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FCS Roundup, Week 10

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Each week we take a look at some of the most interesting storylines from the FCS level. Here's what you need to know about week ten.

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Six of STATS FCS's Top 10 teams suffered losses in a crazy week ten that shook up the FCS landscape. Let's take a look at the carnage.

  • Freshman QB Taryn Christion led #5 South Dakota State to a 25-20 win over previously #2-ranked Illinois State.  He threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns while also leading the SDSU in rushing with 65 yards and another TD. More impressively, the Jackrabbits defense held Illinois State star running back Marshaun Coprish to just 55 yards on 22 carries and the Redbirds as a team to just 3-of-16 on third down conversions. Illinois State is still co-leading the Missouri Valley Conference along with North Dakota State, while the Jackrabbits are right behind them at 4-2 in conference play.
  • #8 Chattanooga suffered a stunning 17-14 loss to Mercer, which moved to 4-5 on the season in winning its first Southern Conference game of the year. The Bears were outgained 417-335, but forced four Chattanooga turnovers, including an interception with 3:57 left in the game to seal it. Chattanooga's loss sets the Mocs back behind The Citadel in the SoCon, though they are still in prime shape to get at least an at-large bid in the FCS Playoffs.
  • Northern Arizona blew the doors off of #10 Eastern Washington in a 52-30 Big Sky shootout. Despite the huge point total, the Lumberjacks did not put up huge individual offensive numbers. Case Cookus threw for 224 yards and a touchdown, and three running backs combined for 173 yards and five touchdowns on 42 carries. The Eagles simply shot themselves in the foot with four turnovers, eight penalties and going just 1-of-4 on some critical fourth down plays.
  • #9 Richmond also fell to an unranked squad in New Hampshire, 30-25. The Wildcats built a 27-15 lead in the third quarter behind Sean Goldrich's 264 yards and two touchdowns through the air, but the Spiders stormed back. They got it to 27-25 with about 10 minutes to play, but threw an interception on the next drive, and turned it over on downs after that. The Spiders committed 5 turnovers in all, and that proved to be the difference (are you sensing a theme to these upsets?).
  • #13 Sam Houston State lost to #3 McNeese State in the only top-10 matchup (the teams were #7 and #9, respectively, going into the game) of the weekend by a score of 27-10. QB Daniel Sams carried the Cowboys, throwing for 168 and a touchdown while running 23 times for 164 yards and another score. McNeese remains the highest-ranked undefeated team in FCS, with 8-0 Harvard at #12 and 9-0 Dayton still getting no love from the pollsters and is unranked.
  • In probably the craziest finish of the weekend, #22 Montana edged out Idaho State in overtime, 33-27. The Bengals lined up for a 27-yard field goal to win the game after Montana turned it over on their first opportunity in overtime and... I'll just let the video of the final play speak for itself.

The win keeps Montana in the hunt for an at-large playoff bid, although the Griz face a tough road to get through the rest of the season unscathed and secure the bid, facing Eastern Washington next week and rival Montana State a week later.

Week 11 features a ton of big matchups, with almost every ranked team facing a tough in-conference test as the pressure of the playoffs looms large. Some top matchups include #7 William & Mary looking to stay atop the CAA against Towson, #11 Charleston Southern hosting a tricky Liberty squad, #4 Coastal Carolina taking on Kennesaw State, and #8 Chattanooga hosting #21 Citadel in a battle for the top of the SoCon.