JSU FOOTBALL: Gamecocks ranked in final FCS polls - : Sports

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JSU FOOTBALL: Gamecocks ranked in final FCS polls

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Posted: Monday, January 6, 2014 2:51 pm

Jacksonville State finished ranked No. 10 in the final The Sports Network FCS Top 25 football poll and No. 12 in the FCS Coaches Poll after the Gamecocks enjoyed their most successful season in the school's Division I history.

The Top 10 ranking in The Sports Network marks the highest ranking for the Gamecocks in the final poll in the school's Division I history, and the No. 12 final ranking in the Coaches Poll ties the 2010 team for the highest final poll ranking.

The Gamecocks advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals and posted an 11-4 overall record under first-year head coach Bill Clark, which set the Ohio Valley Conference record for most wins by a first-year head coach and tied the school record. The Gamecocks also set 49 school records, 13 OVC records and three NCAA records during the 2013 season.

Jacksonville State earned the school's 14th NCAA Playoff Appearance with an at-large berth and defeated Samford 55-14 to earn the school's first-ever Division I playoff win. The Gamecocks then defeated No. 6 McNeese State 35-10 in the second round to advance to play No. 2 Eastern Washington in the quarter-final round.

Senior Griffin Thomas and junior DaMarcus James both earned All-American honors, while Max Holcombe, Pierre Warren, Max Shortell, Caleb Lawrence, Chris Landrum and Josh Barge joined Thomas and James on the All-OVC football teams.

Thomas finished as one of the top kickers in the country after setting the OVC record for most field goals made (24), attempted (32) and most points scored by kicking in a season with 134. He also was a finalist for the Fred Mitchell Award, given to the top kicker in the FCS, Division II, Division III and NAIA.

James had a record-breaking season, where he has rushed for 1,477 yards on 292 carries to set the school's single-season rushing record. The junior running back also set the OVC record with 29 rushing touchdowns to finish second in the nation, and he scored a rushing touchdown in the final 12 games of the season to extend his school record.

Jacksonville State's 2013 senior class finished as the winningest class in the school's Division I history with a 33-16 record to lead the Gamecocks to their 11th straight winning season, which is the third longest active streak in the country.

The Gamecocks will begin spring football practice in March and will hold their annual J-Day Spring Game on Friday, April 18.

Final The Sports Network Poll (Jan. 6, 2014)

1. North Dakota State (142) 15-0 3550 1

2. Towson 13-3 3401 5

3. Eastern Washington 12-3 3233 3

4. Eastern Illinois 12-2 3015 2

5. New Hampshire 10-5 2880 15

6. Southeastern Louisiana 11-3 2716 7

7. Coastal Carolina 12-3 2707 11

8. Montana 10-3 2386 4

9. Fordham 12-2 2167 9

10. Jacksonville State 11-4 2135 20

11. McNeese State 10-3 2067 6

12. Maine 10-3 1962 10

13. South Dakota State 9-5 1921 13

14. Sam Houston State 9-5 1879 14

15. Northern Arizona 9-3 1672 8

16. Bethune-Cookman 10-3 1310 12

17. Tennessee State 10-4 1277 19

18. Youngstown State 8-4 787 17

19. Samford 8-5 783 18

20. Montana State 7-5 758 16

21. Southern Utah 8-5 591 22

22. Furman 8-6 540 NR

23. Chattanooga 8-4 413 21

24. Charleston Southern 10-3 353 23

25. South Carolina State 9-4 347 25

Others receiving votes: Harvard 207, Lehigh 194, Sacred Heart 154, Liberty 96, Northern Iowa 89, William & Mary 72, Princeton 71, Delaware 53, Wofford 45, Central Arkansas 44, Villanova 40, Southern Illinois 39, Butler 35, Jackson State 31, Georgia Southern 26, Lafayette 26, James Madison 19, Richmond 12, Alcorn State 9, Gardner-Webb 9, Southern 8, Eastern Kentucky 8, The Citadel 5, Illinois State 3, Cal Poly 3, UT Martin 2.

Final FCS Coaches Poll (Jan. 6, 2014)

Team (No. 1 Votes) Record Points Last Week

1. North Dakota State (20) 15-0 500 1

2. Towson 13-3 478 4

3. Eastern Washington 12-3 453 3

4. Eastern Illinois 12-2 417 2

5. New Hampshire 10-5 409 15

6. Southeastern Louisiana 11-3 369 7

7. Coastal Carolina 12-3 361 11

8. Montana 10-3 309 5

9. McNeese State 10-3 307 6

10. Fordham 12-2 299 10

11. Maine 10-3 297 8

12. Jacksonville State 12-2 266 21

13. Sam Houston State 9-5 258 14

14. South Dakota State 9-5 252 13

15. Northern Arizona 9-3 238 9

16. Bethune-Cookman 10-3 183 12

17. Tennessee State 10-4 181 17

18. Samford 8-5 135 16

19. Youngstown State 8-4 117 19

20. Montana State 7-5 99 18

21. Furman 8-6 82 NR

22. Charleston Southern 10-3 80 20

23. Harvard 9-1 63 22

24. Southern Utah 8-5 58 25

25. Chattanooga 8-4 56 23

Others receiving votes: South Carolina State 51, Lehigh 31, Princeton 29, Sacred Heart 26, Northern Iowa 19, Central Arkansas 14, Butler 11, Southern Illinois 8, Liberty 7, Villanova 7, Cal Poly 6, Lafayette 6, William & Mary 3, Alcorn State 3, Illinois State 1

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