Jacksonville State at Maine FCS Playoff Game Breakdown

Jacksonville State at #7 Maine
Jacksonville State fell behind early to East Tennessee State, but came to life in the second half. Eventually, the Buccaneers made a comeback of their own, but fell short with Jacksonville State winning 34-27. Quarterback Zerrick Cooper played like the best player on the field, tossing three touchdown passes to receiver Shaq Davidson. Running back Jaelen Greene came up big in the win, grinding out 121 yards on just 15 carries.
One has got to give the Black Bears a lot of credit, persevering this season as their administration did them no favors with their schedule. An 8-3 record is good, but even better when you consider only four of their games were at home. There’s not a lot of flash to Maine’s offense as they don’t even rank ahead of 30 teams in the FCS. They lean on quarterback Chris Ferguson to play it safe and get the ball in the right spots. The defense always looks to make things easier and have done so most of the season. This is the #4 ranked defense, allowing an absurd 72 yards per game on the ground and just over 21 on the scoreboard. The team does have an issue as one of the most penalized teams in the country.
This is an interesting match-up. There’s no doubt that the Gamecocks have the better offense and that the Black Bears have the better defense. The question is the other sides of the ball. The general thought is that Jacksonville State is probably a little better on that other side, but one has to wonder about the weather. Rarely do the Gamecocks ever have to think about a game in the kind of inclimate weather Orono, Maine can dish out. Even in early December. Next week is calling for a temperature below freezing and in between days of snow. That could be very interesting for a team from Alabama.
Prediction: Maine 20, Jacksonville State 17