WACO, Texas (Oct. 18) â€“ After posting the fourth 7-0 start in school history, the California University of Pennsylvania football team garnered its highest-ever national-ranking at No. 3 in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Top 25 Poll on Monday.
The Vulcans advanced one spot in the coachesâ€™ poll following a 28-3 win over Slippery Rock, while previous No. 3 North Alabama lost to nationally-ranked Valdosta State, 5-0. Cal U also retained the top spot in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Lambert Meadowlands poll, which was also released on Monday.
Cal U has been ranked in each of the AFCA polls this season after entering the year with a preseason ranking of No. 6. From 2007-09, the Vulcans were ranked in the AFCA Top 25 poll for a school record 28-straight weeks before finishing the year at No. 7. Cal U is one of eight remaining undefeated teams in NCAA Division II this year.
In addition to ranking among the nationâ€™s elite in the polls, the Vulcans are also among the premier teams statistically in 2010. This season, Cal U ranks second in NCAA Division II in total defense at 215.1 yards per game and fourth in rushing defense at 62.4 yards per game. The Vulcans also are tied for third in turnover margin, averaging a plus-2.00 per game (+14). Individually, sophomore Lamont Smith (Penn Hills, Pa./Central Catholic/Phoenix) ranks fourth in the country in rushing with 137.9 rushing yards per game and senior quarterback Josh Portis (Woodland Hills, Calif./William H. Taft/Maryland) is eighth with a passing efficiency of 161.25.
The Vulcans return to action on Saturday, Oct. 23, when they travel to face Mercyhurst in Erie, Pa., at 12 p.m.