Weber State 48
Next up: No. 6 Maine (9-3) at No. 2 Weber State (10-2)
Time/Date: Dec. 7 or Dec. 8 | TV: ESPN family
COMPARE: Weber State vs Maine
PREDICTIONS: What Did We Get Wrong in the 2nd Round?
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Jordan Preator, CB, Weber State — Preator pulled in two interceptions in Weber State's dominant win. The first of which occurred at the end of the first half, leading to a Wildcat touchdown two plays later, and a three-score deficit for the Redhawks at intermission. Right when SEMO felt like they might be back in the contest, only down by 10 in the fourth quarter, Preator again picked a pass and this time returned it for a touchdown, effectively stifling all hope for a SEMO comeback.
OTHER STAT STANDOUTS:
Jake Constantine, QB, Weber State – 18-30, 199 passing yards, 4 TD, 1 rushing TD
Demarcus Rogers, LB, SEMO – 1 TD, 1 FR, 7 Tackles
Doug Lloyd, P, Weber State – 1 rushing TD (on a fake field goal in the fourth quarter), 1 CP for 11 yards on a fake-punt play
Rashid Shaheed, WR, Weber State – 6 Rec, 62 yards, 1 TD, 2 PR for 83 yards
Treshawn Garrett, RB, Weber State – 17 Carries, 134 yards
NFL DRAFT: Top FCS Prospects For 2019
THE TURNING POINT
With only 58 seconds left in the first half, Daniel Santacaterina, SEMO's QB, forced a pass resulting in an interception by Weber State's Jordan Preator, who returned the pick 17 yards to the Redhawks' 44 yard line. On Weber's second play after the turnover, Constantine connected with Isiah Jackson for a 40-yard touchdown pass, making the contest a three-possession game heading into the half. The touchdown capped an impressive 27-point second quarter for the Wildcats, and secured momentum for Weber State heading into the second half of the game.
COACH RUMORS: FCS Carousel
Well, if fans were looking for a beauty pageant they did not find it in Saturday's contest. The first quarter was filled with penalties, punts, and chippy play and the rough play continued throughout. It looked as though the game was going to be a physical defensive bout with only 7 points on the board at the end of the first quarter, and surprisingly, SEMO held the lead.
The Wildcats flipped the switch in the second quarter, and for the most part, didn't look back. After scoring zero points in the first 20 minutes of the game, Weber State, with some help from a few stellar defensive plays, put up 27 points in the remaining 10 minutes of the first half; the most points scored before break by the Wildcats all season. They also were 3-3 in fourth down conversions during the second quarter, including a successful fake punt on fourth and ten.
The strong defensive play continued in the second half for the Wildcats. Weber State regularly pressured, Santacaterina, forcing turnovers and rushed passes, setting the Wildcat offense up in favorable field position and situations time and again.
Another key play in the game occurred in the fourth quarter, amidst a Redhawk run, Weber State managed to push the bull to the four yard line. Rather than settling for a field goal, another gutsy call by the Weber State coaching staff resulted in a fake field goal attempt turned into a touchdown. The successful trick play turned what was going to be only a two-possession game to a three-possession game, effectively sucking the energy out of the Redhawks, and further secured a Weber State victory.
PREVIEW OF NEXT WEEK
After decisive wins on Saturday, Weber State and Maine will meet up in the quarterfinals. After watching both teams play this weekend, this is a matchup I'm looking forward to. Both teams seem to be hitting stride at the right time. Maine didn't just beat an impressive Jacksonville State squad, they dominated them. Weber State did the same thing only hours later over Southeast Missouri State. With both offenses rolling, each scoring in the vicinity of 50 points, and their defenses both coming off of outstanding performances, next Saturday's contest is sure to be a shootout.