Sam Houston State at James Madison FCS Football 2016 Playoffs Quarterfinal Breakdown


Sam Houston State at James Madison, Friday, 7:00


Sam Houston State is one win away from reaching the semifinals for the fifth time in the last six years. In order to reach the semifinals, the Bearkats will have to go through James Madison. The Bearkats know how to score points as well. No team in the FCS racks up more yards or points than the Bearkats. Quarterback Jeremiah Briscoe threw for 4,096 yards and 52 yards during the regular season. The competition is about to get tougher, but Briscoe is ready to hit receivers Yedidiah Louis, Nathan Stewart and Davion Davis for plenty of big plays. During the Second Round victory at home against Chattanooga, it was the passing game that dominated. Briscoe threw for 363 yards and five touchdowns, with Louis tallying 156 yards and three touchdowns.

James Madison has a potent offense of their own. Khalid Abdullah rushed for 1,300 yards and 17 touchdowns and Cardon Johnson is a great secondary back. Quarterback Bryan Schor can do some damage with his legs too, but is also a very efficient passer. He completed 73.2 percent of his passes during the regular season for 2,026 yards and 18 touchdowns, with just three interceptions. It was the passing game that led James Madison to a 55-22 win over New Hampshire in the second round. Schor completed 30 of his 37 passes for 371 yards and five touchdowns.

The concern for the Dukes is that they have a pretty bad pass defense. The unit looked better against New Hampshire, but SHSU should be able to move the ball extremely well through the air. The key for each offense will be establishing the run and open up passing space. Both teams have solid running backs with Remus Bulmer and Corey Avery for SHSU and Khalid Abdullah for JMU. Sam Houston State certainly has a legitimate complaint to have to hit the road for this game, but the fourth seeded Dukes have the home field advantage over the fifth seeded Bearkats and that could make all of the difference.


Projected Score: James Madison 45, Sam Houston State 38


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