SLU rises to 14th in AFCA FCS Coaches Top 25

Published 1:21 pm Tuesday, September 7, 2021

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The Southeastern Louisiana University football team climbed to 14th in the latest AFCA FCS Coaches Top 25, which was released on Tuesday.

SLU (1-0) was 17th in the preseason AFCA poll and moved up three spots after the opening week. On Monday, Southeastern rose to 13th from 15th in the Stats Perform FCS Top 25.

The Lions opened the season with a 49-28 victory over North Alabama on Saturday in Florence, Alabama. Southeastern racked up 495 yards of total offense and 30 first downs, controlling the ball for nearly 37 minutes and converting 10-of-15 third-down situations.

Walter Payton Award winner and SLU quarterback Cole Kelley, the Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Week, connected with 11 different receivers, finishing with 263 yards on 30-for-41 passing, while also finding Nolan Givan, Austin Mitchell and Cephus Johnson III on scoring throws. Taron Jones helped Southeastern to its highest rushing output under fourth-year head coach Frank Scelfo (232 yards), leading the Lions with 85 yards and a touchdown on 11 carriers. Jones, Kelley and Johnson III all found the end zone on the ground.

Alphonso Taylor led SLU with nine tackles, as the Lions held UNA to just 54 yards rushing. Mike Mason, Arlen Williams and Tainano Gaulua all recorded sacks for the Lions. Buck Buchanan Award candidate and Southland Defensive Player of the Week Ferlando Jordan returned an interception 41 yards for a touchdown – his Southland Conference-record fifth pick six of his career.

Southeastern is the only Southland team ranked in the AFCA coaches poll this week. Nicholls is among those receiving votes.

On Saturday, SLU travels to Louisiana Tech for a 6 p.m. game in Ruston. The game will be televised on ESPN3 and can be heard in the Hammond area on Kajun 107.1 FM, Tangi 96.5 FM and WFPR 1400 AM, as well as online on and

Stats Perform FCS Top 25

Team (First-place votes)                   Record            Points  Prv.

  1. Sam Houston (32)1-0                   681      1
  2. James Madison (1)1-0                   655      2
  3. South Dakota State (3)1-0                   649      4
  4. North Dakota State1-0                   583      3
  5. Montana (1) 1-0                   573      9
  6. Delaware 1-0                   537      5
  7. North Dakota 1-0                   477      7
  8. Eastern Washington 1-0                   474      14
  9. Southern Illinois 1-0                   415      10
  10. Weber State 0-1                   387      6
  11. Villanova 1-0                   362      15
  12. UC Davis 1-0                   348      21
  13. Montana State 0-1                   334      11
  14. Southeastern 1-0                   298      17
  15. Northern Iowa 0-1                   293      16
  16. Central Arkansas 0-1                   271      13
  17. Jacksonville State0-1                   258      8
  18. Austin Peay 1-0                   218      25
  19. East Tennessee State1-0                   202      NR
  20. VMI 1-0                   194      19
  21. Monmouth 0-1                   188      12
  22. Richmond 1-0                   145      22
  23. Kennesaw State 1-0                   144      20
  24. Chattanooga 0-1                   59        18
  25. Missouri State 0-1                   58        NR

Others receiving votes: Samford 54, Holy Cross 32, Furman 31, Murray State 28, Alabama A&M 24, New Hampshire 24, Rhode Island 16, South Dakota 16, Nicholls 12, Jackson State 10, Stephen F. Austin 8, Eastern Kentucky 7, Gardner-Webb 7, Charleston Southern 6, Sacramento State 5, Youngstown State 4, Illinois State 3, Southern Utah 3, Florida A&M 2, Sacred Heart 2, Yale 2, Harvard 1.

2021 opponents in bold italics

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