FCS Playoff Game Breakdown: Illinois State at Central Arkansas

Illinois State at Central Arkansas
Many people thought Illinois State were going to have a tough time at Southeast Missouri State, but it just didn’t happen. Running back James Robinson literally took the team on his back, rushing 41 times for 297 yards. If there was such an award called the “Lunch Pail,” for going to work and earning it, Robinson did it this week. Still, the Redbird offense is bothered by injuries. Bryce Jefferson, a redshirt freshman, made his first career start in the First Round. He threw only seven passes, completing four for 52 yards, but one did go for a score. The defense came up big, picking off a couple passes in the second half and holding a pretty good Redhawk offense to a mere six points.
Central Arkansas has got to be chomping at the bit to get the playoffs underway. There are many who question the legitimacy of the Bears receiving a national seed and a bye and they’re going to be ready to prove those doubters wrong. The offense is mostly a passing outfit led by quarterback Breylin Smith, who’s thrown for over 3500 yards this season. There’s not a lot of rushing attack to consider, as the Bears rank 118th nationally carrying the rock. The defense has trouble holding opponents scoring in check at times, but cornerbacks Juan Jackson and Robert Rochell are both playmakers.
This is a tough game to call. Central Arkansas has had a week of extra rest and the ability to watch their opponent play in live time. The Bears rushing defense is slightly better than it is against the pass and it better be on point this game. Both offenses are heavily leaning towards a one-sided attack, so the other team should know what to expect.
Prediction: Illinois State 24, Central Arkansas 20