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Football Notes: Team Heads into Bye Week on a High Note

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona football team jumped to No. 18 in the Sports Network FCS Top 25 Monday after its 24-10 victory over Portland State on Saturday. The Lumberjacks were also ranked in the FCS Coaches Poll for the first time this season at No. 21.

NAU is among four Big Sky schools in the Sports Network poll. Montana State is No. 2 after escaping against Southern Utah, while Eastern Washington is up to No. 9 after defeating Montana Saturday in come-from-behind fashion. The Grizzlies dropped out of the poll for the first time since 1998, snapping a streak of 195 straight appearances dating to the Nov. 2, 1998 poll. Cal Poly is No. 19.

The ranking is the highest for the Lumberjacks since the 2008 season. NAU has now won four consecutive games for the first time since 2009 and opened conference play 2-0 for the first time since 2008. NAU won six straight during the 2008 season.

NAU opened its season with a 63-6 loss at Arizona State, and trailed UNLV 14-0 at the half of its second game. Since then, Northern Arizona has outscored opponents 151-41 en route to four wins. The four wins already equals the total from the 2011 season.

Lumberjacks Hodgecized…

NAU's offseason strength and conditioning training program has shown in the quick start this season and strong finishes in ball games by the Lumberjacks. NAU won games against UNLV and Montana with comeback efforts in the second half and the defense has been especially effective after halftime, allowing just 14 points in five games in the third quarter. Souers gave credit to Cody Hodgeson and his staff following the game on Saturday.

"You cannot overstate the value of your strength and conditioning coach," said Head Coach Jerome Souers. "Our players say when you have gone through his program you have been Hodgeicized. They are in shape and they are strong. They feel like they can play five or six quarters if it came down to it. They have confidence in their conditioning."

No Turnovers…

NAU has not committed a turnover in 18 quarters dating to a second quarter interception by Chase Cartwright against the Sun Devils. The Lumberjacks threw three interceptions against Arizona State in the season opener but have not had a turnover since, stringing 124 pass attempts over the 18 quarters without a pick. NAU has not lost a fumble all season.

Hughes Steps in…

Junior safety Anthony Hughes stepped in for Mike Dosen on Saturday and had a big effort. Hughes intercepted Portland State's Kieran McDonagh, returning it 32 yards to setup the second consecutive score for the Lumberjacks in the second quarter. He added three tackles and two quarterback hurries.

College Sports Madness named Hughes the Madness Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week for his exceptional performance this past weekend. The Madness identifies the highest impact players nationally and the top offensive and defensive player from each FCS conference in our weekly feature. Check it out at http://www.collegesportsmadness.com/fcs-football/weekly-awards.

Bauman Eclipses 3,000 Yards…

Northern Arizona junior running back Zach Bauman rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown in the win over Portland State, hiking his career rushing total to 3,085 rushing yards on 598 carries. Bauman ranks fourth on the NAU all-time rushing list. He needs 112 to pass former Walter Payton Award winner Archie Amerson. Alex Henderson is second on the list with 3,462. Marcus King is the all-time leader with 3,794. Bauman needs 710 yards to become the school's all-time leader.

2012 FCS Coaches Week 5 Poll (October 1, 2012)

Team (No. 1 Votes) Record Points

1. North Dakota State (26) 4-0 650

2. Montana State 5-0 616

3. Youngstown State 4-0 597

4. Old Dominion 5-0 578

5. Wofford 4-0 534

6. James Madison 3-1 506

7. Eastern Washington 3-1 486

8. Georgia Southern 3-1 450

9. Sam Houston State 2-2415

10. Lehigh 5-0 406 11

11. Illinois State 5-0 396

12. Towson 2-2 315

13. Stony Brook 4-1 309

14. Appalachian State 3-2294

15. Delaware 4-1 278

16. Eastern Kentucky 4-1 241

17. New Hampshire 3-2 227

18. McNeese State 4-1 198

19. Cal Poly 4-0 167

20. Central Arkansas 3-2 121

21. Northern Arizona 4-1 117

22. The Citadel 3-2 114

23. Harvard 3-0 108

24. Tennessee State 5-0 82

25. Northern Iowa 1-4 60

The Sports Network Poll (October 1, 2012)

1. North Dakota State Bison (156)  4-0 4204 1

2. Montana State Bobcats (6)  5-0 3974 2

3. Youngstown State Penguins (7)  4-0 3857 3

4. Old Dominion Monarchs 5-0 3691 4

5. James Madison Dukes 3-1 3380 5

6. Wofford Terriers 4-0 3321 6

7. Eastern Washington Eagles 3-1 3157 7

8. Georgia Southern Eagles 3-1 2663 10

9. Illinois State Redbirds 5-0 2602 13

9. Sam Houston State Bearkats 2-2 2602 9

11. Lehigh Mountain Hawks 5-0 2120 15

12. Towson Tigers 2-2 2076 12

13. Stony Brook Seawolves 4-1 2036 18

14. New Hampshire Wildcats 3-2 1847 20

15. Appalachian State Mountaineers 3-2 1789 17

16. Delaware Blue Hens 4-1 1697 8

17. Eastern Kentucky Colonels 4-1 1479 19

18. Northern Arizona Lumberjacks 4-1 1234 22

19. The Citadel Bulldogs 3-2 1192 11

20. Cal Poly Mustangs 4-0 1172 23

21. McNeese State Cowboys 4-1 723 24

22. Northern Iowa Panthers 1-4 691 14

23. South Dakota State Jackrabbits 4-1 618 25

24. Central Arkansas Bears 3-2 602 16

25. Harvard Crimson 3-0 426 NR