The FBS Spreadsheet: (Excel2003, 320kb)

The FCS Spreadsheet: (Excel2003, 291kb)

FCS Game of the Week:
Early on, it looked as though #8 New Hampshire had #4 Old Dominion’s number.  The first quarter ended with a 16-3 lead for the Wildcats, as the Monarchs’ defense wasn’t stopping them and the offense, although staging two drives deep into New Hampshire territory, only came away with a single field goal for their efforts.  Early in the second, a 57-yard touchdown pass from Taylor Heinicke to Nick Mayers made it 16-10, but New Hampshire, aided by a fumbled punt return after their drive stalled, got the points back in just over two minutes.  After ODU had to punt, Nico Steriti broke free on a 61-yard touchdown run for the Wildcats, who were suddenly leading 30-10.

And then things went insane.
A long Antonio Vaughan kickoff return to midfield set up Old Dominion’s immediate answer on a 15-yard pass to Vaughan; New Hampshire responded right away with a 73-yard strike from Andy Vailas to R.J. Harris.  But Vaughan then struck again, returning the ensuing kickoff 83 yards before being hauled down; Heinicke ran it in from the nine on the next play.  The half finally ended when time simply ran out on the Wildcats, and they were forced to tack on a 32-yard Mike McArthur field goal to take a 40-24 lead into the locker room.  Heinicke had exactly 250 passing yards, and this is important later.

New Hampshire extended the lead to 23 points on the first possession of the third quarter, Vailas hitting Joey Orlando from 15 to cap a drive which had started with four straight rushes for 68 yards, none longer than 25.  After that, both teams traded three-and-outs before Heinicke found Jakwail Bailey for a 32-yard score.  The Wildcats drove right back down Old Dominion’s throat, but facing 3rd-and-1 at the Monarch 2, a fumble changed the course of the game.  Heinicke’s first move was a 43-yard completion to Mayers to get the Monarchs out from under their goal line.  Seven plays later, Colby Goodwyn scored on a seven-yard run to get Old Dominion back within nine.  New Hampshire struck back immediately, though, as Vailas got out of the backfield and ran 67 yards for a score.  As the quarter ended, Old Dominion was driving; Heinecke now had 437 yards passing.

He had 499 less than two minutes later, hitting Mayers for a 12-yard score.  After a two-point conversion, the lead was cut to eight.  New Hampshire got to midfield before a penalty and a sack scuttled their drive; Heinicke hit Vaughan on a 62-yard gain on the first play of the drive, and two plays later found Mayers again.  Another 2-point conversion, and somehow, unbelievably, a game New Hampshire had led by 23 points was now tied less than 17 minutes later.  The CAA record for most combined points in a game had fallen (the previous record was 106), and clock still read 10:04.

New Hampshire couldn’t respond, but pinned the Monarchs at their own 11 after burning nearly three minutes.  Heinicke led a drive at a pace which could relatively be referred to as leisurely; it ended 2:32 later with a 2-yard Angus Harper touchdown run to finally, after over 55 minutes of insanity, give Old Dominion the lead.  It lasted all of a minute and sixteen seconds, as the kickoff went out of bounds and three plays later Vailas found Harris for a 45-yard score to tie it up again.  No matter.  Heinicke merely buckled up his big-boy pants and led another drive, which finally ended on the Wildcat 8-yard line on fourth down.  Jarod Brown split the uprights, putting Old Dominion ahead 64-61 with 37 seconds to go.  Vailas tried heroically to at least get into field-goal range, but on 2nd and 11 from the Monarch 49 with only six seconds to go, Vailas was picked off by Andre Simmons, and that was the ball game.

Heinicke had 293 yards passing… in the fourth quarter alone.  He finished 55-79 for 730 with five TDs (and no interceptions); the yardage broke the NCAA Division I record, though came just short of the NCAA-record 736 yards Sam Durley notched for Eureka just a few weeks ago.  Mayers had 271 yards receiving on 12 catches with three scores; Vaughan had 143 on 12 with a touchdown and 317 all-purpose yards once his 174 yards of kickoff returns was added in.  Heinicke even led Old Dominion in rushing, carrying 11 times for 61 yards and scoring once, meaning he was responsible for 791 yards of total offense and six TDs on the day.

On the other side of the ball, some mind-boggling performances went for naught.  Vailas was 23-38 for 336 yards with five touchdowns and an interception; Steriti ran for 201 yards on 21 carries and scored twice while Harris caught 8 balls for 191 yards.

In all, it was just madness.  A game that was completely off the rails, and even better it was before a national television audience.

Big South/Patriot Showdowns:
#20 Stony Brook had to claw back from 28-20 third quarter deficit to escape scrappy Colgate 32-31.  Miguel Maysonet had 198 yards rushing in the win, which began with Stony Brook taking a 17-0 lead before letting it all slip away due to three turnovers which all led to Colgate scores.

Meanwhile, another contest between the two leagues went the other way as #16 Lehigh got all it could handle from usual Big South stalwarts Liberty.  Lehigh had taken a 14-0 lead, but Liberty tied things up just before the half when Sirchauncey Holloway scored on a 22-yard run, then tacked on a couple of field goals before Lehigh mounted its fourth-quarter comeback.  Mike Colvin scored on a 68-yard run to retake the lead midway through the fourth, then Billy Boyko returned an interception 39 yards to the house to seal the deal.  Liberty now finds itself 0-4, all four losses being pretty much heartbreakers, and one wonders if Turner Gill is just cursed.

Oh, and This Happened Too:
#4 Youngstown State hosted #8 Northern Iowa, and it was a hell of a show.  The Penguins led 21-14 at the half; by the middle of the fourth quarter Northern Iowa had turned that around to a 35-28 lead.  But Youngstown fought back, tying the game with seven minutes to go on a one-yard run by Torrian Pace; with only 1:50 left Kurt Hess connected with Christian Bryan for a 26-yard score which put Youngstown up to stay, 42-35.  The Panthers penetrated to the Youngstown 11-yard line on their final possession, but Ali Cheaib and Donald D’Alesio combined to break up a Sawyer Kollmorgen pass intended for Brett LeMaster on the final play of the game, securing the Penguins win.  Northern Iowa is now ranked #14 despite their 1-3, and they have to visit #1 North Dakota State this weekend.  They’re either going to watch their season effectively end, or they’re going to deliver one of the more stunning potential upsets of the season and find themselves suddenly back on track, losing record aside.  (Remember, two of those losses are to FBS teams, and they came very close to winning against Wisconsin.)

How to End a Losing Streak:
Schedule lesser competition.  It worked for Nicholls State, who stopped a 12-game losing streak by beating the crap out of Evangel out of the NAIA.  It also worked for Charleston Southern, who took down D-II Shorter 23-20 to end their 15-game skid.  Of course, Charleston Southern had actually tried this last year only to lose to D-III Wesley… Still, both teams are now riding one-game winning streaks for the moment, and Savannah State inherits the longest losing streak in FCS, now at 11 games.

The New Top 25 (now in grid form, please tell me what you think of the format):

And finally, other eye-catching results:

at Eastern Illinois 50, Murray State 49 (OT)
at Southeast Missouri State 41, Tennessee Tech 38 (OT)
Georgetown 21, at Princeton 20 (FRI)
Florida A&M 24, at Delaware State 22
Arkansas-Pine Bluff 24, at Alabama State 21 (THU)
at Texas State [FBS] 41, Stephen F. Austin 37
Jacksonville 21, at Dayton 17
at Drake 28, Morehead State 25

Done Got Trucked:
at Cornell 45, Yale 6
at San Diego 51, Valparaiso 14

Defense is an Optional Package:
Southern Utah 49, at Portland State 42

No Offense… But No Offense:
Southern Illinois 14, at Missouri State 6
Darmouth 13, at Holy Cross 10