Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The old cliche saying "It's better to lose
early rather than late" has always been related to football at the FBS
In FCS football, losses, no matter how early or late, usually result in two
ways. First as a learning tool to re-evaluate a team's strategy. Second, it
can lead to a dangerous path of destruction.
At the unofficial halfway point of the 2012 FCS season, one of the most
important aspects of a team is learning how to respond to adversity.
Take, for instance, the No. 19-ranked Citadel Bulldogs, who have quickly
dropped three straight games after an impressive 3-0 start. Coach Kevin
Higgins' squad looked to be the early season dark horse with wins over Georgia
Southern and Appalachian State. However, opponents have suddenly put together
a blueprint for the triple option attack. After a disappointing 38-7 loss
versus Samford, The Citadel is in serious trouble.
Other teams like Youngstown State and Illinois State both found the loss
column after being routed by conference foes. Most importantly, the losses
don't necessarily mean they are out of the postseason picture in any way.
Instead, it's a chance to regroup and improve upon its weaknesses.
Perhaps Delaware is realizing the downside of scheduling cup-cake opponents
early on in the season. The Blue Hens have looked dumbfounded in the last two
weeks, losing versus New Hampshire and home versus Maine. After a 4-0 start
and Top 10 ranking, UD's ground attack has looked average at best and the
team's bye week couldn't have come at a better time.
Most likely, this week's Top 25 rankings will be shaken up with a handful of
highly rated schools either looking great, or even more vulnerable than most
thought in losses or close wins.
Albany (5-1), Stony Brook (5-1), Tennessee State (6-0), Samford (5-1), Cal
Poly (5-0) and even Alabama A&M (6-0) - yes, a team from the SWAC - are making
strong cases for more Top 25 votes.
Other schools accustomed to the limelight better be prepared to bring their
best game each week. Especially when you consider the number of quality
conference foes which will face off in the near future.
For all the promise in its teams, some things can never be
Whether it be scores, statistics or standout performances, the numbers never
Here are some important figures from Week 6 of the 2012 FCS season that should
not be overlooked:
Two Missouri Valley Conference teams, Youngstown State and Illinois State lost
for the first time in 2012 in Week 6. Collectively, they were outscored 65-7,
outgained 546 to 393 in total yards and committed a combined seven turnovers
in the defeats. Illinois State was 0-for-12 on third down conversions, while
Youngstown State was 3-of-12.
Seven teams ranked in the FCS Top 25 remain unbeaten through the first six
weeks of the season. They are North Dakota State (5-0), Montana State (6-0),
Old Dominion (5-0), Wofford (5-0), Lehigh (6-0), Cal Poly (5-0) and Harvard
(4-0). Tennessee State (6-0) and Alabama A&M (6-0) from the Ohio Valley and
SWAC, respectively, are the only remaining undefeated teams which have not
been ranked in the FCS Top 25 yet.
Michael Cole of Maine and Jordan Piper of Nicholls State set new single-game
defensive highs in Week 6. Cole totaled five solo sacks in his team's 26-3 win
at Delaware. He finished with nine total tackles and one forced fumble, while
the Black Bears defense came away with nine total sacks in the game.
Piper had a career-high and national single-game high of 23 total tackles in a
34-14 loss at Central Arkansas. He also forced one fumble.
Three wide receivers totaled over 200 yards receiving in Week 6. They were
Elon's Aaron Mellete (13 receptions, 237 yards, three touchdowns), Eastern
Illinois' Erik Lora (17 receptions, 215 yards, one touchdown) and Stony
Brook's Kevin Norrell (eight receptions, 214 yards, two touchdowns). Stephen
F. Austin's Cordell Roberson came up just short of 200 yards with 14
receptions for 199 yards and three touchdowns. Norell was the only receiver
whose team came away with a victory.
Georgia Southern set an FCS single-game high in 2012, with 614 rushing yards
in a 45-13 win at Western Carolina. The Eagles had three 100-yard
rushers in their first road win of the season. It was only the fourth-largest
rushing total in school history and the win was their 18th straight over WCU.
Portland State snapped a four-game losing streak in impressive fashion,
defeating Idaho State, 77-10. Freshman quarterback Kieran McDonagh rushed for
66 yards and scored four touchdowns and he passed for 280 yards and one
touchdown. The Vikings amassed 758 yards of offense and set a new school
record with 437 rushing yards.
In Stephen F. Austin's 51-43 loss in the Battle of the Piney Woods versus Sam
Houston State, the Lumberjacks rushed for just 21 yards on six rushing
attempts. Running back Gus Johnson was the only SFA player to attempt a carry.
Alabama A&M is 6-0 for the first time since 1966. The Bulldogs took down
Mississippi Valley State, 35-0, in Week 6, shutting out an opponent for the
first time since 2005. Quarterback Deaunte Mason has accounted for 19
touchdowns through the first six games, including 11 touchdowns passing for
1,195 yards. The senior also has rushed for 214 yards and eight touchdowns.
Howard linebacker Keith Pough became the FCS' all-time leader in tackles for
loss as he accounted for 3 1/2 in a crucial, 17-10 win over Florida A&M. The
fifth-year senior now has 66 tackles for loss in his career. He added 17 total
tackles, a forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one pass broken up and 2 1/2
sacks to help the Bison move to 4-1 on the season.
Stony Brook's super running back Miguel Maysonet became both the school and
Big South's all-time leading rusher against Charleston Southern. Maysonet
surpassed Conte Cuttino's school mark of 3,607 yards and Rashad Jennings'
conference mark of 3,633 yards.
Six teams ranked in the FCS Top 25 lost in Week 6. Two of those teams came
from the CAA, Towson and Delaware, and two more came from the Missouri Valley,
Youngstown State and Illinois State. The remaining teams, The Citadel and
Eastern Kentucky, are from the Southern Conference and the OVC, respectively.
The Sports Network