South Dakota State at James Madison FCS Football 2017 Playoffs Semifinals Breakdown

It seems like New Hampshire was dead set on elite TE Dallas Goedert not beating them. Well, they accomplished that feat, as the future Sunday NFLer had only one catch for 19 yards. But devoting that kind of attention leaves a lot of better looks for players like similar future NFLer, WR Jake Wieneke. He had nine catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns, not to mention a run of his own for 48 yards and another score. Wieneke delivered in the Jackrabbits biggest moment to date. South Dakota State scored almost at will against a generally, pretty stout New Hampshire defense. Since losing in mid-October to Northern Iowa, the Jacks might be playing better than anybody in the nation, defending champions included.
James Madison has been largely without duress all season long. They’ve played with the lead a majority of the time and had never trailed in the final stanza, until this week. Weber State traveled across the country and put the Dukes under duress. But give the defending champions a lot of credit, they took a legitimate contenders best punch and returned their own. JMU scored a touchdown, converted a two-point conversion and nailed a last second field goal, all in the final three minutes, after falling behind 28-20. QB Bryan Schor was not as accurate as normal, completing only 21 of 45, but did so for a huge 359 yards. RB Marcus Marshall was also a big contributor, taking a scant 14 carries for 128 yards and two scores.
This game is extremely tough to call. South Dakota State is absolutely ablaze right now and James Madison’s defense looked a little vulnerable last week against a good Wildcat offense. But Weber State doesn’t have the Jackrabbits offense, no disrespect. In that same light, Weber State has a better defense than SDSU, and James Madison put up 31. And that 31 was despite its typically efficiency. SDSU is battle tested and will not be affected by the Dukes ravenous home crowd. If each plays as they did this week, the roadie has the nod. Don’t count on James Madison playing that poorly twice in a row.
Projected score: James Madison 35, South Dakota State 34