10-FOR-10 One thing you should know about 10 teams in Saturday's FCS playoffs

Looking ahead to Saturday's second-round FCS playoff games, here's one thing you should know about each of the 10 teams from ASN's family of schools still playing:

10

WOFFORD (9-3)

» Saturday at The Citadel, 6 p.m. ET

Ten tackles for losses helped Wofford to a playoff victory last Saturday against 10th-ranked Charleston Southern, the Big South champion. Tyler Vaughn made one of the biggest tackles for a safety, which was the difference in Wofford's 15-14 win. The Terriers are the No. 4 rushing defense in FCS (79.2 ypg) and need to be at their best against The Citadel's FCS-leading rushing attack (358.5 ypg). Wofford counters with the No. 4 rushing offense in (282.9 ypg).

9

JACKSONVILLE STATE (10-1)

» Saturday vs. Youngstown State, 2 p.m. ET

The Gamecocks rely on the No. 9 rushing offense in FCS (244.5 yards per game) led by QB Eli Jenkins (below). The Ohio Valley Conference's Offensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season leads a trio of 700-yard rushers. Roc Thomas, another All-OVC first-teamer, and Josh Clemons combined with Jenkins for 2,308 yards and 28 TDs on the ground. Josh Barge, JSU's all-time leader, is a big-play receiver who helps the offense run. Youngstown State counters with the No. 7 rushing offense (262.9 ypg), led by Martin Ruiz (1,086 yards and 11 touchdowns).

8

VILLANOVA (9-3)

» Saturday at South Dakota State, 3 p.m. ET

Villanova takes on the No. 8 passing offense in FCS with a defense that ranks in the top eight of six defensive categories, including No. 2 in scoring defense (15.4 points per game). The Wildcats dominated St. Francis 31-21 in a playoff victory last Saturday keyed by Tanoh Kpassagnon and a defense that recorded 6 sacks and held the Red Flash to 27 rushing yards. QB Taryn Christion leads eighth-seeded South Dakota State, which had a first-round bye. He is fifth in FCS with 3,369 yards passing.

7

CHATTANOOGA (9-3)

» Saturday at Sam Houston State, 3 p.m. ET

The Mocs have held seven opponents to less than 100 yards rushing this season, including Weber State last Saturday in a 45-14 playoff victory. But that will not be the toughest challenge for the No. 6 total defense in FCS. Chattanooga faces the No. 2 passing offense in FCS. Sam Houston State also leads in scoring (54.2 ppg). But the Mocs can consider themselves battled tested. They held Alabama to 332 total yards on Nov. 20, the Crimson Tide's third-lowest output the past two seasons.

6

THE CITADEL (10-1)

» Saturday vs. Wofford, 6 p.m. ET

It's been six years since two conference teams have met in the FCS playoffs — Georgia Southern topped Wofford 23-20 in 2010. Wofford appears to be at a disadvantage again since The Citadel beat the Terriers at home on Oct. 22. But it took overtime for the Bulldogs to win the Southern Conference dogfight, 24-21. But The Citadel's triple-option attack, led by QB Dominique Allen and FB Tyler Renew, can chew up some serious yards. The Bulldogs are first in FCS rushing (358.5 ypg).

5

SAM HOUSTON STATE (11-0)

» Saturday vs. Chattanooga, 3 p.m. ET

After getting only the No. 5 FCS playoff seed despite being No. 1-ranked and undefeated, Sam Houston State feels it has something to prove. “There’s definitely a chip on the shoulder,” said Bearkats head coach K.C. Keeler, who won the 2003 national championship at Delaware. “We were a No. 3 seed last year, a No. 4 seed the year before and this team is better than those teams.” SHSU is gunning for its first title led by FCS passing leader Jeremiah Briscoe (4,096 yards and 52 TDs).

4

JAMES MADISON (10-1)

» Saturday vs. New Hampshire, 2 p.m. ET

No. 4-seeded James Madison doesn't plan to break stride in its CAA Football rematch against New Hampshire. The Dukes are No. 4 in FCS rushing offense (297.1 ypg) led by ASN's FCS Player of the Year Khalid Abdullah (1,300 yards and 17 TDs). They can also pass. QB Bryan Schor (17) has completed 73.2% of his passes to lead FCS for 2,026 yards and 18 TDs with only 3 interceptions. The Dukes survived a fierce Wildcats rally to win 42-39 on Oct. 15 as the teams combined for 1,006 total yards.

3

NEW HAMPSHIRE (8-4)

» Saturday at James Madison, 2 p.m. ET

QB Adam Riese threw 3 TDs in his first start last Saturday, leading New Hampshire's 64-21 playoff rout of Lehigh. Starting for the injured Trevor Knight, Riese threw for a career-high 273 yards and Dalton Crossan (27) rushed for 184 yards and 3 TDs. Riese gets another chance to beat JMU after nearly leading the Wildcats back from a 42-12 deficit against the Dukes on Oct. 15. In the game's final 10 minutes, he led four TD drives, passing for 2 TDs and running for another, in a 42-39 loss.

2

CENTRAL ARKANSAS (10-2)

» Saturday at Eastern Washington, 4 p.m. ET

Central Arkansas takes the No. 2 rushing defense in FCS to Cheney, Wash., to face No. 2-seed Eastern Washington. But the Bears will need to bring their A-game against the No. 1 passing offense in FCS. Eastern Washington is averaging 406.8 yards per game with 45 TDs. QB Gale Gubrud (4,071 yards and 40 TDs) is third in passing and WR Cooper Rupp is the all-time FCS leader in receptions and yards. This season, Rupp is third in FCS with 1,297 yards and 12 TDs.

1

RICHMOND (9-3)

» Saturday at North Dakota, 6 p.m. ET

There's a new star quarterback at Richmond — Kevin Johnson. In his first start replacing the injured Kyle Lauletta, the sophomore passed for 315 yards and a TD to lead a 39-10 playoff victory against North Carolina A&T. He also ran for a TD and redshirt freshman Deontez Thompson rushed for 98 yards and a TD. The Spiders are now one of five teams with a playoff win in each of the past three years. To keep going, they have to beat a North Dakota team that's on a nine-game winning streak.

FCS BRACKET

Photo credits: James Madison and Bryan Schor courtesy James Madison Athletics; Wofford courtesy Wofford Athletics; Eli Jenkins courtesy Jacksonville State Athletics; Villanova courtesy Villanova Athletics; Chattanooga courtesy Jeff Hurndon; The Citadel courtesy The Citadel Athletics; Sam Houston State courtesy SHSU Athletics; Dalton Crossan courtesy New Hampshire Athletics; Kevin Johnson courtesy Richmond Athletics; Central Arkansas defense courtesy UCA Athletics

Created By
Mike Bambach
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