FCS Playoff Central – Semifinals
Welcome to Phil Steele’s FCS Playoff Central. Here you’ll find a breakdown of who is playing in the Semifinals. Click on any helmet (and speaking of the helmets, make sure to visit The Helmet Project) to go to the team’s page. Check out the schedules/results for all of the playoff teams. Get the latest news and stats from the teams themselves. See how the team’s did last week. Don’t forget to update your bracket. And – best yet – vote for you who think will get into the big game!
North Dakota State
Friday, December 14th • 8:00 pm ET • espn2
For the third-straight year Georgia Southern (10-3) will play in the FCS Semifinals and for a second-straight year will travel to North Dakota State (12-1) for the game. The Eagles will play on Friday night for the first time in school history and for just the fourth time on a day other than Saturday. Friday will be the third series meeting between the two schools with the last two coming in the FCS Semifinals. North Dakota State has won both previous contests. Top-seeded North Dakota State defeated Wofford College 14-7 on Dec. 8. The Bison are 3-0 against members of the Southern Conference. Members of the MVFC are 5-13 against the SoCon in the playoffs. NDSU is 21-3 over the last three seasons at home and is 51-12 since head coach Craig Bohl took over in 2003.
Sam Houston St
Saturday, December 15th • 4:00 pm ET • espnU
The game marks Sam Houston’s third appearance in the semifinals and the second year in a row the Bearkats have reached the Championships final four. Last year, Sam Houston punched its ticket for the NCAA Division I championship finals at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco with a 31-28 victory over Montana in the semifinals in Huntsville. Eastern Washington and Sam Houston State’s only previous football meeting came in the NCAA quarterfinals in 2004, a contest voted by Bearkat football fans as SHSU’s “Game of the Decade”. Down 20 points with 14 minutes to play on Dec. 4, 2004, in Cheney, quarterback Dustin Long led a Kat rally that ended with the winning touchdown and PAT on the final play of the game. Second-seeded Eastern, which ranked fourth in the final regular season Sports Network Top-25 poll, advanced to the semifinals with a wild 51-35 victory over Illinois State on Dec. 8, and will enter this week’s game 11-2. The Eagles, who have won five games in a row, defeated Wagner 29-19 in the second round on Dec. 1. This week’s EWU-SHSU meeting is only the beginning, as the two teams announced last June that they will start a home-and-home series beginning in the 2013 campaign. Eastern has made nine playoff appearances (1985, 1992, 1997, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012), while the Bearkats have now made six (1986, 1991, 2001, 2004, 2011, 2012).