Eagles face Bears in second round of FCS playoffs

Photo by: Lindsay Hartmann

Trevor McNaboe

After a week off, Georgia Southern University football will kick of its quest for a seventh national title with the start of the second round of the FCS playoffs this weekend.

The Eagles, coming in with the No. 5 seed, already had their opponent University of Central Arkansas set when the playoff bracket was released on November 18.

GSU will take on the Southland Conference champions at Allen E. Paulson Stadium Saturday at 2 p.m.

Should the Eagles beat UCA they will take on the winner of No. 4 seed (10-1) Old Dominion University, winner of the Colonial Athletic Association and (8-4) Coastal Carolina University, champions of the Big South Conference.

CCU won their first round playoff game against Bethune-Cookman University by a score of 24-14, while ODU had received a first round bye.

If GSU takes on ODU it will be a rematch of the 2011 2nd round playoff game in which the Eagles won by a score of 55-48. With a victory, the Monarchs will host against GSU in Norfolk, Va. ODU currently holds a record of 5-1 when playing at home this season.

However if CCU wins, the Eagles will host their national quarterfinal game against the Chanticleers in Statesboro due to GSU’s higher seed. GSU won the previous matchup against CCU played in 2010 by a score of 43-26. CCU has been successful in hostile environments sporting a record of 5-2 on the road.

The national semifinals could be déjà vu for GSU as they potentially could play No.1 seed and Missouri Valley Conference champions, (10-1) North Dakota State University a second straight year in the Fargo Dome.

The Bison have not lost a game against an FCS top 25 opponent (4-0) and are 5-1 in the friendly confines of the Fargo Dome.

GSU fell to NDSU by a score of 35-7 one year ago, to dash the Eagles hopes of a seventh national title in the programs history.

The road to the FCS Championship game will not be easy for GSU, but then again nothing worthwhile comes easy.