Rob Weiss, FCS Update
If the first round predictions made me look educated, the quarterfinals made me look foolish. 1 out of 4, although the App St-Richmond game came down to the wire.
William and Mary 24 Southern Illinois 3
This game started out as a defensive battle. For most of the first half, W&M could not get into Saluki territory. The Salukis were moving the ball with ease, but then the Tribe defense would stiffen up. The Salukis were held to two FG attempts, one of which was no good. William and Mary broke across the 50 yard line on their last two drives. The first drive resulted in the tying FG, the second added a TD that would’ve been enough to seal the win.
The Saluki playing calling in the second half was terrible, but that’s not to say that the Tribe defense was not spectacular.
The Tribe and Coach Laycock head to Villanova where I think they have a great match-up with Villanova.
Montana 51 Stephen F. Austin 0
This game was over very quickly. The Griz were up 10-0 after one quarter, 38-0 at the half, and 48-0 after 3 quarters.
There was a point where I thought, “if anyone can come back, it would be this SFA offense.” Then there was turnover after turnover after turnover. When all was said and done the Lumberjacks was committed 10 turnovers to the Grizzlies 1.
Great play from the Griz combined with a lackluster day from the Jacks made for a terrible day for fans of the Southland conference.
Villanova 46 New Hampshire 7
New Hampshire’s first play of the game resulted in a Villanova TD. That was the way the day went for UNH.
With the field covered in a blanket of snow, the UNH lines were no match for Villanova. Nova rushed for 343 yards and only threw 5 passes all day.
UNH attempted 39 passes but only completed 17 for 150 yards. Starting QB RJ Toman was benched with a concussion after being hit again and again. The UNH line gave their QBs no protection.
The other staggering stat is UNHs -66 yards of rushing offense.
Appalachian State 35 Richmond 31
This was by far the best game of the day. Richmond held a slim lead for much of it, but then looked like they were going to pull away in the 4th quarter.
Things looked really bad for the Mountaineers when Richmond’s Eric McBride stripped the ball away on a punt return and ran it in for a TD with 3:26 remaining. (Editorial: This was a terrible play by the refs. 3 Richmond defenders had the ball carrier stopped while McBride was allowed to pull on the ball. The play should have blown dead, but was not, and there is no replay in the quarterfinals. I’m not sure that would be reviewable anyway).
App St continued the offensive dominance they showed in the 4th quarter and put a dagger in the Spiders heart with :10 left.
Richmond had a great team this year but now looks to replace important seniors, and Head Coach Mike London who has agreed to terms with Virginia.