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FCS Playoffs 2019: Round 2 Results, Quarterfinals Schedule and Bracket Update

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2019

James Madison quarterback Ben DiNucci (6) attempt a pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in Morgantown, W.Va. (AP Photo/Raymond Thompson)
Ray Thompson/Associated Press

The top football teams in the Football Championship Subdivision began their run to the 2019 national championship last Saturday, but the pressure is on in the single-elimination tournament.

The second round featured eight seeded teams expecting to advance to the quarterfinals, but it wasn't always easy for the favorites in a busy day of action across the country.

Here is the latest from Saturday's games in the FCS playoffs.

     

Bracket

FCS Football @NCAA_FCS

💥 Bracket Update 💥 Tune in next week for Second Round Games!! #FCS #FCSPlayoffs https://t.co/iGjgkdGtXd

Live bracket updated at NCAA.com.

    

Second-Round Schedule/Results

No. 1 North Dakota State def. Nicholls State 37-13

No. 2 James Madison def. Monmouth 66-21

No. 3 Weber State def. Kennesaw State 26-20

Austin Peay def. No. 4 Sacramento State 42-28

No. 5 Montana State def. Albany 47-21

No. 6 Montana def. Southeastern Louisiana 73-28

Northern Iowa def. No. 7 South Dakota State 13-10

Illinois State def. No. 8 Central Arkansas 24-14

       

Quarterfinal Schedule (Dec. 13-14)

Northern Iowa vs. No. 2 James Madison

Illinois State vs. No. 1 North Dakota State

No. 6 Montana vs. No. 3 Weber State

Austin Peay vs. No. 5 Montana State

       

Recap

No. 2 James Madison 66, Monmouth 21

For a game that finished with this big of a margin, this was much closer than James Madison would have liked.

Monmouth got on the board first with one of the best plays of the day as Pete Guerriero ran 93 yards for a touchdown:

FCS Football @NCAA_FCS

The Hawks come in swinging 🔥 Touchdown @MUHawksFB by Pete Guerriero!!! #FCS #FCSPlayoffs Q1 | MONMOUTH 7 | (2) JAMES MADISON 0 https://t.co/33KnICiMxL

The Hawks kept up with the No. 2 seed throughout the first quarter and were tied at 21 early in the second quarter.

However, James Madison showcased its strength from there with 45 unanswered points. Percy Agyei-Obese rushed for 90 yards with three touchdowns, while quarterback Ben DiNucci scored four himself (two passing and two rushing).

It led to a one-sided finish as the Dukes earned their spot in the quarterfinals.

      

Northern Iowa 13, No. 7 South Dakota St. 10

It was the defense that fueled Northern Iowa to the first big upset of the FCS playoffs.

South Dakota State managed only 53 rushing yards during the game on 2.3 yards per carry, never allowing a rush of more than 10 yards. The passing attack wasn't any more successful, as Keaton Heide completed only 14 of 27 attempts.

Adding three turnovers, the Jackrabbits really struggled to get onto the scoreboard.

Northern Iowa wasn't much better offensively, but the squad overcame an early 10-0 deficit to tie things up before setting up Matthew Cook for the game-winner.

FCS Football @NCAA_FCS

Matthew Cook with ❄️in his veins ❄️Will SDSU answer? #FCS Q3 | UNI 13 | (7) SOUTH DAKOTA ST. 10 https://t.co/wv5uLIqVUS

SDSU couldn't match it, and the squad saw its promising season come to an end.

     

Illinois State 24, No. 8 Central Arkansas 14

James Robinson is going to do his best to carry Illinois State to a championship.

The running back totaled 210 rushing yards on 37 carries and two touchdowns, adding two catches for nine yards for good measure. He was part of a quick-strike attack from Illinois State that allowed the team to score from anywhere.

FCS Football @NCAA_FCS

🛩sweet to the 🏠 @redbirdfb #FCS #FCSPlayoffs Q2 | ILLINOIS ST. 7 | (8) CENTRAL ARKANSAS 0 https://t.co/uQ8DfpuVj8

FCS Football @NCAA_FCS

Good luck catching two-five 🚀 #FCS #FCSPlayoffs Q2 | ILLINOIS ST. 14 | (8) CENTRAL ARKANSAS 0 https://t.co/2WZm9DfVzg

Robinson was one of the big stars of the first round with 297 rushing yards on 41 carries in the win over Southeast Missouri State, and he didn't slow down at all against a seeded opponent in Round 2.

The Redbirds only threw the ball 11 times in the game, but they didn't need any more for what ended up being an impressive road upset.

Three interceptions from Central Arkansas quarterback Breylin Smith also helped sink the team's season.

      

No. 3 Weber State 26, Kennesaw State 20

Weber State got the victory, but it certainly wasn't pretty.

Down 17-12 at the half, the No. 3 team in the country needed some luck to get the go-ahead score:

FCS Football @NCAA_FCS

First time in the lead today‼️ TOUCHDOWN @weberstatefb 😼😼 #FCS #FCSPlayoffs Q3 | KENNESAW ST. 17 | (3) WEBER ST. 18 https://t.co/uE3dAwmV2z

The Wildcats did score again to get a nine-point lead, but Kennesaw State remained competitive while cutting it to six and had two chances at driving for the potential game-winning touchdown. Unfortunately, the visiting team was unable to move the football well enough and was forced to settle for the close loss.

Devon Cooley was the biggest star for Weber State, catching seven passes for 114 yards and a touchdown, helping an offense that was otherwise stagnant for much of the game. Of course, all that matters at this point is winning and advancing.

        

No. 5 Montana State 47, Albany 21

There weren't many blowouts Saturday, but Montana State took care of business with an easy win over Albany.

The Bobcats rushed for 203 yards with three touchdowns as a team to help build up a 40-7 lead that eventually ended in a 26-point win. Tucker Rovig was also extremely efficient as a passer, going 24-of-30 for 279 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Albany simply couldn't stop the balanced attack from Montana State, which got everyone involved throughout the day.

While the Great Danes earned nine wins during the year, they were simply overmatched in this one.

        

No. 1 North Dakota State 37, Nicholls State 13

North Dakota State fans might have been worried for a bit, but the defending champions turned it on late to cruise to an easy victory.

Nicholls State put up a fight against the No. 1 seed with a 14-10 deficit at halftime that was cut to just one in the third quarter. North Dakota State didn't have much trouble from there, though, scoring the last 23 points of the game.

Five different players scored touchdowns for the Bison, with Jimmy Kepouros getting one of the easiest 43-yard scores you will see:

FCS Football @NCAA_FCS

BIG play for @NDSUfootball ... HUGE!! #FCS #FCSPlayoffs Q1 | NICHOLLS ST. 10 | (1) NORTH DAKOTA ST. 14 https://t.co/MwGNNiaXgZ

Aside from some big runs from Julien Gums, North Dakota State also held strong on defense and showed why the team has been undefeated this year.

Opponents continue to search for a weakness from this team, but it will take a lot to knock off the top team in the FCS.

      

No. 6 Montana 73, Southeastern Louisiana 28

Dalton Sneed sent a message Saturday while torching the Southeastern Louisiana defense.

The Montana quarterback totaled 459 passing yards and five touchdowns, scoring on his first play from scrimmage:

FCS Football @NCAA_FCS

1️⃣Play Toure 🤷‍♂️ #FCS #FCSPlayoffs Q1 | SE LOUISIANA 7 | (6) MONTANA 7 https://t.co/QvVi87r6kU

He found nine different receivers in the game, although Samori Toure was his clear favorite target while finishing with 12 catches for 303 yards and three scores. Running back Marcus Knight also had three touchdowns in an offensive onslaught that led to 73 points scored.

The Grizzlies allowed 489 yards defensively, which could be a concern going forward, but any opponent will have to first worry about slowing down this offense that entered the day averaging 35.9 points per game and looks to be peaking at the right time.

The Big Sky squad will now take on No. 3 Weber State in what could be an exciting battle for a trip to the semifinals on the line.

     

Austin Peay 42, No. 4 Sacramento State 28

A dominant first quarter helped Austin Peay pull off the biggest upset of the FCS tournament thus far.

The Governors jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to two early JaVaughn Craig passing touchdowns and a surprise onside kick. Craig ended with 204 passing yards, 164 rushing yards and three total touchdowns as the road team kept the pressure on throughout the game.

No. 4 Sacramento State finally woke up in the second half, scoring 28 points behind the play of Kevin Thomson, who had two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns. Still, it wasn't enough to key a comeback as the defense couldn't get enough stops.

Austin Peay finished 8-of-17 on third downs and 2-of-3 on fourth downs and the aggressive approach helped the team knock off the Top Five opponent. The squad will hope this type of play continues with a matchup against No. 5 Montana State.