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Southeastern Lions football finishes ranked in FCS polls

8 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago Monday, January 10 2022 Jan 10, 2022 January 10, 2022 2:09 PM January 10, 2022 in Sports
Source: SLU Sports Information

The Southeastern Lions football team finished the year ranked 15th in the final 2021 Stats Perform FCS and AFCA FCA Coaches top 25 polls.

Southeastern’s ranking in the final polls makes it three straight years that the Lions finished amongst the nation’s top 25 programs.

SLU is one of six FCS programs that has been ranked in the top 25 to end each of the past three seasons, along with North Dakota State, James Madison, South Dakota State, Villanova and Kennesaw State.

The No. 15 ranking also marks Southeastern’s highest under head coach Frank Scelfo and the program’s highest final billing since the 2014 season (14th – Stats Perform, then Sports Network; 12th – AFCA).

The SLU offense led FCS in scoring offense (45.1 ppg), completion percentage (72.8) and first downs (376), while also ranking among the national top five in third-down conversion percentage (52.1, 2nd), fourth-down conversion percentage (70.0, 5th), passing offense (407.2 ypg, 2nd), passing efficiency (173.35, 2nd) and total offense (551.8 ypg, 2nd).

Behind a stalwart offensive line that featured five All-Southland Conference selections, consensus All-American and Southland Player of the Year Cole Kelley spread the ball around to a multitude of talented skill players highlighted by the all-conference quartet of Austin Mitchell, Nolan Givan, Gage Larvadain and Taron Jones.

The Southeastern defense finished eighth in the FCS with a Southland-high 17 interceptions. All-American Zy Alexander led SLU and finished eighth in FCS with six interceptions. The Lion secondary will feature three All-Americans in 2022 in Alexander, Ferlando Jordan and Brandon Barbee.

SLU will open spring practice on March 8. The Lions will open the 2022 season at UL Lafayette on Sept. 3.

Stats Perform FCS Top 25

Team (First-place votes)                   Record            Points  Prv.

  1. North Dakota State (50)                  14-1                 1,250   3
  2. Montana State                                 12-3                 1,173   7
  3. James Madison                              12-2                 1,165   2
  4. South Dakota State                         11-4                 1,051   11
  5. Sam Houston                                  11-1                 1,046   1
  6. Montana                                          10-3                 1,008   5
  7. Eastern Washington                        10-3                 924      4
  8. Villanova                                         10-3                 919      6
  9. ETSU                                              11-2                 879      9
  10. Sacramento State                          9-3                   745      8
  11. Kennesaw State                            11-2                 740      10
  12. UIW                                              10-3                 682      13
  13. UT Martin                                     10-3                 654      16
  14. Missouri State                               8-4                   531      12
  15. Southeastern                                9-4                   522      18
  16. Southern Illinois                            8-5                   504      21
  17. UC Davis                                      8-4                   439      14
  18. South Dakota                                7-5                   326      17
  19. Holy Cross                                    10-3                 319      24
  20. Dartmouth                                     9-1                   281      19
  21. Stephen F. Austin                         8-4                   268      20
  22. Jackson State                                11-2                 259      15
  23. Northern Iowa                              6-6                   132      NR
  24. Princeton                                       9-1                   116      23
  25. Florida A&M                               9-3                   114      22

Others Receiving Votes: Mercer 76, South Carolina State 35, Rhode Island 23, Sacred Heart 23, Eastern Kentucky 15, Davidson 12, Harvard 8.

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