The NCAA Division-II AFCA Coaches Poll will likely remain largely unchanged up top of the rankings as the top-four teams rolled to victories in Week 7.
2014 Division II runners-up Minnesota State rolled to its seventh straight victory with a 51-10 victory over Concordia-St. Paul in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, South Division game, thanks in large part to the Mavericks’ defense shut down. The Mavericks (7-0, 3-0 NSIC South) limited Concordia-St. Paul (1-6) to just 174 total yards including 37 yards on the ground. Minnesota State’s defense also forced two turnovers and scored a touchdown.
Offensively, Minnesota State rolled up 236 yards on the ground and amassed 412 total yards, despite missing leading rusher Connor Thomas. Junior Virgil Hammond led the Mavericks with 116 yards and a touchdown, while senior Chad Zastrow rushed for 88 yards and two scores.
Minnesota State’s two quarterbacks, Ricky Lloyd and Nick Pieruccini, combined to complete 14-of-28 passes for 176 yards to go along with one touchdown and one interception. Lloyd completed 9 of 17 passes for 94 yards and a touchdown, while Pieruccini was 4 of 10 for 82 yards.
“We had a pass-first mentality today, so most of our yardage (rushing) was the result of that,” Mavericks coach Todd Hoffner told the Mankato Free Press. “We were working on our passing game and trying to improve in that area.”
“We’ve made progress with our passing game, and we learned a lot about our ability to throw the ball and who our playmakers are. We got some young guys into the game, which was good.”
Minnesota State, which has sat atop of the Coaches Poll since the first poll of the season, has won 40 straight NCIS games.
West Georgia (7-0) remained perfect on the season, with a convincing 28-7 road victory over Delta State (5-2). West Georgia scored on their first three offensive possessions and then relied on their defense to shut down the Statesmen. The Wolves held Delta State to just 227 yards, marking the first time the Statesman to less than 300 yards since October 3, 2013, according to West Georgia Athletics.
Senior quarterback Dallas Dickey rolled up 173 yards and two scores to lead the Wolves offense, which rushed for 195 yards. Dickey completed 12-of-20 passes for 132 yards and one touchdown. Dickey also ran for 41 yards on 16 attempts and a touchdown — with the touchdown, he increased his school record total to 18.
No. 3 Northwest Missouri State (7-0) and No. 4 Ferris State (6-0) also coasted to victories. NW Missouri State jumped out to a 28-7 halftime lead before going onto a 31-14 win over No. 22 Pittsburg State. In meanwhile, Ferris State quarterback Jason Vander Laan rushed for 161 yards on 28 attempts and two touchdowns as the Bulldogs ran past Ohio Dominican 38-17. Vander Laan set the NCAA all-divisions record for career rushing yards by a QB during the game and now has 5,136 career yards, per ESPN Stats and Info.
.@FerrisFootball's Jason Vander Laan finished with 161 rush yds today. HIs 5,218 career rush yds are an NCAA all-divisions record for a QB.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 17, 2015
- 1. Minnesota State (7-0)
- 2. West Georgia (7-0)
- 3. Northwest Missouri State (7-0)
- 4. Ferris State (6-0).
- 5. Sioux Falls (7-0) defeated Southwest Minnesota 34-26.
- 6. Colorado State-Pueblo (6-1) decimated Chaldron State 48-10.
- 7. Colorado School of Mines (7-0) defeated Fort Lewis 48-28.
- 8. Ashland (7-0) celebrated homecoming with a 52-21 win over Hillsdale.
- 9. Shephard (6-0) earned a 46-17 lopsided victory over West Virginia State.
- 10. Humbold State (5-1) suffered its first loss of the season falling to No. 11 Midwestern State 35-10.
- 11. Midwestern State (7-0) defeated No. 10 Humbold State 35-10 at home.
- 12. Michigan Tech (5-1) was upset by No. 18 Grand Valley State 38-21.
- 13. Emporia State (6-1) fell to Fort Hayes 27-24.
- 14. Texas A&M Commerce (6-1) won its fifth-straight victory with a 38-20 win over West Texas A&M.
- 15. Delta State (5-2) lost to No. 2 West Georgia.
- 16. Lenoir-Rhyne (4-2) falls short against Wingate 24-14.
- 17. North Alabama (5-1) put up a season-high points in a 62-28 victory over UNC Pembroke.
- 18. Grand Valley State (6-1) defeated No. 12 Michigan Tech.
- 19. Henderson State destroyed Arkansas-Monticello 41-3.
- 20. Slippery Rock (6-1) rolled over Mercyhurst 35-24.
- 21. Minnesota-Duluth (5-2) shutout University of Mary 45-0.
- 22. Pittsburg State (4-3) lost its second straight, falling to No. 3 Northwest Missouri State.
- 23. Tuskegee (6-1) steamrolls Stillman 49-20.
- 24. Arkansas Tech (5-2) comes up short against East Central 20-19.
- 25. Angelo State (5-2) snapped a two-game losing streak with a 39-24 victory over Texas A&M-Kingsville.