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FCS Roundup: Week Four

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 four.

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

A crazy week in the FCS all around, including a major win for one of the best teams in the country and an upset no one saw coming.

  • James Madison jumped up to #5 in this week's coaches poll after upsetting SMU on the road, 48-45. Former Georgia Tech QB Vad Lee had 289 yards passing and 276 yards rushing with five total touchdowns, including the game-winner with 29 seconds left, and singlehandedly lifted the Dukes to victory. That brings them to 5-0 on the season, with the best offense in the country at 671 yards per game. Meanwhile, Vad Lee has to be a frontrunner for the Walter Payton Award (the FCS equivalent to the Heisman).
  • In the biggest upset of the week, Penn -- losers of 14 straight coming into the contest -- manhandled previously #4 Villanova, 24-13 (and it wasn't even that close). The loss of John Robertson clearly made the difference for the Wildcats as his replacement, Zack Bednarczyk, went just 18-31 for 185 yards with one touchdown and one interception. This was the first time Penn had beaten Villanova since 1911, by the way.
  • #12 Montana got back to .500 with a win over Northern Arizona. Chad Chalich (former Idaho Vandal) took over for injured starter Brady Gustafson seamlessly -- and has arguably looked better in his short time as the starter -- as he went 29-45 for 279 yards and a score as he led the Griz to a 23-14 win.
  • The Bryant Bulldogs went into the half tied at 17 with #1 Coastal Carolina, but the Chanticleers scored two unanswered touchdowns after the break to pull away and win 31-17. De-Angelo Henderson had another big day on the ground, rushing for 136 yards and two touchdowns. He is now second in all of FCS in rushing yards with 532, averaging 6.3 yards per carry. The Bulldogs actually outgained the Chanticleers 438-303, but just 182 of those yards came in the second half.
  • Princeton put away Solid Verbal favorite Lehigh by a score of 52-26. It was a total team effort for the Tigers, which had three players score rushing touchdowns, along with two TD passes from Chad Kanoff. Not to be unnoticed: Lehigh WR Troy Pelletier caught 15 balls for 158 yards and a touchdown in a losing effort [cue the trumpet].
Week five features two top-10 matchups, with #2 North Dakota State taking on #7 South Dakota State, and #6 Northern Iowa traveling to #4 Illinois State. These outcomes should go a long way in deciding the playoff seedings come December. Also, Georgia State could be on upsetalert as they take on #18 Liberty in the Georgia Dome.