South Dakota State at Northern Arizona FCS Football 2013 Playoffs 1st Round Game Breakdown
South Dakota State is looking to improve on their playoff success last season when they beat Eastern Illinois in the schools second ever playoff appearance. They sealed their playoff berth last week at Youngstown State, where they crushed the Penguins 42-13. Meeting them will be a Northern Arizona team that is making its first playoff appearance in ten years. Northern Arizona was a solid team this season, finishing 9-2 and second in the conference behind the number 3 seed in the playoffs, Eastern Washington. The winner of this game is going to be decided between the offense of South Dakota State and Northern Arizona’s defense. The Jackrabbits have a prolific offense led by junior Zach Zenner, who rushed for 1,695 yards and 20 touchdowns, and Austin Sumner, who passed for 2,628 yards and 18 touchdowns. The Lumberjacks will need their defense to step up. They have been good at stopping passing offenses this year, but they have also had a stretch of the season where they gave up 30 points in four straight games. Both teams have been inconsistent on the opposite side of the ball. South Dakota State has given up a lot of yardage on defense, while Northern Arizona has a one-dimensional offense, struggling in the passing department while relying on senior RB Zach Bauman to carry the ball. What it all comes down to is if the Jackrabbits can put up some points, and if they do, they’ll win.
Projected Score: South Dakota State 31, Northern Arizona 28