2014 Division 3 Football Semifinals Predictions

Linfield has looked excellent in their first three playoff games (Tom Kelly IV/Delaware County Daily Times)
Linfield has looked excellent in their first three playoff games (Tom Kelly IV/Delaware County Daily Times)

 

2014 Division 3 Football Semifinals Predictions

The penultimate playoff week in the 2014 Division 3 football season occurs this Saturday with the semifinals. By the conclusion of the games on Saturday evening we will know whether or not we will see yet another Mount Union and Wisconsin-Whitewater Stagg Bowl. In Division 3 football you have to beat the champs in order to be the champs. This is a great opportunity for both Linfield and Wesley.

In round one, we went a perfect 16-0 in predicting the Division 3 football playoffs. Round two saw a regression to 5-3 while the Quarterfinals produced a 4-0 record. You can find the predictions of round 1 here, round 2 here, and the quarterfinals here. Let’s hope the pattern of up and down does not continue and we go 2-0. Here are the 2014 Division 3 Football Semifinals Predictions.

 

Wesley Wolverines (12-1) at Mount Union Purple Raiders (13-0) – 12 PM ET on ESPNU

Top seeds in their respective quadrant, Wesley and Mount Union both have excellent offenses. Last year produced an unbelievable 62-59 game that Mount Union won after leading 31-0 in the first quarter. While this game probably is not going to produce nearly as many points, this game should be just as exciting. Wesley has waited a year for a chance to beat Mount Union and the Purple Raiders will be ready. In an exciting battle, Wesley’s offense gets the job done in a 34-31 upset of Mount Union.

 

Linfield Wildcats (11-1) at Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks (13-0) – 3:30 PM ET on ESPNU

Linfield is on a mission this year and they have been impressive in their three games. They crushed Chapman at home 55-24 and then beat Mary Hardin-Baylor on the road 31-28. Last week’s game was quite impressive with a 45-7 road victory over Widener in Pennsylvania with an early start time. Meanwhile, Whitewater looked far from impressive last week when they fell behind 33-14 to Wartburg. To their credit, they did rally to score 21 fourth quarter points to get the win. However, if the Warhawks have a repeat of last week’s game they will not be so lucky against Linfield. Right now, Linfield is too hot to ignore and they will pull the upset 31-27 over Whitewater.

 

2014 Stagg Bowl

If you skipped to this part without reading the two paragraphs above, the 2014 Stagg Bowl is predicted as being Linfield taking on Wesley. It may be hard to imagine there being a year without Mount Union or Whitewater in the Stagg Bowl this could be it. Then again, maybe these predictions are completely wrong and it will be Mount Union and Whitewater for the 9th time in 10 years.

Check back here on Saturday for a recap of the two semifinal games.

2014 FCS Playoffs Quarterfinals Predictions

Coastal Carolina and North Dakota State square off in the Quarterfinals for the second consecutive season ((AP Photo/Kevin Cederstrom)
Coastal Carolina and North Dakota State square off in the Quarterfinals for the second consecutive season ((AP Photo/Kevin Cederstrom)

2014 FCS Playoffs Quarterfinals Predictions

By the end of the games on Saturday there will be only 4 teams standing after the conclusion of the Quarterfinal matchups. Round 1 provided a record of 5-3 and those predictions can be found here. The Second round was much better with an 8-0 record and those picks can be found here. Let’s see if we can make it 4-0 this weekend with the 2014 FCS Playoffs Quarterfinals Predictions.

 

#8 Chattanooga Mocs (10-3) at #1 New Hampshire Wildcats (11-1) – 8 PM ET on ESPN2

Chattanooga looked solid last week against Indiana State, but there are some glaring issues they need to address if they are to win. They struggled in the red zone especially with a chance to put the Sycamores away. They cannot have a repeat and expect to win against New Hampshire. The Wildcats did an excellent job of holding the Fordham passing attack to 161 yards last week. This has the feel of a shootout with New Hampshire coming out on top 42-31.

 

#5 Illinois State Redbirds (11-1) at #4 Eastern Washington Eagles (11-2) – 4:00 PM ET on ESPN3

Both teams looked good in their second round matchups last week at home. Illinois State took care of fellow Missouri Valley Football Conference foe Northern Iowa while Eastern Washington held Montana in check. This game figures to be even both on paper and on the field. As mentioned last week, EWU has only two losses with both coming on the road. ISU has one loss to Northern Iowa on the road, but were also tested in two others. Let’s go wtih Eastern Washington at home by a field goal, 41-38 though it would not be surprising to see Illinois State come out with the win.

 

Sam Houston State Bearkats (10-4) at #6 Villanova Wildcats (12-2) – 1 PM ET on ESPN3

Sam Houston State has been impressive during their 7 game win streak including last week’s victory over the third seeded Jacksonville State Gamecocks. Their defense has been very good, especially in the second half of both playoff games. Villanova struggled with a better than expected Liberty team last week and needed a fourth quarter touchdown to win. This game figures to be close and we will go with Sam Houston State to win a third straight road playoff 27-24.

 

#7 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (12-1) at #2 North Dakota State (12-1) – 12 PM ET on ESPN

This game has some revenge factor in it. In 2013, Coastal Carolina went into the FargoDome and got smashed by North Dakota State 48-14 in the Quarterfinals. The Chanticleers are back in 2014 in the Quarterfinals once more. The good news for Coastal Carolina is that the Bison do not look as dominant as they have in the past three years, but the Bison are still the three-time defending FCS Champions and are at home. NDSU needed a late touchdown last week to beat South Dakota State, but they showed the mettle of a champion in doing so. This game will not be a 34 point blowout, but it is hard to pick against NDSU at home in the playoffs. The Bison hang on for another week 24-21.

 

Semifinal Matchups

Based on the outcomes predicted above the semifinal games would be as follows:

#4 Eastern Washington Eagles at #1 New Hampshire Wildcats

Sam Houston State Bearkats at #2 North Dakota State Bison

Be sure to check back this weekend for the wrap up of the four quarterfinal games.