After shutting out The Citadel 17-0, Mercer received its highest ranking in program history, at No. 16, in the American Football Coaches Association Football Championship Subdivision Coaches Poll.
The Bears are one of three Southern Conference teams ranked in the top 25 of the AFCA FCS Coaches Poll. Chattanooga was ranked No. 9, and Samford was ranked No. 22.
The Mercer defense shutout The Citadel Bulldogs and quarterback Fred Payton connected with wide receiver Ty James for two third-quarter touchdown passes, leading Mercer to a 17-0 victory over The Citadel in the SoCon opener for the Bears on Sept. 17 at Five Star Stadium.