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Numbers Never Lie: Consistency the key to Week 5

12:37 PM, Sep 30, 2012   |    comments
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Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - With one month already in the books for the 2012 FCS season, Week 5 provided many interesting and somewhat surprising scores.

Stony Brook improved to 4-1 with a 23-3 victory over Army - the program's first-ever victory over an FBS opponent. Appalachian State took down Coastal Carolina, 55-14, in a game which was supposed to be much more competitive. Samford (4-1) suffered its first loss, falling to Georgia Southern on the road, 35-16.

Robert Morris collected its first win, taking down previously undefeated Lafayette, and Chattanooga topped No. 11 The Citadel, 28-10. Stephen F. Austin gave Central Arkansas its first FCS defeat, winning, 42-37, and New Hampshire handed Delaware its first blemish of 2012, winning at home, 34-14.

Six teams ranked in the Top 25 lost in Week 5. Delaware, Northern Iowa and Montana were defeated by ranked opponents, while The Citadel, Towson and Central Arkansas lost versus non-ranked foes, with the exception of Towson losing to LSU, which is ranked No. 3 in the FBS.

My colleague Craig Haley discovered some of the biggest surprises through September (http://tinyurl.com/8atupvx), including 16 teams which have yet to find the win column and a handful of teams which can't seem to find its identity.

Teams like Bryant (0-5), Holy Cross (0-4), Hampton (0-4), Grambling State (0-4), Weber State (0-5), Liberty (0-4) and William & Mary (1-4) had high expectations, but already face harsh realities.

On the other hand, programs like Howard (3-1), Illinois State (5-0), Alabama A&M (5-0), South Dakota State (4-1), Albany (4-1), Duquesne (4-1), Villanova (4-1), Northern Arizona (4-1), McNeese State (4-1) and others could make enormous statements in the next couple of weeks with key conference matchups.

Reaching the relished seven-win platform for playoff eligibility will certainly be easier for teams which have set themselves up nicely. At the same time, it becomes even more difficult for teams unaccustomed to the limelight as they get closer to that goal week-by-week.

The first month of action in a season usually sets the tone for a team to either capitalize on its momentum or crumble under the pressure. In the FCS, the teams which survive are the ones who remain consistent, but that's easier said than done. For all the promise in its teams, some things can never be ignored.

Whether it be scores, statistics or standout performances, the numbers never lie.

Here are some important figures from Week 5 of the 2012 FCS season that should not be overlooked:

In Wofford's 49-24 road win versus Elon, fullback Eric Breitenstein set a Southern Conference single-game rushing record with 321 yards. The senior carried the ball 27 times, scoring two touchdowns - including a long of 90 yards - and averaged 11 yards per carry. The Terriers improved to 4-0 overall, and Breitenstein now has nine touchdowns on the season.

Murray State junior wide receiver Walter Powell totaled 279 all-purpose yards in his team's 70-35 victory over Tennessee Tech. Powell caught 10 passes for 162 yards and one touchdown - including seven catches for 140 yards in the first half - and returned four punts for 83 yards and one touchdown. He also came away with one kick return for 34 yards. The Racers had six total rushing touchdowns, while four players scored on the ground.

Idaho State quarterback Kevin Yost attempted 73 passes for 534 yards, while receivers Josh Hill had 12 receptions and a career-high 123 yards and fellow wideout Rodrick Rumble finished with 183 receiving yards - all resulting in a loss. The Begals fell to Sacramento State, 54-31, as the Hornets totaled 551 yards of offense.

Eight teams ranked in the FCS Top 25 have yet to suffer a defeat. Four of them are ranked in the top-four spots. They are North Dakota State, Montana State, Youngstown State and Old Dominion. Wofford, Illinois State, Lehigh and Cal Poly are the remaining teams which are ranked and still undefeated.

Colgate defeated Yale, 47-24, as junior signal-caller Gavin McCarney accounted for four rushing touchdowns on 85 yards. He also completed 17-of-22 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns through the air.

With its 34-31 win over Fordham, Lehigh has now won 14 straight regular-season contests dating back to last season, which is tops in the FCS. Likewise, Jacksonville took down Marist, 26-14, extending the Dolphins' 16-game home winning streak, which is the longest in the FCS.

In Week 5, four running backs averaged over 10 yards per carry and each player's team won. They were Appalachian State's Steven Miller (11 yards per carry, 202 rushing yards), Howard's Aquanius Freeman (16 yards per carry, 212 rushing yards), Furman's Jerodis Williams (13 yards per carry, 239 rushing yards) and Wofford's Breitenstein (11 yards per carry, 321 rushing yards).

A total of 14 teams are holding opponents under 100 yards rushing in the 2012 season. Four of those teams have allowed just one rushing touchdown. They are Harvard, North Dakota State, James Madison and Georgia Southern.

Five teams in the SoCon have won three games or are above the .500 mark. However, only Wofford has yet to lose a game in conference play. Elon and Western Carolina are the only teams without a conference win.

Tennessee State and Alabama A&M both have records of 5-0, and have yet to be ranked in the Top 25. The Tigers need one win to obtain their first winning season since 2008 and the Bulldogs are off to their best start since 1966.

The Sports Network

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