East Tennessee State at Jacksonville State 2018 FCS Playoff Game Breakdown

East Tennessee State at Jacksonville State
East Tennessee State has got to be thrilled to be back in the playoffs. It’s not too long ago they brought their football program back. Quarterback Austin Herink is a very good talent, but back Quay Holmes is the offense’s best player. Overall though, the numbers are a bit below normal, except in the red zone where this offense scores almost every time. The biggest factor for the Buccaneers is maybe the largest intangible of all, moxie. Of their eight wins this year, six are by a field goal or less. If this game is close, they’re going to win.
The Gamecocks are an offensive behemoth. A top 25 unit in rushing and 11th in passing, they gain over 500 yards per game total and score just under 42 points per game. Long has been the stigma that this team can’t win the big one. Now just a little under the radar, a transfer like Zerrick Cooper comes in and this team might be better than those in the past. Even those teams who were undefeated against FCS competition. Ball security is a bit of an issue, as the team has a negative turnover ratio. Defensive lineman Connor Christian anchors a tough defense that allows only one 3rd down conversion in every four attempts (25%).
If Jacksonville State can get off to a good start, this game will probably be over early. The longer the Buccaneers hang around, the more pressure will pile on the Gamecocks concerning their history. In the end, there just looks to be too much firepower for JSU to lose at home in this game.
Prediction: Jacksonville State 45, East Tennessee State 20