South Dakota at Nicholls FCS Football 2017 Playoffs First Round Breakdown

South Dakota (7-4) at Nicholls (8-3), Saturday 4:00
It wasn’t long ago that South Dakota was #3 in the CSM Top 25 and they were putting the FCS nation on notice. Just then they hit the meat grinder part of the schedule and the train derailed. QB Chris Streveler makes this offense go. He’s been dinged up a little the last few weeks, which may have contributed to some of their struggles. But if he’s fully ready to go, this offense is Elm Street scary, causing opposing defensive coordinators many restless nights. The defense isn’t as exciting, but they are opportunistic, supplying enough turnovers for the offense to keep that juggernaut fed. Don’t look too much into the four out of five losses they sustained coming into the playoffs. Everyone starts fresh now and these guys are dangerous.
The Colonels looked out of sorts on Thursday evening against Southeastern Louisiana. Most pundits left them for dead after that loss, but the Selection Committee decided to give them a second life, based mostly on a season-opening victory over McNeese. It certainly wasn’t helped by numerous close, or less than impressive, wins against the downtrodden Southland basement. This team really looks like a product of its poor competition. Nicholls is averaging just 28.0 ppg. The defense appears good, but, again, is it their schedule that made those numbers or their numbers that made their record?
This game really comes down to the health of Streveler. If he’s good to go, it’s hard to fathom Nicholls containing the Coyotes for four quarters. Other than Sam Houston State, this will easily be the toughest game the Colonels have played all season.
Projected Score: South Dakota 42, Nicholls 28