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The 2022 FCS Playoffs Quarterfinals took place over two days, with four semifinal spots at stake.
A big upset made headlines when a top two seedling fell, triggering guaranteed chaos despite a recent champion and the top seedling’s rise to the last four.
Below we will outline the Quarterfinals results and preview the Semifinals.
Friday, Saturday quarterfinal results
No. 3 State of North Dakota 27, No. 6 Samford 9
No. 4 Montana State 55, No. 5 William & Mary 7
#7 UIW 66, #2 Sacramento State 63
#1 South Dakota State 42, #8 Holy Cross 21
Semi-finals and schedule
No. 3 North Dakota State vs. No. 7 UIW (Friday, December 16 at 9:00 p.m. ET)
No. 4 Montana State vs. No. 1 South Dakota State (Saturday, December 17 at 4:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2)
Full mount available at NCAA.com.
Preview of the semifinals
Defending champion North Dakota State, the third seed this year, did not flirt with an upset in a 27-9 sacking of sixth-seeded Samford in the quarterfinals.
Quarterback Cam Miller went 15 of 18 for 194 yards and a passing touchdown, adding 21 yards and a score on the floor. His offense chewed 39:05 of the game clock through 48 carries for 166 yards and two touchdowns, and the defense didn’t give up a touchdown until late in the fourth quarter.
Now NDSU, semifinalists in 11 of the last 12 seasons and a nine-time champion since 2011, must face an angry Incarnate Word.
“I wouldn’t say there’s any pressure,” Miller said, according to InForum’s Eric Peterson. “This program will do what it does.”
But the magic season for No. 7 Cardinals has amazing dynamic. In the quarterfinals, the San Antonio school defeated No. 2 Sacramento State when quarterback Lindsey Scott Jr. threw a game winner with 27 seconds left.
The highest-scoring game in FCS playoff history earned UIW a semifinal berth in Division I for the first time in the program’s 10-year history.
UIW football @UIWFootball
𝗦𝗘𝗠𝗜𝗙𝗜𝗡𝗔𝗟𝗦 𝗕𝗢𝗨𝗡𝗗 🔥🔥🔥#TheWord | #FCSPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/3qbUyWRObR
Scott changes the outlook on what was otherwise the Bison, who looked like a predictable favorite in the semifinals. In the excitement, he threw for 219 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 166 yards and two more points. This explosive performance is a possible counterbalance to NDSU’s ball-controlling style.
The other semi-final offers a similar atmosphere.
Top-seeded South Dakota fell 14-6 to Holy Cross in the first half of the quarterfinals game. An interception return for a touchdown broke the 14-14 tie before Mark Gronowski threw for a touchdown and ran for another late in the fourth quarter.
SDSU football @GoJacksFB
Q4 2:39 | SDSU 35, Holy Cross 21#GoJacks 🐰🏈
📹: ESPN pic.twitter.com/wbgVqIqiWT
Fourth-placed Montana State had no trouble in the quarterfinals, knocking out fifth-placed William & Mary.
Running back Isaiah Ifanse rushed for 162 yards and two scores at an average of 14.7 per carry, and quarterback Tommy Mellott had the team’s other three rushing scores. William & Mary completed the shutout with approximately three minutes remaining.
This leads to a matchup between two criminals who prefer to impose their will on the ground.
Montana State led FCS into the Quarterfinals with an average of 331.8 rushing yards per game to Jackrabbits 165.8 (45th), making the task for the bracket’s top seed once again immense.
And of course, the possibility of an All-Dakota title game remains, although two disgruntled upstarts have their eyes on keeping their own stories alive.