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FCS Championship Preview




January 8, 12 pm Toyota Stadium Frisco, TX



Matchup-


Montana State- 8 seed, Big Sky Conference, 12-2 overall, 7-1 conference


North Dakota State- 2 seed, Missouri Valley Football Conference 13-1 overall, 7-1 conference



Why Montana State will win


The Bobcats enter Saturday’s title game battle-tested and confident beating the defending champions Sam Houston State on the road in the quarterfinals followed by a victory over last year’s runner up South Dakota State in the semifinals. They will once again play the underdog role against North Dakota State who is looking for their 9th FCS title in 12 years. The defensive unit is one of the best in the country ranking 13th nationally in rushing yards allowed and 2nd nationally in scoring defense. The offense has had its fair share of success as well ranking 7th nationally in rush yards per game. Montana State also finished 4th in turnover margin and who takes care of the ball always plays a key role in championship games.


Key Players To Watch


QB Tommy Mellot- freshman took over for Matthew Mckay who entered the transfer portal after the conclusion of the regular season, struggled early but has shown improvement each game during the playoff run

RB Isaiah Ifanse- rushed for 1,539 yards and 10 touchdowns but missed the semifinal against South Dakota State due to injury, status for Saturday’s game remains a question


WR Lance McCutcheon- has over 1,000 yards receiving and 7 touchdowns on the year


LB Troy Andersen- finalist for FCS defensive player of the year has recorded 130 tackles and 3 sacks this year for the defense



Why North Dakota State will win


The Bison are in a familiar role playing in their 9th FCS title game since 2010. In the age of the spread offense the Bison are once again led by a potent power rushing attack which ranked third in the country at 273.6 yards per game. The defense which ranks number one in points allowed has been dominant all season long finishing near the top in every statistical category. The unit will look to rattle the inexperienced freshman Bobcats QB making only his fourth career start. QB Cam Miller isn’t asked to win games with his arm but has shown in key moments during the year to viable passing threat tossing 2 touchdown passes against JMU in the semifinals.


Key Players To Watch

RB TaMerik Williams- rushed for 715 yards and 12 touchdowns on the year


FB Hunter Luepke- has 461 yards rushing and 5 touchdowns, while also opening up holes for Williams and crew


DE Brayden Thomas- the senior has been a force on the line with 9 sacks on the year and will look to put pressure on Freshman QB Mellot


S Michael Tutsie- has recorded 79 tackles and 3 interceptions for the Bison defense so far this year



Eye Test Analytics Predicted Score


North Dakota State by 7.21 points


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