Jacksonville State at McNeese State 2013 FCS Playoffs 2nd Round Game Breakdown

Jacksonville State at McNeese State 2013 FCS Playoffs 2nd Round Game Breakdown


Jacksonville State at McNeese State, Saturday, 7:00

Jacksonville State advances to this round on the strength of a 55-14 victory over Samford, in which the Bulldogs’ tremendous offensive prowess was virtually nonexistent.  Jacksonville State held Samford to just 11 first downs and a 2-of-14 conversion rate on third downs.  Without running back Fabian Truss in the lineup to provide balance, Bulldog quarterback Andy Summerlin was held to just a 7-of-24 passing performance for 81 yards.  The Gamecocks seized their numerous chances to tee off on the Bulldog defense, as redshirt freshman quarterback Eli Jenkins completed 11-of-19 passes for 115 yards and a score, while adding another 115 on 12 carries.  One of those carries was a 72-yard touchdown score.  Star running back DaMarcus James carried the ball on 22 of the team’s 60 carries, gaining 124 of their 367 rushing yards.  James also scored twice in the game. 

The Cowboys, for their part, are known for more than just being the alma mater of Basketball Hall of Famer Joe Dumars.  Despite not making the playoffs in 2012, the Cowboys find themselves as the sixth seed in this year’s edition.  Quarterback Cody Stroud paces the McNeese offense, completing 193-of-330 passes for 2,680 yards, adding 27 touchdowns to just five interceptions.  The senior will find himself trying to throw against a Gamecock defense that has shown itself at times to be equally porous and stingy.  Stroud will have an advantage that Andy Summerlin was missing last week, though, as senior running back Marcus Wiltz (1261 yards, 11 touchdowns) will look to find open running lanes early and often.  McNeese ranks fourth in the nation in scoring offense (42.9 points per game) and red zone conversion percentage (90.9 percent), so the Gamecocks will have their hands full trying to neutralize this veteran group.  McNeese’s two losses came to then-top five Northern Iowa (who did not make this year’s field) and top-ten Southeastern Louisiana, with those losses coming by a combined margin of 82-13.  The Cowboys rank 84th in total defense, allowing just shy of 419 yards per game.  Opponents run for greater than 165 yards per game against McNeese, good for 62nd in the FCS classification. 

This game should shape up to be the back-and-forth offensive battle we didn’t get in Jacksonville last weekend, and should be close late in the fourth quarter.

Projected Score: McNeese State 35, Jacksonville State 31


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