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Holy Cross Crusaders vs South Dakota State Jackrabbits Prediction & Match Preview - April 24, 2021 | FCS College Football Playoffs

South Dakota State Jackrabbits
South Dakota State Jackrabbits
Walter Sharp
ANALYST

South Dakota State Jackrabbits, who are coming into the 2021 FCS Playoffs as the top seed, will take on the Holy Cross Crusaders. The Jackrabbits are coming off a huge win against North Dakota State Bison last weekend.

Meanwhile, Holy Cross Crusaders are coming into the first round of the FCS Playoffs with a 3-0 record. The Holy Cross Crusaders beat Bucknell last weekend. Their win against the Bison helped the Crusaders capture the Patriot League Championship.


Holy Cross Crusaders vs South Dakota State Jackrabbits: How to watch | FCS College Football Playoffs

Date: April 24, 2021.

Time: 3 PM EST.

How to watch: ESPN 3.


Holy Cross Crusaders vs South Dakota State Jackrabbits: Head-to-Head | FCS College Football Playoffs

Holy Cross Crusaders
Holy Cross Crusaders

Saturday's game will be the first meeting between the Jackrabbits and the Crusaders. This will be the first time South Dakota State will meet a Patriot League opponent. Both teams will look to start their head-to-head series with a win.


Holy Cross Crusaders vs South Dakota State Jackrabbits: Team News | FCS College Football Playoffs

Holy Cross Crusaders

Holy Cross Crusaders
Holy Cross Crusaders

The Holy Cross Crusaders are led in offense by their two quarterbacks, Connor Degenhardt and Matthew Sluka.

Degenhardt and Sluka have a combined 349 passing yards and six touchdowns this season. The two quarterbacks will face the biggest test of their season against the Jackrabbits.

Matthew Saluka also leads the Crusaders in rushing yards, tallying 212 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 31 attempts this season. Meanwhile, freshman Jalen Coker leads the team in receiving, with 67 yards and one touchdown in three receptions. Sean Morris has also contributed seven receptions and 42 receiving yards.

Holy Cross' defense is led by linebacker Jacob Dobbs and defensive lineman Dan Kuznetsov. Dobbs has registered 28 total tackles, two tackles for loss and one interception this season. Meanwhile, Kuznetsov has tallied 14 total tackles, four tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks this season.


South Dakota State Jackrabbits

South Dakota State Jackrabbits
South Dakota State Jackrabbits

The Jackrabbits are led in offense by quarterback Mark Gronowski. Gronowski has thrown for 1,051 yards and eight touchdowns this season. He has also added 383 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns in 59 attempts.

South Dakota State have also received a significant contribution from running back Isaiah Davis. Davis has rushed for 372 yards and five touchdowns in 53 attempts. Jaxon Janke is the leading receiver in the Jackrabbits' offense, tallying 313 yards and four touchdowns.

South Dakota State's defense is led by their senior linebacker Logan Backhaus. Backhaus has registered 39 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and one interception this season. Adam Bock has also contributed to the success of the Jackrabbits' defense, tallying 38 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and one sack.


Holy Cross Crusaders vs South Dakota State Jackrabbits: Projected Starters | FCS College Football Playoffs

Holy Cross Crusaders

QB: Matthew Sluka, Connor Degenhardt.

RB: Peter Oliver.

WR: Jalen Coker, Ayir Asante, Byron Shipman.

TE: Sean Morris.

South Dakota State Jackrabbits

QB: Mark Gronowski.

RB: Isaiah Strong.

WR: Jaxon Janke, Jadon Janke, Canyon Bauer.

TE: Zach Heins.


Holy Cross Crusaders vs South Dakota State Jackrabbits: Predictions | FCS College Football Playoffs

The South Dakota State Jackrabbits are entering the first round of the FCS Playoffs as the number one overall seed and will look to keep that streak going. This is the fourth game of the Holy Crusaders' season, and it looks like it could be the toughest game of the year for them.

Nevertheless, South Dakota State are expected to convincingly win this game and head to the second round of the FCS Playoffs.

Predictions: South Dakota State Jackrabbits 42-10 Holy Cross Crusaders.

Edited by BH
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