Sam Houston State at #2 North Dakota State FCS Football 2014 Playoffs Semifinal Game Breakdown


Sam Houston State at #2 North Dakota State, Friday, 8:00

Sam Houston State was only non-seeded team to reach the quarterfinals and they just keep on winning. After knocking off #3 Jacksonville State in the second round, the Bearkats upset #6 Villanova, 34-31. Sam Houston State played a clean game against Villanova and it was basically a back and forth affair between two equal teams. Sam Houston State kicker Luc Swimberghe made both of his field goal attempts and the Bearkats got the key plays when it mattered most and that was the difference.

SHSU will once again hit the road and look to pull off an upset. This time they are headed to #2 North Dakota State, who is coming off of their own back and forth high scoring, 39-32 contest against Coastal Carolina. Unlike Sam Houston State against Villanova, North Dakota State did outplay Coastal Carolina. The Bison totaled 500 yards of offense, while holding the Chanticleers to 383 yards, well below their season average. It was John Crockett who netted a big chunk of NDSU’s yardage. On 26 carries, he rushed for 227 yards and two touchdowns.

Sam Houston State will need to find a way to contain Crockett if they have any hope of reaching the finals. The Bearkats allowed 260 rushing yards against Jacksonville State and 286 against Villanova. Obviously they still won those games, but North Dakota State is not going to make the same mistakes those other teams made and let Sam Houston State stick around. The Bison can grind out the clock with Crockett. However, at least by their standards, the North Dakota State defense has been susceptible lately. In their playoff opener, the Bison allowed 24 points to South Dakota State. That was the most points they have given up all season; that is until last week when Coastal Carolina scored 32. If Sam Houston State can get a good game out of running backs Keshawn Hill and Jalen Overstreet, along with another consistent performance from quarterback Jared Johnson, Sam Houston State can crack the North Dakota State defense. However, the Bearkats ground game has not been very potent lately and North Dakota State will take advantage of a one-dimensional offense.

Projected Score: North Dakota State 31, Sam Houston State 14


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