South Dakota at Sam Houston State FCS Football 2017 Playoffs Second Round Breakdown

South Dakota took a road trip to Louisiana and sent Nicholls to the golf course, 38-31. Sixty-nine total points is a high scoring football game, true, but it will likely pale in comparison to this week’s return trip to the Southland. It was nice to see QB Chris Streveler back to his old ways, chucking the ball all over the field and making the occasional plays with his legs. The overall running game was nowhere to be found, as the Colonels held the Coyotes in check most of the day. The nation’s #2 overall offense will need both facets to make the quarterfinals. It’ll be interesting to see if the team from a month and a half ago shows up or the teams from three weeks ago.
The Bearkats will see USD’s #2 offense and raise it. The Sam Houston State offense is beyond scary. Much like Central Arkansas, you wonder if they’re a product of weak SLC opponents. Still, they’ve topped 40 points in eight of their eleven games and never done worse than 27. That’s a model of consistency and this model is really good. Their defense is ridiculous for a team receiving a seed, ranking #94 of 124 teams in FCS. The scoring defense is only slightly better at #84 (28.5 ppg). When your defense is giving up elite NBA scoring averages, there’s some holes. Part of that is the fact the offense is so good, they don’t stay on the field long.
Both of these teams spent most of the season in the top ten. It’s a really bad draw for SHSU, as this is one of two or three offenses that can keep pace with them and still have slightly better results defensively. This game could go over 90 total points. In fact, 100 wouldn’t be surprising. The old “first one to 50” line might hold some truth in this game. If you love offense, you better tune in for this one.
Projection: South Dakota 55, Sam Houston State 45