The 2016 FCS Playoffs are here! We've got game-by game previews, an FCS Playoff Bracket for you to fill out, and all sorts of analysis and highlights coming your way in the next few weeks. Check back daily for more FCS playoff coverage.
|Saturday: 2 p.m. EST (ESPN3)|
RICHMOND (8-3) – Omar Howard, LB (77 tackles); Brian Brown, WR (3rd straight 1,000-yard receiving season); Brandon Coniker, DB(76 tackles).
NORTH CAROLINA A&T (9-2) – Tarik Cohen, RB (1,518 yards rushing, 114 points scored this year); Jeremy Taylor, LB (75 tackles, 11 TFL); Khris Gardin, WR/KR/PR (special teams star)[divider]
RICHMOND – 30.5 points per game on offense (35th in FCS); 23.3 points per game on defense (28th in FCS)
NORTH CAROLINA A&T – 37.5 points per game on offense (11th in FCS); 21.6 points per game on defense (22nd in FCS)[divider]
North Carolina A&T won its first game over an FBS opponent when it knocked off Kent State in week two, and then took one on the chin against a good Tulsa team the following week, giving up 58 points. On the flip side, Richmond beat the ACC's Virginia in its lone FBS game, and didn't just win but shut down the Cavaliers. So both programs have that on their resume. They also share a common opponent in Norfolk State — the Spiders won 34-0, the Aggies won 35-0.
Also, both are coming off of disappointing losses this past weekend and are hoping to bounce back. The Aggies lost what in reality was a de-facto MEAC championship to North Carolina Central — leaving it available for the FCS playoffs since it didn't qualify for the HBCU's Celebration Bowl in mid December. That's the first time this new rule (non-Celebration Bowl participants can play in FCS Playoffs) has been implemented. Injuries could be a problem now though, as Richmond just announced today that QB Kyle Lauletta will miss the playoffs with injury.
THE PREDICTION: Richmond 28, North Carolina A&T 21[divider]
More First Round Previews
Cal Poly vs. San Diego | Chattanooga vs Weber State | Central Arkansas vs Illinois State
Samford at Youngstown State | St. Francis at Villanova | Lehigh at New Hampshire
Charleston Southern at Wofford