The 1st Round of the FCS playoffs has concluded and the day was dominated by blowouts. Here are the quick recaps of each game:
Furman (7-5) at South Carolina State (9-3)
This game was close until just past halfway in the 3rd quarter when Furman defender Jairus Hollman had a pick 6 to make the Furman lead 27-13. South Carolina State did get a touchdown back early in the 4th quarter, but a field goal by Furman kicker Ray Early put the game out of reach as Furman won by a final score of 30-20. Furman running back Tanner Skogen had 116 yards on the day. Furman will now travel to the Fargodome and take on #1 North Dakota State in the 2nd round.
Bethune-Cookman (10-2) at Coastal Carolina (10-2)
Coastal Carolina used a big 1st quarter to crush Bethune-Cookman 48-28. Coastal Carolina’s Alex Ross threw 2 touchdown passes and Mike McClure had a 39 yard fumble return to give them a 21-3 lead after the 1st quarter. Alex Ross ended up throwing for 256 yards and 4 touchdowns. Coastal Carolina will travel to Missoula and face #8 Montana next week.
Lafayette (5-6) at New Hampshire (7-4)
This game was over early as New Hampshire strolled to a 45-7 victory over Lafayette. UNH had 551 yards of total offense and were balanced (268 yards passing and 283 yards rushing). Sean Goldrich had 267 yards and 2 touchdowns for UNH. New Hampshire will go on the road and face fellow Colonial Athletic foe #5 Maine.
Southern Utah (8-4) at Sam Houston State (8-4)
Southern Utah jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the 1st quarter, but Sam Houston State outscored them 51-10 in last 46:31 of the game in a 51-20 Sam Houston State win. Timothy Flanders led the way for SHSU with 176 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. Keshawn Hill also added 101 yards and 2 touchdowns on 7 carries for SHSU. The stat of the game was the rushing yards for each team. Sam Houston State amassed 355 yards on the ground compared to 47 for Southern Utah. Sam Houston State will take on #4 Southeastern Louisiana in the 2nd round.
South Dakota State (8-4) at Northern Arizona (9-2)
This game turned in the 3rd quarter with the game tied at 7 apiece. South Dakota State stopped Northern Arizona running back Zach Bauman in the end zone for a safety. On the ensuing drive for South Dakota State, Zach Zenner ran for a 34 yard touchdown to put the game out of reach at 16-7. Northern Arizona could not muster any offense from running back Zach Bauman after quarterback Kyren Poe’s injury. South Dakota State won by a final score of 26-7. South Dakota State will travel to #3 Eastern Washington for the 2nd round game.
Samford (8-4) at Jacksonville State (9-3)
Jacksonville State completely dominated from start to finish as they crushed Samford 55-14. Eli Jenkins had 115 yards passing and a touchdown throwing in addition to 115 yards rushing and another touchdown. As a team, Jacksonville State had 367 yards rushing and 5 touchdowns. Defensively, Jacksonville State held Samford to 201 yards of total offense. Jacksonville State will take on #6 McNeese State on December 7.
Sacred Heart (10-2) at Fordham (11-1)
Michael Nebrich had 413 yards and 3 touchdowns through the air for Fordham as they got past Sacred Heart 37-27. Nebrich also added 38 yards and a touchdown on the ground for Fordham. Sacred Heart had 4 turnovers which hurt their chances immensely in the 10 point loss. Fordham gets to play #7 Towson in next week’s 2nd round action.
Tennessee State (9-3) at Butler (9-3)
Tennessee State’s defense shutdown Butler’s offense en route to a 31-0 victory in the 1st round. Michael German threw for 201 yards and 2 touchdowns for Tennessee State. Tennessee State picked off Butler quarterback Matt Lancaster 3 times, returning one for a touchdown. Tennessee State will face fellow Ohio Valley team #2 Eastern Illinois next week.
2nd Round Matchups
All games are to be played on Saturday, December 7 and can be seen on ESPN3.
– Furman (8-5) at #1 North Dakota State (11-0) – 3:30 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. The winner of this game faces the winner of the Coastal Carolina at Montana game on December 13 or 14.
– Coastal Carolina (11-2) at #8 Montana (10-2) – 2 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. The winner of this game faces the winner of Furman at #1 North Dakota State on December 13 or 14.
– New Hampshire (8-4) at #5 Maine (10-2) – 2 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. The winner of this game will face the winner of Sam Houston State at #4 Southeastern Louisiana on December 13 or 14.
– Sam Houston State (9-4) at #4 Southeastern Louisiana (10-2) – 8 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. The winner of this game will face the winner of New Hampshire at #5 Maine on December 13 or 14.
– South Dakota State (9-4) at #3 Eastern Washington (10-2) – 4 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. The winner of this game will face the winner of Jacksonville State at #6 McNeese State on December 13 or 14.
– Jacksonville State (10-3) at #6 McNeese State (10-2) – 7 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. The winner of this game will face the winner of South Dakota State at #3 Eastern Washington on December 13 or 14.
– Fordham (12-1) at #7 Towson (10-2) – 1 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. The winner of this game will face the winner of Tennessee State at #2 Eastern Illinois on December 13 or 14.
– Tennessee State (10-3) at #2 Eastern Illinois (11-1) – 2 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. The winner of this game will face the winner of Fordham at #7 Towson on December 13 or 14.
2nd Round Predictions
I went 5-3 in my 1st Round predictions I made in my FCS Playoffs Preview. I was wrong about South Carolina State, Northern Arizona, and Samford. Here are my 2nd round picks:
– Furman at #1 North Dakota State – This one will be ALL North Dakota State and it won’t be close. 45-3 for the Bison as they look to make it 3 National Championships in a row.
– Coastal Carolina at #8 Montana – I think this will be a high scoring affair, but I like the home team to prevail. As of this writing the temperature is expected to be in the low teens. That will favor Montana and I like them to win 52-30.
– New Hampshire at #5 Maine – This is a rematch of the regular season game that New Hampshire won at home 24-3 on November 23. I like New Hampshire to prevail once again in another defensive battle, 20-16.
– Sam Houston State at #4 Southeastern Louisiana – Another regular season rematch, this was won the first time around by Southeastern Louisiana 34-21 AT Sam Houston State. I really want to say Sam Houston State will win this, but SE Louisiana has been very good this season and I will take them to win 42-34.
– South Dakota State at #3 Eastern Washington – I like Eastern Washington in this one by a big margin. I caught most of the South Dakota State-Northern Arizona game and I do not feel like SDSU will do enough to contend in this one. EWU wins 42-20 over SDSU.
– Jacksonville State at #6 McNeese State – I expect a high scoring and close game throughout. I think McNeese State at home will win 45-38 and make the Quarterfinals.
– Fordham at #7 Towson – Another tough one for me to call. Fordham has that single loss on the season to Lafayette and Towson lost to Villanova and Delaware, both at home. I will go with Fordham in a slight upset 30-27.
– Tennessee State at #2 Eastern Illinois – The third instance of a regular season rematch in this round’s slate of games. On October 26, Eastern Illinois went on the road and beat Tennessee State 34-16. With this being at Eastern Illinois, I like a repeat of the earlier game. I like EIU 41-21 over Tennessee State.
Be sure to enjoy the 2nd round action of the FCS Playoffs. Check back next week for 2nd Round recaps and predictions for the Quarterfinals.