(STATS) - At risk of losing against an FBS opponent, top-ranked North Dakota State delivered the signature win among FCS teams on Saturday.
Many other teams in the STATS FCS Top 25 found the day more upsetting.
Ten ranked teams, from No. 2 Richmond on down, lost games on a wild day of action. Three of them were Top 10 squads from the Missouri Valley Football Conference - No. 5 Illinois State, No. 9 South Dakota State and No. 10 Northern Iowa - and the list also included No. 11 James Madison, No. 14 Mackenzie State, No. 17 Coastal Carolina, No. 18 North Carolina A&T, No. 19 Portland State and No. 22 New Hampshire.
North Dakota State's juggernaut kept the bar high by beating FBS No. 13 Iowa 23-21 in Iowa City on Cam Pedersen's game-ending 37-yard field goal. It was the Bison's sixth straight win over a bowl subdivision opponent since 2010.
"You can't tell anybody in our locker room we're not good enough to beat anybody. That's the heart of a champion," said NDSU coach Chris Klieman, a native of Waterloo, Iowa, and a graduate of Northern Iowa.
Richmond was no match on the road at Stony Brook, falling 42-14 as Stacey Bedell rushed for 100 yards and four touchdowns. The Seawolves helped overcome Spiders quarterback Kyle Lauletta's 411 passing yards with three interceptions.
"Our coaches stressed all week that this was going to a boxing match," Stony Brook defensive back Tyrice Beverette said. "They were going to throw punches and we needed to throw punches back. That's what we did. We showed them (Richmond) that we can respond to adversity. We came together as a team and capitalized on their mistakes to come away with a victory."
STATS FCS TOP 25=
No. 1 North Dakota State (3-0) 23, Iowa (2-1) 21
NDSU matched James Madison's 21-16 win over No. 13 Virginia Tech in 2010 to mark the second-highest FBS team to lose to an FCS team. Appalachian State stunned No. 5 Michigan 34-32 to open the 2007 season.
The Missouri Valley power imposed its will by possessing the ball for 36 minutes, 40 seconds and outgaining the Hawkeyes 363-231. Running back King Frazier carried the ball 16 times for 99 yards and a touchdown.
Stony Brook (2-1, 1-0 CAA) 42, No. 2 Richmond (2-1, 0-1) 14
Stony Brook beat a ranked team for the second time this season. Sherman Alston Jr. went 96 yards for a touchdown on the opening kickoff of the second half to increase the Seawolves' lead to 28-14.
Bedell scored on runs of 2, 49, 1 and 8.
No. 3 Sam Houston State (2-0, 1-0 Southland) 44, Lamar (0-3, 0-1) 31
Jeremiah Briscoe threw three touchdowns in the first half as Sam Houston built a 30-3 lead. He finished 24 of 35 for 328 yards with two interceptions.
Corey Avery had 136 yards and a touchdown on the ground with a scoring reception as well.
Lamar All-American Kade Harrington needed 25 carries to gain 76 yards.
No. 4 Jacksonville State (2-1) 27, No. 17 Coastal Carolina (2-1) 26
A crowd of 18,892 at Burgess-Snow Field saw five lead changes, with Jacksonville State overcoming a 26-20 deficit after quarterback Eli Jenkins capped an 87-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown run and Cade Stinnett added the extra point with 6:44 left. Jenkins finished with 359 total yards (248 passing, 111 rushing) and also passed for two touchdowns.
JSU outrushed Coastal 286-42, led by Roc Thomas 144 yards on 25 carries. Chanticleers All-American De'Angelo Henderson was held to 48 yards on 20 carries, although he scored a touchdown for his Division I-record 29th straight game. They used four quarterbacks following a second-quarter injury to starter Josh Stilley.
Eastern Illinois (2-1) 24, No. 5 Illinois State (2-1) 21
In the 105th meeting between intrastate rivals, Eastern Illinois forced three turnovers while upsetting a top-five opponent for the first time since beating Nov. 1 Northern Iowa on Nov. 7, 1992. .
Mitch Kimble threw for two touchdowns and Devin Church rushed for a 30-yard score. Illinois State quarterback Jake Kolbe accounted for 332 total yards and three touchdowns, but committed two turnovers.
No. 6 Chattanooga (3-0, 1-0 Southern) 21, Furman (0-3, 0-2) 14
The visiting Mocs began pursuit of a fourth straight Southern Conference title by building a 21-0 lead and holding on in the fourth quarter. Coming off two shutouts, they went the first 171 minutes, 51 seconds of the season without allowing a point.
Quarterback Alejandro Bennifield had a touchdown run and pass and linebacker Nakevion Leslie had 15 tackles, including 1.5 for loss, with three pass breakups.
No. 8 Eastern Washington (2-1) 34, No. 10 Northern Iowa (1-2) 30
Eastern Washington overcame a 24-7 halftime deficit behind quarterback Reilly Hennessey's three touchdown passes after he entered the game in the third quarter. His 23-yarder to Beau Byus on a fake field goal with 43 seconds left lifted the Eagles from a 30-28 deficit.
Antione Custer Jr.'s 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the third quarter sparked EWU's rally.
UNI quarterback Aaron Bailey had 275 total yards, rushing for two touchdowns.
Cal Poly (2-1) 38, No. 9 South Dakota State (1-2) 31
Joe Protheroe's 13-yard touchdown run with 2:28 left capped a 12-play, 84-yard drive by Cal Poly and snapped a 31-31 tie. The junior fullback finished with 217 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries, sparking a Mustangs rushing attack that had 440 yards on 7.5 yards per carry.
SDSU's Jake Wieneke caught nine passes for 114 yards and three touchdowns. He has eight scoring catches through three games.
North Carolina (2-1) 56, No. 11 James Madison (2-1) 28
The visiting Dukes took a 21-14 lead after one quarter, but managed only seven more points. Khalid Abdullah had 18 carries for 116 yards and two touchdowns.
Stephen F. Austin (2-1, 1-0 Southland) 31, No. 14 McNeese (1-2, 0-1) 28
McNeese didn't fall in the regular season last year, but the Cowboys have two losses already following their Southland Conference opener. Lumberjacks quarterback Zach Conque had three total touchdowns in the upset, although the game-winner was scored on backup Hunter Taylor's 4-yard pass to Tamrick Pace early in the fourth quarter.
James Tabary threw for four touchdowns in defeat, two each to Darious Crawley and Kent Shelby.
No. 13 William & Mary (2-1) 35, Norfolk State (1-2) 10
Albert Funderburke (13 carries, 137 yards, three touchdowns) and Jonathan Dunn (18-89-2) led the way in William & Mary's home opener.
No. 15 The Citadel (3-0) 31, Gardner-Webb (1-2) 24
Reggie Williams (112) and quarterback Dominique Allen (108) surpassed 100 rushing yards each in The Citadel's 419-yard ground assault. Allen's 1-yard run with 2:51 to play erased Gardner-Webb's 24-21 lead.
Tulsa (2-1) 58, No. 18 North Carolina A&T (2-1) 21
The visiting Aggies didn't threaten to make it two straight wins over the FBS as they fell behind 48-0 by halftime. Quarterback Lamar Raynard passed for a touchdown and rushed for another in the loss.
Washington (3-0) 41, No. 19 Portland State (1-2) 3
The Vikings gained only 182 yards and committed four turnovers in the loss - giving them 11 through three games.
Jonathan Gonzales' 26-yard field goal in the third quarter accounted for their only points.
No. 20 Youngstown State (2-1) 38, Robert Morris (0-3) 6
Martin Ruiz carried the ball 16 times for 165 yards and two touchdowns, and caught a 21-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Trent Hosick. Seven different Penguins had one sack each, which dropped Robert Morris' net rushing yards to minus-13.
No. 21 Villanova (2-1, 1-0 CAA) 40, Towson (1-2, 0-1) 21
Villanova sophomore Zack Bednarczyk was 20 of 26 for 230 yards and three touchdowns, while Javon White rushed for two scores and Taurus Phillips caught a pair. The win was coach Andy Talley's conference-record 137th in CAA games.
Dartmouth (1-0) 22, No. 22 New Hampshire (1-2) 21
Dartmouth ended a 13-game losing streak to rival UNH with 15 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Jack Heneghan threw a 1-yard TD pass to wide receiver Charles Mack with 1:40 remaining to erase a 21-16 deficit.
UNH linebacker Jared Kuehl had a 61-yard interception return for a touchdown
No. 23 Colgate (1-1) 55, Yale (0-1) 13
Jake Melville passed for 315 yards and a career-high five touchdowns, including two to sophomore tight end Nick Martinsen. The Raiders outgained Ivy League-opening Yale 558-188 and had four interceptions.
No. 24 Northern Arizona (1-2) 73, New Mexico Highlands (0-3) 3Sophomore Case Cookus threw for seven touchdowns and junior Emmanuel Butler caught five of them. Cookus finished 14 of 25 for 296 yards. Butler had six receptions for 99 yards.
No. 25 Albany (2-1) 45, Holy Cross (1-2) 28
Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks rushed for 183 yards and four touchdowns and quarterback Neven Sussman and wide receiver Zee Roberson connected on two touchdown passes.
No. 7 Montana (2-0)
No. 12 Charleston Southern (1-2)
No. 16 Western Illinois (2-0)