The Spreadsheet: (Excel2003, 285 kb)
D-II Game of the Week:
The only meeting between ranked teams in Division II this week was a barn-burner, pitting the brisk ground game of the Bloomsburg Huskies against the dangerous aerial assault of the Kutztown Golden Bears as the arch-rivals opened conference play. And yes, I realize Kutztown’s in this slot for the second week in a row.
The teams traded punches in the first quarter, with Kutztown striking on the opening drive thanks to a 6-yard run by QB Kevin Morton. After the Golden Bears recovered a Bloomsburg fumble then promptly turned it back over when Morton was picked off by Sean Clift, Eddie Mateo raced in from ten yards out to even the score. The Huskies forced a three-and-out, then scored again early in the second quarter on an 18-yard pass from Tim Kelly to Ryan Maggs; the PAT was no good, and Bloomsburg led 13-7. Kutztown responded, capping a quick 10-play drive with a 22-yard connection between Morton and Brett Fox to regain the lead, but three plays later Kelly tossed a screen to RB Franklyn Quiteh, who rambled 65 yards for a score. Morton would hit Kodi Reed on an 18-yard touchdown pass later in the quarter to go in front again, but with nine seconds remaining in the half Dan Fisher was true on a 42-yard field goal attempt, allowing the Huskies to take a 23-21 lead into the locker room.
Bloomsburg started to pull away in the third, scoring on a 2-yard Quiteh run on the opening drive to go up 30-21. Two plays later, Morton was injured at the end of an 8-yard run, and that put a serious hurt on the Golden Bears’ chances to come back. They caught a break, though; forced to punt, Kutztown was able to force a fumble on the return. TaJae Bryant recovered at the Huskies’ 23, and two plays later backup QB Josh Luckenbaugh found Reed for a 19-yard score to pull back within two. Things got very sloppy toward the end of the quarter; the teams traded fumbles, then after Bloomsburg was forced to kick it away, Kutztown lost another fumble when Luckenbaugh was sacked. Tony David recovered in the end zone to give the Huskies a touchdown and a 37-28 lead. When Luckenbaugh again fumbled while being sacked on the first play of the fourth quarter, it looked like it was over.
But no; Kutztown held the Huskies at the three and took over on downs. It was only a brief reprieve, however. The Golden Bears were unable to sustain the drive, and had to punt. Four plays later, Quiteh ripped off a 47-yard run to effectively ice the game. Kutztown did immediately react, scoring on a 7-yard pass from Luckenbaugh to Anthony Kelly, but missed the two-point conversion. Another Bloomsburg fumble put Kutztown in position to get back in the game, but they had to settle for a 26-yard Jack Ruggieri field goal to close within seven at 44-37. They only had 3:42 to work with, though, and a failed onside kick attempt meant field position was a factor. Bloomsburg got to the Golden Bears’ five yard line before Maggs fumbled; Kutztown’s last gasp was to start at their own one yard line with 2:17 to go. Luckenbaugh directed the offense downfield quickly, reaching midfield with just a little over a minute to go, but Luckenbaugh’s luck ran out then as he was intercepted by Terrell Oglesby, and that was that.
Quiteh ran for 152 yards on the day, moving to #3 on Bloomsburg’s all-time rushing leaders list at 3710 career yards, and the team as a whole rambled for 309 yards on the ground. Quiteh’s got a way to go to get to number one on that list, as he’s still nearly 2,000 yards behind Jamar Brittingham’s 5689 yards. He’s still only a junior, though, so it’s certainly within range. The other half of the battle, Kutztown’s passing game, saw Morton and Luckenbaugh post remarkably similar stats, combining for 376 yards on 32 of 45; each had 16 completions, an interception, and two TD passes, with Luckenbaugh netting 194 yards to Morton’s 182. The real difference between the teams was on the weaker aspect of their offenses. Kutztown was held to 94 yards on the ground, whereas Bloomsburg’s Kelly went 16-28 for 246 yards and two touchdowns, without being intercepted.
The Huskies improved to 3-0 and moved up to #11 in this week’s poll, while Kutztown is now a very hard-luck 1-2 after close losses to two teams in the top 11 — losing both by a total of ten points — and fell out of the top 25.
The Mayans Were Right, Clearly:
Truman State, which would be the long-suffering doormat of the MIAA if it weren’t for Lincoln (MO) being even worse, suddenly finds themselves in strange territory as they move into their final season of play in the league. They’re now 3-0 after crushing Northwestern Oklahoma State 63-21 on Saturday.
Truman will face their first real test of the season Thursday night on CBS Sports Network against Central Missouri, and this may serve as a screeching halt to their surprising campaign. Still, there’s a few more winnable games on their schedule, and charging into their new (and weaker) home in the GLVC coming off a 5-6 win season in the MIAA might just be scary stuff… especially considering another former MIAA creampuff, Missouri S&T, is currently 3-0 IN that league.
The New Top 25:
#1 Pittsburg State 52, at Southwest Baptist 9
- Another week, another steamrolling. It’s not going to stop just yet, as this week the Gorillas host hapless Lincoln (MO).
#2 Minnesota-Duluth 70, Concordia-Saint Paul 24
- That was a woodshed visit. The Bulldogs will host Augustana (SD) on Saturday, and it would be foolish to expect anything but victory.
#3 Colorado State-Pueblo 35, Western New Mexico 27
- This wasn’t as scary a game as the score indicates; Pueblo completely shut Western down in the fourth quarter as they tried to scrounge up the tying touchdown. This week, Pueblo hosts Adams State, who’s surprisingly undefeated; they won’t be after the Thunderwolves get through with them.
#4 Grand Valley State 28, at Tiffin 0
- A nice shutout for the Lakers, who were brutally horrid on defense last week. They host Ohio Dominican on Saturday, and we’ll have to see if a team with a live offense gives Grand Valley fits again. They should still win, but it could be a high-wire act.
#5 Winston-Salem State 55, Morehouse 21 (at Cleveland OH)
- The Rams rolled at a neutral-site meeting. They’ll host Virginia Union this week as they start conference play.
#6 California (PA) 24, at Edinboro 14
- They could have looked better. The Vulcans will now host arch-rivals #14 Indiana on Saturday, and it’s a toss-up.
at #7 Missouri Western State 38, Nebraska-Kearney 14
- Man, the Lopers are in trouble this year. It could be the move to a tougher conference, or it could be a legitimately down year, but the playoffs won’t look the same without Kearney’s presence. Western, for their part, gains a place in the rankings, and will travel to Fort Hays State this week to put the beatdown on the dreadful Tigers.
#8 New Haven 44, at Pace 10
- Exactly as expected; however, the Chargers actually fell a position. They’ll host winless Saint Anselm Saturday, and probably figure they need to annihilate them to get any respect now.
at #9 Washburn 24, Northeastern State 20
- Not an impressive showing, and Washburn paid for it by holding steady in the poll. The Ichabods visit Central Oklahoma this weekend; they should prevail.
at #10 Humboldt State 41, Simon Fraser 21
- Humboldt just keeps on rolling. They move up a spot, and will travel to (surprisingly) 2-1 Dixie State on Saturday. Don’t expect an upset.
at #11 Bloomsburg 44, XX Kutztown 37
- Bloomsburg gains a spot, while formerly #21 Kutztown exits the top 25 after the loss. Bloomsburg visits Long Island-C.W. Post this week; Kutztown hosts West Chester.
at #12 Northwest Missouri State 48, Fort Hays State 10
- Crunch. The Bearcats rebounded nicely from their upset loss to Central Missouri and rolled hard. After rising one place, Saturday they’ll visit curiously winless Nebraska-Kearney, and there’s no reason to expect an upset at this point.
#13 Ouachita Baptist idle
- Ouachita gained a couple of spots while doing nothing, and will host Arkansas Tech this weekend. After what happened to the Golden Boys last weekend it shouldn’t be any trouble.
at #14 Indiana (PA) 42, Lock Haven 0
- We are still waiting for Lock Haven to score a point this year. Indiana, who jumped three places, will travel to #6 California for their annual rivalry game; I wouldn’t risk a bet.
#15 Midwestern State 65, Texas A&M-Commerce 14 (at Arlington TX)
- This was an outright rout; one of TAMU-Commerce’s touchdowns was completely bogus, as the quarterback was sacked but there was no whistle and Midwestern didn’t jump on him again because they knew perfectly well he was down (as replays showed conclusively). That led to a long touchdown run, but Midwestern was already up 51-0 when it happened, so they weren’t too concerned. This week, they play Texas A&M again, although this time it’s the one in Kingsville. An upset is possible, as both teams have been alternately shaky and impressive so far.
#16 Valdosta State 43, Angelo State 10 (at Arlington TX)
- The Blazers, as the guest participant in the Lone Star Football Festival, weren’t very polite guests. They pick up a couple of places in the poll, and Saturday it’s a top-25 matchup at home against #23 West Alabama.
#17 Ashland 47, Ferris State 32
- The Eagles prevailed in a shootout, and will host Northern Michigan this weekend. Should improve to 4-0.
at #18 Colorado Mines 42, Black Hills State 19
- A solid win, but the five-spot leap in the polls is surprising. Mines visits New Mexico Highlands on Saturday, and I’d expect a win.
#19 Abilene Christian 34, Tarleton State 31 (at Arlington TX)
- Tarleton’s probably a decent win away from the top 25 after beating Midwestern State and coming oh-so-close to an upset here. Abilene moves up a spot, and visits Angelo State this week.
Findlay 29, at #20 Saginaw Valley State 27
- The Cardinals plunge ten spots after a narrow loss to undefeated Findlay. They’ll travel to winless Lake Erie Saturday to vent their frustrations.
at #21 Wayne State (MI) 35, Lake Erie 31
- Waaaay too close. The Warriors slip two spots due to the sloppy win; this weekend, they’ll visit Malone, and hopefully they’ll get their act together.
#22 Minnesota State-Mankato 25, at Saint Cloud State 21
- The Mavericks enter the top 25 as a result of this close win. I’d argue Sioux Falls deserves the spot more, but they should show up next week. Mankato, working their way through the chaos of having their head coach arrested just before the season, will host Minnesota State-Moorhead on Saturday. Cakewalk.
at #23 West Alabama 41, Mississippi College [D-III] 3
- A battle of former conference-mates, as before the Choctaws moved to D-III they were members of the Gulf South. It wasn’t close, and nobody expected it to be. West Alabama travels to #16 Valdosta State this weekend after moving up one notch.
#24 Henderson State 73, Arkansas Tech 34
- Well… alrighty, then. Henderson, which is right across the street from #13 Ouachita Baptist in sleepy Arkadelphia AR, moves into the poll. Saturday they’ll host Southeastern Oklahoma State, and man do I feel sorry for them.
#25 West Texas A&M 40, XX Texas A&M-Kingsville 10 (at Arlington TX)
- The Buffalos stomped the Javelinas hard, and moved back into the top 25 after a two-week absence. They also knocked Kingsville out of the poll after a two-week stay. Synchronicity. WTAMU visits Incarnate Word this week, and will likely cruise.
More scores of mild interest:
Dixie State 24, at Azusa Pacific 22
at William Jewell 29, Kentucky Wesleyan 26
Charleston (WV) 17, at Concord 14
at Shaw 31, Stillman 26
at Johnson C. Smith 23, Concordia (AL) 18
at Central State (OH) 28, Urbana 22
Wayne State (NE) 20, at Bemidji State 17
Harding 52, at Arkansas-Monticello 7
at Ohio Dominican 47, Northern Michigan 7
at Augustana (SD) 61, Minnesota-Crookston 0
Shippensburg 63, at East Stroudsburg 21
at West Chester 56, Millersville 14
Shepherd 42, at Seton Hill 6
Oklahoma Panhandle State 62, Zoubida Cole [n/a] 0
Defense Is an Optional Package:
at Robert Morris (IL) [NAIA] 40, Saint Joseph’s (IN) 35
Edward Waters [NAIA] 42, at Livingstone 36
American International 49, at Merrimack 34
Upper Iowa 51, at Minnesota State-Moorhead 33
at Winona State 42, Northern State 32
Chadron State 41, at Colorado Mesa 30
at Carson-Newman 27, Lenoir-Rhyne 23
North Carolina-Pembroke 49, at Wingate 35
No Offense, But No Offense:
at Elizabeth City State 13, Albany State 12
at Southwestern Oklahoma State 13, East Central 10