LEBANON -- Cumberland jumped five spots to No. 16 in this week's NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25, announced by the national office on Monday after the Bulldogs ran their winning streak to five with a 22-14 victory over Shorter University.
The ranking is the highest for CU since September 26, 2000, when the Bulldogs were also rated 16th. The No. 16 national ranking is the highest for the Cumberland program since at least the 2000 season.
Cumberland lost its season opener to Austin Peay but has reeled off five consecutive victories against NAIA competition, outscoring its opponents, 143-55. The five-game winning streak is the longest for the Bulldogs since opening the 2000 season with five straight wins.
NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
LEBANON -- Cumberland defensive back Chris Simpson was named the NAIA National Defensive Player of the Week on Monday after intercepting two passes, running one back for a touchdown, and recovering a fumble in CU’s 22-14 victory over Shorter University .
The Nashville native and Maplewood High grad recovered a fumble in the third quarter and then collected two interceptions in the game's final minute, returning the first one 63 yards for a score for the final margin of victory. The second pick came on the game's final play in the end zone, as Shorter attempted a “Hail Mary” pass.
Simpson collected just two tackles in Saturday’s game but still ranks fourth on the
team in tackles with 28 and has three interceptions as well as two fumble recoveries this season.
The Cumberland defense ranks in the Top 12 nationally in total defense, rushing defense, scoring defense and passing defense and has allowed only 55 points in the last five games, all wins for the Bulldogs.
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