Having football around since basically August has been amazing. The Fall FBS season was a great one that saw a dominant Alabama team take down Ohio State team to win the 2021 FBS National Championship. Now, the FCS football is drawing closer to a close. This weekend, we have both of the FCS Playoffs Semi-Finals matchups.
In our first matchup we see (1) South Dakota State hosting a Delaware team that knocked off (4) Jacksonville State last weekend, 20-14. The Jackrabbits reached the FCS Playoffs Semi-Finals by beating MVFC rival Southern Illinois, 31-26. In the our second game of the day, we have the more anticipated semi-final matchup, between (3) James Madison and (2) Sam Houston State. The Dukes got to the semi-finals by knocking off North Dakota last weekend in Harrisonburg, 34-21. As for the Bearkats, well they finally avenged their FCS Playoffs demons against North Dakota State, winning 24-20.
Let’s take a deeper look at our first semi-final matchup of Delaware vs South Dakota State.
Delaware vs South Dakota State | FCS Playoffs
Date: Saturday May 8th, 2021 | Time: Noon ET
Location: Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium — Brookings, SD
Delaware vs South Dakota State Betting Odds
Spread: DEL +9 (-110) | SDSU -9 (-110)
Moneyline: DEL (+270) | SDSU (-340)
Total: 38 — Over (-110) | Under (-110)
Going into last weekend’s matchups, I thought Jacksonville State may be the best team left in the FCS Playoffs. However, Delaware went out and proved me wrong. It’s been an odd season for the Hens. They, along with the rest of the CAA, had a lot of postponements and cancellations, so it was hard to get a good read on them. However, they are as good, if not better, than South Dakota State. Both teams are very similar. Blue Hens signal-caller Nolan Henderson inured his non-throwing shoulder last weekend, but came back to help Delaware pull out the victory. On the year, he’s thrown 10 touchdowns and four interceptions. However, the Hens have always prided themselves in the run game. CAA Offensive Player of the Year Dejoun Lee is a great back for Delaware. However, if they want to have success on the ground, they need to test the Jackrabbit’s defensive backs. If Henderson can be accurate and mobile, it will bode well for the Hens.
On the other sideline, South Dakota State has punished teams this year with their versatile and deadly offense. Quarterback Mark Gronowski, a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award, has been great this year, throwing 13 touchdowns and only 13 interceptions. However, his best friends are the tandem of Isaiah Davis and Pierre Strong Jr. at running back. South Dakota State has arguably the best offensive line in the FCS. So, if they can keep Gronowski upright, and get Strong Jr. and Davis some running lanes, it would be huge for the Jackrabbits.
FCS Playoffs Prediction: (1) South Dakota State 27, Delaware 20 (DEL +9, Over 38)
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