Furman at #1 North Dakota State 2013 FCS Playoffs 2nd Round Game Breakdown

Furman at #1 North Dakota State 2013 FCS Playoffs 2nd Round Game Breakdown


Furman at #1 North Dakota State, Saturday, 3:30

It is often said that there is beauty in imperfection.  If this is the case, Furman’s performance at South Carolina State last weekend was simply gorgeous.  Star running back Hank McCloud carried just ten times for 65 yards, leaving the heavy lifting on the ground to fellow back Tanner Skogen.  Skogen carried 13 times for 116 yards .  Furman managed just 12 first downs and converted only 2-of-10 third downs.  Starting quarterback Reese Hannon, who had been so effective the week before, completed 3-of-10 passes for 67 yards -- 50 of those yards on one touchdown pass to Ryan Culbreath -- and was intercepted once.   The resurgent Paladin defense and special teams helped to deliver the 30-20 victory, with Jairus Hollman scoring on a 90-yard punt return and a 34-yard return of a Richard Cue interception.  South Carolina State was on the field for 75 plays, versus 47 for Furman.

North Dakota State is known to many for their season-opening victory at Kansas State.  The 24-21 victory drew a handwritten note of congratulations from K-State coach Bill Snyder.  The Bison defeated three ranked opponents at the FCS level this season, including handing Northern Iowa a loss that would begin a five-game losing streak and eventually knock them from the playoffs.  NDSU is a top-ten team in many significant categories, and is 12th in rushing offense (237.7 yards per game).   They also rank 24th (442.6 yards per game) in total offense.  An impressive running combination takes up residence in the Fargodome, with Sam Ojuri (1,002 rushing yards) and John Crockett (939 yards) dominating the action on the ground.  North Dakota State’s defense has allowed greater than 20 points just three times this year (Kansas State, Northern Iowa and Missouri State), and ranks second in total defense (243 yards per game).   Opposing runners average just 90.7 yards per game (2nd nationally) against the Bison.  Passers have found equally low amounts of success, throwing for just 152.3 yards per game.  Since the Missouri State contest, the Bison have outscored their opponents 192-47. 

This is the second consecutive year in which a Southern Conference foe will travel to Fargo.  NDSU defeated Wofford 14-7 in the quarterfinals of the playoffs last season.

Projected Score: North Dakota State 24, Furman 14


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