Picture courtesy of JMU Athletics Communications
By Bennett Conlin
The dream of internet hosting North Dakota State within the FCS semifinals is gone. The Bison had been lower than the duty this spring, as No. 2 Sam Houston defeated NDSU 24-20 final Sunday.
In equity to the Bison, they fought onerous. Regardless of being overmatched and outperformed, they scored two particular groups touchdowns and compelled (form of) a security on particular groups as nicely.
Exterior of that, Sam Houston was clearly the higher group.
JMU, which defeated North Dakota 34-21 in a sport it largely managed, heads to Huntsville, Texas. The No. 3 Dukes will face Sam Houston with a spot within the FCS nationwide title sport on the road. Kick off is ready for two:30 p.m. ET, and the sport will air on ABC.
Listed below are three keys to the sport.
Management the road of scrimmage
JMU followers will, understandably, discuss with Sam Houston as Smooth Houston this week. The Dukes demolished the Bearkats 65-7 again within the 2016 playoffs, and it’s straightforward to recollect how dominant the Dukes had been within the trenches.
This isn’t the identical Sam Houston group that always floundered in opposition to bodily groups within the postseason. The Bearkats had been legitimately higher than North Dakota State. It’s a down 12 months for the Bison, however SHSU confirmed toughness and pace all around the discipline. Sam Houston’s defensive unit isn’t any joke.
The Bearkats permit simply 68.9 speeding yards per sport, the fourth-best mark within the FCS. JMU averages 243.1 speeding yards per sport, the fourth-best mark within the FCS.
On the flipside, Sam Houston scores 39.2 factors per sport. The Bearkats throw the ball over the sector, and so they can run it, too. The offensive line greater than holds its personal, and the offense made performs in opposition to NDSU.
For JMU to advance, it must win the battle within the trenches. That’s not wherever near a assure to occur.
Second and third passing choices
Welcome to the present, Antwane Wells Jr.
The freshman large receiver is totally gutting defenses this postseason. The speedster with good fingers has 11 receptions for 275 yards and three touchdowns by means of two playoff video games. VMI didn’t have a solution for him down the sector. Neither did North Dakota.