FCS Playoffs 2018: Latest Semifinals Bracket After Friday Quarterfinals Results | Bleacher Report

BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 11:  Quarter back Chris Ferguson #14 of the Maine Black Bears fumbles an incomplete pass during the second half of the game against the Massachusetts Minutemen at Fenway Park on November 11, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

Maine used the momentum from its first home playoff win in the program’s 126-year history to continue its FCS playoff run on Friday night.

The No. 7-seeded Black Bears took down No. 2 Weber State 23-18 to reach the semifinals for the first time in their history. They were also the first team to earn a spot in the semis this season, as the other three quarterfinal matchups take place on Saturday.

Last weekend, Maine beat Jacksonville State 55-27. The Black Bears didn’t score nearly as many points against the tough Weber State defense, but they capitalized when they needed to.

With 2:56 to go in the fourth quarter, freshman running back Ramon Jefferson scored on a 45-yard touchdown run to push Maine’s lead to 20-12. Sophomore kicker Kenny Doak sealed the win by booting a 46-yard field goal with 1:34 to go.

The Black Bears forced four turnovers, all of which were interceptions.

Maine became only the second road team to win in this year’s FCS playoffs. Entering Friday, home teams were 15-1.


Updated Bracket

No. 1 North Dakota State/No. 8 Colgate winner vs. No. 4 Kennesaw State/No. 5 South Dakota State winner

No. 7 Maine vs. No. 3 Eastern Washington/No. 6 UC Davis winner


Defending Champs Aim for More Success

The reigning FCS champions will play in the first of three quarterfinal matchups on Saturday at 12 p.m. ET. Top-seeded North Dakota State, which has won six of the last seven championships, hosts No. 8 Colgate.

North Dakota State opened its playoff run with a 52-10 win over Montana State last weekend. The Bison are 12-0 this season, and their offense has been on a roll. They have scored 48 or more points in four of their last five games.

Colgate (10-1) is seeking its first FCS championship in program history. The Raiders had a thrilling victory to reach the quarterfinals, as they beat James Madison 23-20 on a last-second field goal last weekend.

Although Colgate has never won an FCS title, it has reached the quarterfinals in two of the past four seasons. The Raiders reached the championship game in 2003 and own a 6-8 overall record in the FCS playoffs. But they will certainly face a challenge on Saturday.


Kennesaw State Seeks Deeper Run

Last year, Kennesaw State’s playoff run ended in the quarterfinals with a loss to Sam Houston State. This season, the No. 4 Owls aim to go deeper when they face No. 5 South Dakota State on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET.

Kennesaw State (11-1) advanced to the quarterfinals for the second straight season with a 13-10 win over Wofford last weekend, its 11th straight victory. The Owls took a three-point lead on a Justin Thompson field goal with 1:52 remaining and then held on for the win.

South Dakota State (9-2) beat Duquesne 51-6 to advance to the quarterfinals. The Jackrabbits have scored 49 or more points in each of their last four games, all wins.


Eastern Washington Hopes for Deja Vu

Eastern Washington beat UC Davis at home less than a month ago. Now, the two teams will play again in a quarterfinal matchup in Cheney, Washington, on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.

When the schools played on Nov. 10, Eastern Washington earned a 59-20 win. The No. 3 Eagles, who are making their 10th appearance in the quarterfinals, beat Nicholls State 42-21 to advance to this game. They will look to reach the semifinals for the first time since 2016.

No. 6 UC Davis has won back-to-back games since its loss to Eastern Washington, which includes a 23-16 playoff victory over Northern Iowa. The Aggies enter the weekend with the seventh-ranked FCS scoring offense this season at 40.6 points per game.

Source link