FIVE FACTS FOR NO. 8 FOOTBALL AT NORTHERN ARIZONA

FIVE FACTS FOR NO. 8 FOOTBALL AT NORTHERN ARIZONA
Date Saturday, Nov. 9
Time 1:00 p.m. PT
Radio ESPN 1320 AM
TV NAU-TV
Stream Pluto.TV
Live Stats
StatBroadcast
Game Notes Sacramento State | Northern Arizona

 

1. Take It Inside

Sacramento State will get the rare opportunity to play indoors over the next two weeks as the team will visit Northern Arizona and Idaho. For many players on the team, this will be their first game in a dome as Sacramento State has not played indoors since traveling to NAU on Oct. 28, 2017. Three of the seven FCS teams that play in domes are members of the Big Sky (NAU, Idaho State, Idaho) and a fourth (North Dakota) is playing a Big Sky schedule this season.

2. High Five

The NCAA FCS selection committee released their in-season top 10 on Wednesday night live on ESPN2 during halftime of the Miami (OH) vs. Ohio game. The committee tabbed Sacramento State fifth based on the selection criteria and results through Nov. 2. Defending national champion North Dakota State was seeded first and was followed by James Madison, Weber State and South Dakota State.

The reveal is based on the criteria used to select and seed the 24 teams for the Division I Football Championship. At any time during the process, the committee may consider comparative data of individual teams, including but not limited to overall record, record against Division I opponents, record against opponents from other automatic qualifying conferences, record against Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) opponents, head-to-head record, common opponents' record, FCS Coaches Poll, NCAA Simple Rating System data and input from regional advisory committees. 

The announcement is part of the continued team evaluations that will culminate with the final bracket, revealed during the selection show on Sunday, Nov. 24, at 12:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

The 2019 championship field will consist of 10 automatic qualifiers and 14 at-large qualifiers. The top eight teams will be seeded and receive first-round byes and host second-round games. The 16 other teams will bid to host first-round games. All rounds of the FCS playoffs can be seen on ESPN's family of networks with first-round games taking place Saturday, Nov. 30 and concluding with the national championship game at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, Saturday, Jan. 11 at noon (ET) on ABC.

3. Newest Hornet In the Pros

While Brandon Smith is winding down his lengthy CFL career in the Western playoffs, another former Hornet defensive back is hoping to have success north of the border next season. Mister Harriel, who graduated last season and was a first team all-Big Sky selection in 2017, has signed a contract with the B.C. Lions following a tryout in Southern California. Harriel would join quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson in the league next year should he make the regular season roster.

Sacramento State players have had a long history of success in the CFL including Hall of Famer Charles Roberts and soon-to-be Hall of Famer Ricky Ray.

4. They've Done This Before

Both NAU and Sacramento State have some veteran leadership at the quarterback position. NAU's Case Cookus is in his sixth collegiate season and is the active FCS leader with 11,121 career passing yards and 100 touchdowns. One of Cookus' favorite targets during his career was All-American Emmanuel Butler who's younger brother, Isaiah, is a cornerback with the Hornets. Kevin Thomson is also in his sixth collegiate season and ranks 24th among active players with 5,631 career passing yards.

Both Cookus and Thomson graduated high school in 2014. Other quarterbacks who graduated in 2014 or later include DeShaun Watson, Mason Rudolph, Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Kyle Allen, Gardner Minshew, Daniel Jones, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Dwayne Haskins who have all started games in the NFL this year.

5. Honorary Captain

This week's honorary captain is Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Carter. The Sacramento State alum will spend part of his bye week with the Hornets, speaking to the team on Friday night and then being on the field on Saturday for the game.

Carter holds the Sacramento State career record with 35 receiving touchdowns, ranks second with 2,760 yards and is third with 207 receptions. He set single season records as a senior in 2014 with 99 catches for 1,321 yards and 17 touchdowns. Following his collegiate career, he had stints with the Baltimore Ravens, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles before coming to the Texans last season. This year, he serves as the team's primary punt and kick returner and has also played as a slot receiver.