South Dakota St vs Sam Houston St (SDSU -4.5 / OU 47.5)
Location : Frisco, Texas – Toyota Stadium
Predicted Weather : 80 degrees and Sunny
Alright, so D1 football is now 113 days away from writing this article, but we got a one-of-a-kind Spring FCS Championship going on tomorrow. Due to COVID this season was moved to the Spring in a move that we haven’t seen before in the history of FCS. We got a great game between, in my opinion, two completely different teams. If you read the online preview you’ll get some dumb analysis how it’s strength vs strength, or two titans of the game going at it for the chip. Well, these folks don’t have the Bookie’s difference. Let me break it down for y’all – I watched two hours of recent game tape from both teams and feel that I have a good grasp on what they’ll try to do, what may happen, and a final prediction.
South Dakota State :
SDSU to me is your classic powerhouse Class 2A Midwestern Team. What do I mean by that you ask? These guys run a Read Option on 80% of their plays, with a running outcome (either for the RB or QB) occurring 90% of those plays. You’re either going to see the HB run opposite the QB inside the Tackle or the QB hold the ball and run counter, while picking his holes. What makes this offense special is their OLine is very good and their QB is even better at making sure he’s not only picking the right read, but also hitting the right hole. It’s a credit to their offense and the ability to put up points – this QB is a legit threat. My only comparison I can think of is NFL Tim Tebow. Dude, is tough, gritty, however, can’t throw the ball worth ish. This brings us to their downfall (if you want to call it that). Maybe this QB does have an arm, however, their O Coordinator doesn’t show it off. Their pass plays, when they do pass (rarely) are 5-7 yard hitches, quick slants, and on the very rare occasion WR Fly route. The only time you’ll see this QB take that deep ball chance is when he has time, which I don’t see him having much of with Sam Houston DLine (more on that below). If he does get under pressure, he won’t throw the ball away however, will try to scramble, and on most occasions, take the sack. Their defense is what it is, with their offense controlling the clock – the D is usually well rested. Their interior DLine may be one of the best in FCS as no one runs up the gut on them, but the one downfall is that their secondary is well below average.
Sam Houston State :
Just the opposite of SDSU, this team is athletic, quick, and versatile. It’s a give and take with their offense when it comes to the SDSU Def. They do often run the QB Read Option like SDSU does, but definitely not the efficiency you’ll see out of SDSU. If they do try to run this play often, that interior DLine for SDSU is going to have a field day. HOWEVAH, they do run a number of Jet Sweeps, or when the QB does hold the ball on the read, it’s almost always outside the tackle on the counter. This will play to an advantage for Sam Houston due to the fact that the SDSU DE is just about as good as their secondary, gahbage. Sam Houston does like to take a few more risks downfield and likes to line up in the spread often. The QB is a mobile one that can take a hit down the field, but has a juke or two in him to make it to the second line of the def. When he does scramble, he does have the ability to make a play down the field – almost Brett Favre esque. He’s either going to Wow you with a throw back across the middle while scrambling right or throw the dumbest pick you’ve seen this side of the Mississippi. Unlike SDSU, their interior D is par at best, the secondary can hold their own, however, they bite on almost everything. Any pumps are going to be an issue.
Both teams offenses have the advantage against their opposing defenses they’ll be playing. SDSU will run their read option and be successful with either runner (QB or RB) due to Sam Houston struggles on the D Front. Sam Houston has the ability to throw the ball in the spread offense and can run their Jet Sweeps, QB Counters outside the tackles with success. Special Teams are a big advantage for Sam Houston as they have one of the best (if not the best) PR in FCS. I think Sam Houston’s secondary that is known to bite will actually be a positive in this game as I can see a 7 yd hitch being caught up on or a safety coming down for the classic quick slant. I know this is the most cliché thing to say, but you CANNOT turn the ball over against SDSU, they will make you play. Everytime I saw them get a takeaway it always ended in points – while it was mostly fumbles (as the secondary blows) they will ground and pound that ball (usually in good field position) and wear the defense down. Overall, I think Sam Houston’s ability to both run and pass the ball effectively, along with great Special Teams play will be the difference. Both offenses will be successful and I see a high scoring game in what is supposed to be a perfect Saturday afternoon.
Most importantly, let’s eat folks.
Sam Houston 30 – South Dakota State 28
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