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Sam Houston State Bearkats vs South Dakota State Jackrabbits Prediction & Match Preview - May 16, 2021 | FCS National Championship

FCS National Championship
FCS National Championship
Walter Sharp
ANALYST

The Sam Houston State Bearkats and South Dakota State Jackrabbits will compete for the FCS National Championship on Sunday.

South Dakota State received the number one overall seed for the FCS playoffs. The Jackrabbits have lived up to the hype of being a number one seed, scoring 30+ points in all three of their playoff games.

Sam Houston State hasn't had the same luck as South Dakota State. The Bearkats have had to fight and claw their way to the national championship game on Sunday. SHSU has only defeated their opponents by six or fewer points in the last three games.


Sam Houston State Bearkats vs South Dakota State Jackrabbits: How to Watch | FCS National Championship

Date: May 16, 2021

Time: 2:00PM EST

How to watch: ABC and ESPN3


Sam Houston State Bearkats vs South Dakota State Jackrabbits: Head-to-Head | FCS National Championship

Sam Houston State Bearkats
Sam Houston State Bearkats

The FCS National Championship game will be the first meeting between the Sam Houston State Bearkats and the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. Both the Bearkats and Jackrabbits are looking for their first national championship in their program's history.

This will be the first time since 2017 that there will be a new national champion crowned at the FCS level.


Sam Houston State Bearkats vs South Dakota State Jackrabbits: Team News | FCS National Championship

Sam Houston State Bearkats

Sam Houston State Bearkats
Sam Houston State Bearkats

The Sam Houston State Bearkats are led by their quarterback Eric Schmid. Schmid has thrown for 2,599 passing yards, 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions during the spring season. He has also added 382 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on 85 attempts.

Eric Schmid has received help from his running back Ramon Jefferson, who rushed for 656 yards and seven touchdowns on 110 attempts. Schmid's main target this spring has been wide receiver Jequez Ezzard. Ezzard has caught 28 passes for 753 yards and seven touchdowns this season.

On the defensive side of football, the Bearkats are led by their two junior linebackers Trevor Williams and Quentin Brown. Williams has registered 79 total tackles, 14 tackles for loss and three sacks. Brown has tallied up 57 total tackles, eight tackles for loss and four sacks this season.


South Dakota State Jackrabbits

South Dakota State Jackrabbits
South Dakota State Jackrabbits

The South Dakota State Jackrabbits are led by their quarterback Mark Gronowski. Gronowski has thrown for 1,549 passing yards, 15 touchdowns and three interceptions. He's also added 567 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 81 attempts.

The Jackrabbits have a pair of running backs that can change the outcome of a football game. Isaiah Davis and Pierre Strong have had successful seasons this spring. The two running backs have combined for 1,290 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on 198 attempts this season.

South Dakota State has leaned on their defense to make it to the national championship game on Sunday. The Jackrabbits defense has only given up 32 points during the FCS playoffs. South Dakota State's defense has had two games during the FCS playoffs where they didn't give up a touchdown.


Sam Houston State Bearkats vs South Dakota State Jackrabbits: Projected Starters | FCS National Championship

Sam Houston State Bearkats

QB: Eric Schmid

RB: Ramon Jefferson

WR: Jequez Ezzard, Ife Adeyi, Cody Chrest

TE: Isaac Schley

South Dakota State Jackrabbits

QB: Mark Gronowski

RB: Pierre Strong, Isaiah Davis

WR: Jaxon Janke, Jadon Janke, Jordan Meachum

TE: Zach Heins


Sam Houston State Bearkats vs South Dakota State Jackrabbits: Path to the championship | FCS National Championship

Sam Houston State Bearkats path to the National Championship

First-round: Sam Houston State defeated Monmouth 21-15

Second-round: Sam Houston State defeated North Dakota State 24-20

Semi-finals: Sam Houston State defeated James Madison 38-35


South Dakota State Jackrabbits path to the National Championship

First-round: South Dakota State defeated Holy Cross 31-3

Second-round: South Dakota State defeated Southern Illinois 31-26

Semi-finals: South Dakota State defeated Delaware 33-3


Sam Houston State Bearkats vs South Dakota State Jackrabbits: Prediction | FCS National Championship

The South Dakota State Jackrabbits will have to plan for home run plays that the Bearkats offense will try to attempt.

Sam Houston State will need their quarterback Eric Schmid to play better than he did in the semi-final game against James Madison, where he threw two interceptions.

The Jackrabbits defense will capitalize on the Bearkats mistakes on offense and will win their first national championship.

Prediction: South Dakota State Jackrabbits 24, Sam Houston State Bearkats 14

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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