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South Dakota State vs Sam Houston State College Football Betting Preview | FCS Championship 2021

Unfortunately, this weekend will officially close out the 2020-21 college football season. While two college football blue bloods met for the title in January, the FCS Championship will pit up-and-coming programs — South Dakota State and Sam Houston State.

The South Dakota State Jackrabbits’ path to the final has been easy, or at least they’ve made it look that way. In the first round, the Jackrabbits breezed by Holy Cross,31-3. The next matchup was not so easy, against MVFC rival Southern Illinois. The Bunnies put up 21 second half points to get by the Salukis, 31-26. In the semi-finals, the Jackrabbits gave up three early points to CAA powerhouse Delaware, then used an unprecedented 33-0 run to reach the title game. This will be the first trip to the title game for the Jackrabbits, while the Bearkats are making their first title game appearance since 2012.

(1) South Dakota State Cruises By Delaware

The road to the title game wasn’t easy, especially for Head Coach K.C. Keeler and his Sam Houston State Bearkats. They beat a good, young Monmouth team in the first round, 21-15. After that, they exercised their FCS Playoffs demons by beating North Dakota State in the quarterfinals. Finally last weekend, the Kats used an amazing second half comeback to get by James Madison and send them to the title game.

(2) Sam Houston State Comeback vs (3) James Madison

The South Dakota State Jackrabbits’ path to the final has been easy, or at least they’ve made it look that way. In the first round, the Jackrabbits breezed by Holy Cross, 31-3. The next matchup was not so easy, against MVFC rival Southern Illinois. The Bunnies put up 21 second half points to get by the Salukis, 31-26. In the semi-finals, the Jackrabbits gave up three early points to CAA powerhouse Delaware, then used an unprecedented 33-0 run to reach the title game. This will be the first trip to the title game for the Jackrabbits, while the Bearkats are making their first title game appearance since 2012.

South Dakota State vs Sam Houston State | FCS Championship Coverage, Location & Time

Date: Sunday May 16th, 2021 | Time: 2 PM ET
Coverage: ABC
Location: Toyota Stadium — Frisco, TX

fcs championship south dakota state vs sam houston state football betting
Credit: Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle

South Dakota State vs Sam Houston State | FCS Championship College Football Betting Odds

Spread: SDSU -5.5 (-110) | SHSU +5.5 (-110)
Moneyline: SDSU (-190) | SHSU (+165)
Total: 47.5 — Over (-110) | Under (-110)

South Dakota State has made their path to the National Championship look easy. Jerry Rice Award finalist quarterback Mark Gronowski has been excellent in the Rabbits’ playoff run. He’s a true dual-threat in the pocket, throwing for 13 touchdowns and running for another seven. The two-pronged backfield attack of Pierre Strong Jr. and Isaiah Davis have combined to rush for over 1,100 yards and nine touchdowns. In their lone loss of the season to North Dakota, they rushed for less than 100 total yards and were plagued by two Gronowski interceptions. Since then, the Jackrabbits have won seven straight and outscored their opponents by a combined score of 230-79. On defense, the Jackrabbits have linebackers Adam Bock and Logan Backhaus, who have combined for 117 tackles. Keep an eye on defensive back Joshua Manchigiah, he has four interceptions on the year.

K.C. Keeler is looking for his second national title as a head coach. He won it all with Delaware in 2003, but the Bearkats have been haunted by postseason nightmares over the past few years. As stated earlier, all Kat fans remember the 55-13 loss handed to them by North Dakota State in the 2017 FCS Semi-Finals. Well, they avenged that loss two weekends ago by beating the Bison to advance and face off against James Madison. The Dukes were favored, but Keeler’s guys used an incredible second-half comeback to reach the championship game. On offense, as Eric Schmid goes, so does the offense. He’s ran for almost 375 yards and five touchdowns, while also torching defensive backfields for 2,021 passing yards and 14 touchdowns. If the Bearkats can slow the South Dakota State rushing offense, they have a great chance to win the title. On defense, Jahari Kay has been a beast off the edge, garnering eight tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.

FCS Championship Prediction

Sam Houston State 31, South Dakota State 28

This isn’t the same old Bearkat team of the past. They no longer get torched by opposing quarterbacks like they have been in the past. Coach Keeler brought his spread offense to Texas for a chance at a second FCS Championship title. Gronowki will have a good game, but will make a costly mistake or two. Eric Schmid will throw for over 250 yards, with three passing touchdowns. Jahari Kay will have a huge impact defensively, forcing a strip sack and racking up two tackles for loss.

FCS Championship Prediction: Sam Houston State 31, South Dakota State 28 (Over 47.5, SHSU +5.5/ML)


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