UT Martin Football finishes season with highest postseason FCS ranking in program history

 UT Martin Football finishes season with highest postseason FCS ranking in program history

The UT Martin football team was rewarded for its most successful season in the program’s FCS Era with its highest postseason ranking in history after finishing the year ranked 12th in the final AFCA FCS Coaches’ Top 25. The Skyhawks also finished No. 13 in the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 poll.

UT Martin finished the season with a 10-3 overall mark while going 5-1 in the OVC to win the program’s second league championship and first since 2006. Along with the OVC title, the Skyhawks earned a berth into the NCAA Division I Football Championship where they picked up their first FCS playoff victory against Missouri State before falling in the second round to eventual national champion runner-up Montana State.

On the path to the OVC championship, the Skyhawks won a program record nine-straight games and ranked as high as No. 8 in the AFCA FCS Coaches’ Top 25 earlier this season. The team became just the third squad in program history to eclipse 10 wins in a single season while picking up victories over nationally ranked foes Jacksonville State (No. 9) and Missouri State (No. 10) along the way.

The Skyhawks finished the season ranked in the top-25 nationally in nine categories including blocked punts allowed (0, first), passes intercepted (17, eighth), defensive touchdowns (3, 11th), winning percentage (76.9, 11th), sacks allowed (1.15, 14th), rushing offense (207.6, 15th), blocked kicks (4, 15th), turnovers gained (23, 17th) and blocked punts (1, 25th).

AFCA FCS Coaches’ Poll
1. North Dakota State (24) | 14-1 | 600 | 3
2. Montana State | 12-3 | 571 | 9
3. James Madison | 12-2 | 548 | 2
4. Sam Houston | 11-1 | 520 | 1
5. South Dakota State | 11-4 | 471 | 11
6. Montana | 10-3 | 470 | 5
7. East Tennessee State | 11-2 | 438 | 8
8. Villanova | 10-3 | 435 | 7
9. Eastern Washington | 10-3 | 416 | 6
10. Kennesaw State | 11-2 | 399 | 4
11. Sacramento State | 9-3 | 358 |12
12. UT Martin | 10-3 | 307 | 13
13. UIW | 10-3 | 297 | 15
14. Missouri State | 8-4 | 276 | 10
15. Southeastern Louisiana | 9-4 | 248 | 17
16. UC Davis | 8-4 | 205 | 16
17. Southern Illinois | 8-5 | 203 | 23
18. Stephen F. Austin | 8-4 | 188 | 19
19. Jackson State | 11-2 | 136 | 14
20. South Dakota | 7-5 | 133 | T-20
21. Princeton | 9-1 | 130 | 18
22. Holy Cross | 10-3 | 117 | 24
23. Dartmouth | 9-1 | 89 | T-20
24. Florida A&M | 9-3 | 88 | 22
25. Northern Iowa | 6-6 | 62 | 25

Stats Perform FCS Top 25
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 State | 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. East Tennessee State | 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 Louisiana | 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