No. 8 SLU Continues Rising in FCS Polls

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Southeastern Louisiana Lions (Photo: SLU)

HAMMOND, La. –  The Southeastern Louisiana University football team moved up another spot in the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 and AFCA FCS Coaches’ Top 25 released on Monday.
 
The Lions (6-1, 4-0 Southland) climbed to No. 8 in both polls. SLU moved up a spot in both listings after extending its win streak to five games with a 51-14 Southland Conference road victory at Northwestern State. Southeastern is 4-0 in Southland play for the first time since 2014 and off to a 6-1 start for the first time since 1980.
 
SLU finished with 621 total yards and scored 51 consecutive points on the way to its most lopsided victory over the Demons in the 65 meetings between the two in-state rivals.
 
Senior quarterback and reigning Walter Payton Award winner Cole Kelley was named Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Week after he threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns, connecting with 11 different receivers overall, as Nolan GivanIvan Drobocky and Jahmon McClendon all caught touchdown passes.
 
Gage Larvadain also hauled in an 88-yard touchdown pass from Cephus Johnson III to highlight his first 100-plus yard receiving day as a Lion. Kelley and Jessie Britt also found the end zone on the ground on Saturday.
 
Justin Dumas returned an interception 52 yards for a score in the win over NSU, as he and Zy Alexander both picked off passes on Saturday. Alexander leads the Lions with three picks, while Dumas and Alphonso Taylor have two apiece for a Southeastern defense that is fourth in the nation with 12 interceptions and third nationally with three defensive touchdowns.
 
The Southeastern offense is the FCS leader in third-down conversion percentage (59.5, 1st) and completion percentage (73.7, 1st), while also ranking among the FCS leaders in first downs (217, 2nd), scoring offense (50.7 ppg, 2nd), total offense (576.9 ypg, 2nd), passing offense (404.0 ypg, 3rd), tackles for loss allowed per game (2.86, 2nd) and team passing efficiency (181.34, 3rd).
Larvadain is second in FCS with 32.7 yards per kickoff return, while Mateo Rengifo is a perfect 5-for-5 on field goal tries. Austin Dunlap has only punted 10 times this fall, but boasts a 42.7 punting average.
 
SLU is joined in the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 by Southland Conference foe UIW, which comes in at No. 22. The Cardinals and Nicholls are both receiving votes in the AFCA coaches poll.
 
Southeastern will be back home on Saturday, hosting McNeese at 6 p.m. in Strawberry Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPN3 and can also be heard in the Hammond area on Kajun 107.1 FM, The Highway 104.7 FM and The Boss 103.7 FM/1400 AM, as well as online at www.kajun107.net.
 
Stats Perform FCS Top 25
Team (First-place votes)                   Record            Points  Prv.
1. Sam Houston (44)                           6-0                   1,244   1
2. North Dakota State (6)                    7-0                   1,201   3
3. Southern Illinois                              6-1                   1,136   4
4. Villanova                                         6-1                   1,101   5
5. James Madison                               6-1                   1,023   7
6. Montana State                                 7-1                   979      8
7. Eastern Washington                        7-1                   963      2
8. Southeastern                                  6-1                   909      9
9. UC Davis                                        7-1                   814      10
10. South Dakota State                       5-2                   744      6
11. Montana                                        5-2                   736      11
12. Kennesaw State                            6-1                   709      12
T13. ETSU                                          7-1                   627      14
T13. UT Martin                                   6-1                   627      13
15. Sacramento State                          5-2                   525      19
16. Northern Iowa                              4-3                   492      20
17. Missouri State                               4-3                   343      17
18. VMI                                              5-2                   332      21
19. Princeton                                       6-0                   310      22
20. Jackson State                                6-1                   285      24
21. South Dakota                                5-3                   228      15
22. UIW                                              5-2                   223      16
23. Weber State                                  3-4                   166      NR
24. Rhode Island                                 5-2                   125      18
25. Eastern Kentucky                         5-2                   105      NR
 
Others Receiving Votes: William & Mary 52, Prairie View 46, Harvard 37, Chattanooga 31, North Dakota 29, Delaware 24, Stephen F. Austin 10, Jacksonville State 9, Florida A&M 8, Duquesne 7, Dartmouth 6, Columbia 5.   
 
AFCS FCS Coaches Top 25
Team (First-place votes)                   Record            Points  Prv.
1. Sam Houston (27)                           6-0                   675      1
2. North Dakota State                         7-0                   642      3
3. Southern Illinois                              6-1                   603      4
4. Villanova                                         6-1                   599      5
5. James Madison                               6-1                   567      6
6. Montana State                                 7-1                   511      8
7. Eastern Washington                        7-1                   493      2
8. Southeastern                                  6-1                   489      9
9. UC Davis                                        7-1                   445      10
10. Kennesaw State                            6-1                   433      11
11. Montana                                        5-2                   359      12
12. UT Martin                                     6-1                   357      13
13. South Dakota State                       5-2                   336      7
14. ETSU                                            7-1                   329      14
15. Princeton                                       6-0                   270      17
16. Jackson State                                6-1                   234      20
17. Northern Iowa                              4-3                   207      24
18. VMI                                              5-2                   183      23
19. Eastern Kentucky                         5-2                   175      22
20. Missouri State                               4-3                   148      18
21. Harvard                                         5-1                   134      16
22. South Dakota                                5-3                   121      15
T23. Sacramento State                       5-2                   66        NR
T23. Weber State                                3-4                   66        NR
25. Rhode Island                                 5-2                   59        19
 
Others receiving votes: Chattanooga 53, William & Mary 27, Holy Cross 21, Stephen F. Austin 21, Monmouth 20, Prairie View 19, North Dakota 18, Mercer 16, Delaware 15, Florida A&M 14, Columbia 10, Dartmouth 9, Jacksonville State 8, Yale 8, UIW 7, Nicholls 3, Elon 2, Furman 2, Davidson 1.   
 
2021 opponents in bold italics

{Courtesy: lionsports.net}

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