Delaware climbs to No. 2 in I-AA coaches poll

Updated: October 27, 2003, 5:01 PM ET

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey - Deleware is closing the gap on top-ranked McNeese State in the ESPN/USA Today Division I-AA poll.

The Blue Hens, who are coming off an impressive 21-17 victory over Division I-A Navy that allowed them to match their 8-0 start in 2000, jumped one spot to second.

Delaware collected nine first-place votes and 1,047 points in the latest poll released Monday. It is just 13 points behind McNeese State (6-1), which garnered 31 first-place ballots following a 56-37 win over Sam Houston State.

Southern Illinois (8-0), one of five unbeaten teams in the poll, earned the other three first-place votes and climbed one spot to third. Massachusetts (7-1) and Wofford (7-1) also moved up a notch and complete the top five.

Nothern Iowa (7-1), Western Kentucky (6-2), Villanova (6-1), Bethune Cookman (6-1) and Montana round out the top 10. Villanova fell six spots after a 19-14 loss to Massachusetts, which had been fifth.

Pennsylvania (6-0), which is not eligible for the Division I-AA playoffs per Ivy League rules, starts the second 10. The Quakers are followed by Western Illinois (5-3), Colgate (8-0), Grambling (6-2), Nothern Arizona (6-2), Florida Atlantic (6-2), Southern (7-1), Harvard (6-0), North Carolina A&T (7-1) and Furman (5-3).

Pennsylvania and Harvard remained undefeated with overtime victories. The Quakers defeated Yale, 34-31, and the Crimson outlasted Princeton, 43-40.

Completing the poll are Hampton (6-1), Fordham (6-2), Idaho State (5-3), Northwestern State (6-3) and The Citadel (5-3).

Northwestern State fell six spots after falling to Nicholls State, 40-30, while The Citadel entered the top 25 for the first time this season with a 28-24 victory over No. 20 Georgia Southern, which was the only team to drop out.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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