The Feasting Has Begun - FCS Playoffs Hit Round 2

Last week we were treated to quite the feast of American football: three NFL games on Thanksgiving, a knockout of an FBS game with Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, and of course the FCS playoffs.

Honestly, I had too much trouble pushing back from the Thanksgiving table to write last week. But what would you expect when there’s turkey, homemade cornbread dressing (dressing, mind you, not stuffing), green bean casserole, mac & cheese, rice & gravy, and pumpkin pie? That’s not to mention the Key Lime pie my bride made. I mean, seriously! Pumpkin pie is one of my favorites, but I did not turn down the addition of Key Lime pie to my dessert plate. Wait…wasn’t I writing about football? My apologies, time to get back on track here.

Thanksgiving Week Treats

Round One of the FCS playoffs left us with UIW winning in overtime, 35-28 over SFU, UT Martin squeaking out a 32-31 win over Missouri State and Eastern Washington’s defense taking center stage in a 19-9 victory over Northern Iowa. But there were some rather dominating wins: South Dakota State took the UC Davis Aggies to the woodshed; and Kennesaw State turned in an impressive 48-21 win over Davidson.

Long December, And There’s Reason to Believe

Forgive my Counting Crows reference, but after Covid-19 canceled last Fall’s season and shortened what became a Spring season, several teams are in the hunt to recover a lost season or improve on one that fell short of hopes. Both North Dakota State and South Dakota State wish to make a deep run in the playoffs this year. After losing to eventual champion Sam Houston in the quarter-final round last Spring, the Bison look to return to the dominating form that made them a dynasty over the preceding decade. They face Southern Illinois Saturday at 3:30pm EST. The Jacks made it to the Championship game in the Spring only to lose to, you guessed it, Sam Houston. They face Big Sky Champions Sacramento State at 9pm EST Saturday. Then there’s the Eastern Washington/Montana rematch late Friday night. The Eagles overcame an early deficit to defeat the Griz 34-28 at Roos Field during the regular season. For Montana, this is a return to the playoffs after having no season in 2020. This playoff tilt will be at Washington-Grizzly Stadium, where Montana is 30-7 in playoff games.

Game of The Week

My choice for Game of the Week is UIW at Sam Houston State. It will be a prime-time game for my UK readers, at 8pm BST Saturday. It’s a fine opportunity to watch the reigning FCS Champions in action, as well as an up-and-coming UIW team.

UIW has already made history by securing their first FCS playoff win last week. The Southland Conference Champs finished the season 10-2, and QB Cameron Ward leads an impressive offensive attack. He has 4,167 yards passing and an FCS lead-tying 42 TD passes. Sam Houston has won 21 straight games, the longest active Div I streak. QB Eric Schmid has 2,254 passing yards, 291 rushing and 29 total TDs.

Despite Sam Houston’s recent dominance, I daresay it will be a competitive affair. Look for an offensive display by both teams and keep an eye on turnovers and special teams.

All games this week are available ESPN+. Keep an eye out and give these games a shot!

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