JSU Climbs To No. 2 In Polls


Following a few upsets in the Top 5 last week, Jacksonville State moved up to No. 2 in both the STATS and FCS Coaches Polls that were released on Monday.

The Gamecocks received first-place votes in both polls after unanimous No. 1 North Dakota State lost to South Dakota State on Saturday, but Sam Houston State occupied the top spot in both polls this week.

(Hear from JSU players on the team's lofty expectations in the featured video.)

The Gamecocks earned 19 first-place votes in the STATS Poll and two in the Coaches Poll. The Bearkats, whose last loss was a 62-10 defeat at JSU in last year's FCS semifinals, received 113 first-place votes in STATS and 21 from the Coaches.

Eastern Washington is third in both polls, while NDSU fell to fourth in both. The Citadel, who handed Chattanooga its first loss of the season on Saturday, is fifth in the STATS Poll and sixth in the Coaches Poll. James Madison rounds out the Coaches' Top 5.

The Gamecocks (5-1, 2-0 Ohio Valley Conference), disposed of a pesky Austin Peay team that trailed by just seven at the half. JSU opened the game in the third quarter before walking away with a 34-14 win that extended the FCS' longest active home winning streak to 12 games.

Jax State extended its OVC win streak to 19 games, the longest active conference win streak in the nation and tied with Murray State from 1995-97 for the third-longest in OVC history. The 19-game streak is also the longest active conference win streak in Division I, with Clemson and San Diego State tied for second at 13 games.

The Gamecocks will travel to Eastern Kentucky for a 2 p.m. CT game on Saturday with the Colonels. It will be Homecoming for the Colonels, who received votes in the STATS Poll this week.

The No. 2 ranking is the highest for the Gamecocks this season. JSU was ranked third in the preseason polls before falling to sixth after a Week Two loss at LSU. Jax State was ranked second in both of the final 2015 polls.

Eastern Illinois (15th in both) and Tennessee State (25th in both) join the Gamecocks to give three OVC teams in the polls this week.

The release of this week's polls marks the 38th consecutive week that JSU has been ranked in the Top 10 of at least one of the two polls, dating back to the final poll of the 2014 season. JSU and North Dakota State are the only two teams that have been in the Top 10 for each week during that time.

STATS FCS Poll

Rankings as of 10/17/2016

Rank. School, Votes(1st Place), Prev

1. Sam Houston State (6-0), 4030 (113), 2

2. Jacksonville State (5-1), 3865 (19), 3

3. Eastern Washington (5-1), 3689 (17), 4

4. North Dakota State (5-1), 3575 (11), 1

5. Citadel (6-0), 3330 (5), 8

6. Richmond (6-1), 3291, 6

7. South Dakota State (4-2), 3119, 11

8. James Madison (6-1), 3087, 7

9. Charleston Southern (3-2), 2630, 9

10. Montana (5-1), 2610, 10

11. Chattanooga (6-1), 2591, 5

12. Western Illinois (5-1), 2263, 12

13. Youngstown State (5-1), 2206, 14

14. North Carolina A&T (5-1), 1766, 15

15. Eastern Illinois (5-2), 1491, 18

16. Villanova (5-2), 1438, 13

17. Cal Poly (4-2), 1382, 19

17. Coastal Carolina (4-2), 1382, 16

19. North Dakota (5-2), 1223, 22

20. Central Arkansas (5-1), 1141, 23

21. Samford (5-1), 829, 24

22. Grambling State (4-1), 497, 25

23. Albany (4-2), 442, 17

24. Stony Brook (4-2), 370, NR

25. Tennessee State (5-1), 311, NR

Others: Harvard (236) , UNI (168) , Sacred Heart (134) , New Hampshire (110) , Lehigh (82) , Illinois State (74) , South Dakota (60) , Fordham (27) , Weber State (25) , Wofford (25) , Maine (22) , Nicholls (19) , Monmouth (16) , Colgate (12) , Southern Utah (11) , San Diego (10) , Stephen F. Austin (7) , Missouri State (6) , North Carolina Central (6) , UT Martin (5) , Penn (4) , Tennessee Tech (3) , Princeton (1) , Duquesne (1) , Eastern Kentucky (1) , Wagner (1) , Southeastern Louisiana (1)

FCS Coaches Poll (Oct. 17, 2016)

Team (First-Place Votes), Points, Record, Previous

1. Sam Houston State (21), 643, 6-0, 2

2. Jacksonville State (2), 612, 5-1, 4

3. Eastern Washington (1), 556, 5-1, 5

4. North Dakota State (1), 546, 5-1, 1

5. James Madison (1), 533, 6-1, 6

6. The Citadel, 513, 6-0, 9

7. Richmond, 495, 6-1, 7

8. Chattanooga, 439, 6-1, 3

9. Charleston Southern, 431, 3-2, 8

10. Montana, 428, 5-1, 10

11. South Dakota State, 409, 4-2, 14

12. Youngstown State, 376, 5-1, 12

13. Western Illinois, 336, 5-1, 13

14. North Carolina A&T, 294, 5-1, 16

15. Eastern Illinois, 258, 4-2, 17

16. North Dakota, 253, 5-2, 18

17. Villanova, 220, 5-2, 11

18t. Cal Poly, 207, 4-2, 20

18t. Central Arkansas, 207, 5-1, 22

20. Samford, 147, 5-1, 24

21. Grambling State, 95, 4-1, 23

22. Stony Brook, 91, 4-2, NR

23. Harvard, 87, 4-1, 15

24. Albany, 50, 4-2, 19

25. Tennessee State, 43, 5-1, NR

Others receiving votes: Wofford (36), Northern Iowa (31), South Dakota (30), Lehigh (20), New Hampshire (20), South Carolina State (18), Liberty (10), Illinois State (5), Weber State (4), Southern Utah (2), San Diego (2), Sacred Heart (2), North Carolina Central (1).

(COURTESY: JSU Sports Information: www.jsugamecocksports.com)

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