall series 4-1.
Jake Bleskin's 305 passing yards in Montana State’s victory against Colorado Mesa was the second-most by a new Bobcat starter.
No. 3 Towson at North Carolina Central, 2 p.m. ET Saturday
Towson (3-0) took two trips to New England to start the season. After a rare home game, they are back on the road to play their final non-conference contest against North Carolina Central (2-1).
Last week, N.C. Central dominated Charlotte on the road, 40-13. Although the Eagles allowed 533 total yards and 31 first downs, they forced the 49ers into seven turnovers.
N.C. Central has turned the ball over six times in its first three games and forced nine turnovers. The Eagles average 156.3 rushing yards per game and allow 189.7 yards per contest. They average 178 yards passing per game and give up 267.3 yards per game.
Towson quarterback Peter Athens (6-1, 220) has completed 46 of 67 for 633 yards with four TDs and one pick this year. He’s also ran for 37 yards and two touchdowns. Towson running back Terrance West has 359 yards rushing with nine TDs in three games while averaging 5.2 yards per carry.
N.C. Central QB Jordan Reid has thrown for 518 yards (49-of-88) with two touchdowns and one interception. He has 78 yards rushing and one TD. N.C. Central running back Idreis Augustus has rushed for 206 yards on 39 carries (5.3 yards per carry). He had two touchdowns against Charlotte.
No. 4 Eastern Washington
Incarnate Word at No. 5 Sam Houston State, 7 p.m. ET Saturday
Sam Houston State (2-1) plays host to future Southland Conference football opponent Incarnate Word (2-1) in the second contest of a four-game homestand at Elliott T. Bowers Stadium. The Bearkats and UIW are meeting for the second time. Sam Houston won 54-7 last year in Huntsville, Texas, in the 2012 season opener.
The Kats own a 16-game home winning streak at Bowers Stadium, the longest in school history and, currently, in the FCS.
Sam Houston State ranks as the top rushing and scoring offense in FCS competition this season. The Bearkats are averaging 309.7 yards and 52.3 points per game.
Sam Houston State running back Timothy Flanders needs 132 more yards to become the all-time leading rusher in Southland Conference history.
No. 6 South Dakota State at Nebraska, 3:30 p.m. ET, Saturday
South Dakota State closes the non-conference portion of its schedule Saturday afternoon, traveling to Nebraska for a regional matchup against the Cornhuskers.
The Jackrabbits enter the game with a 3-0 record following a 34-26 come-from-behind victory against Southeastern Louisiana. SDSU will be in search of its first 4-0 start since 2000, when the Jackrabbits played at the