The 2016 NCAA Division I playoffs kicked off Saturday with seven of the eight home teams wining with San Diego being the only road team winning.
The playoff field started with 24 teams and was reduced to 16 ahead of next week’s second-round action.
Each of the nation’s top eight seeds had byes and each take on a winner from the games this past Saturday. Below are recaps of the eight games.
Villanova 31 Saint Francis 21
Villanova, PA–Zach Bednarczyk threw for 254 yards and three touchdowns, two going to Ryan Bell, as Villanova advanced with a 31-21 win over Saint Francis.
Each of Bednarczyk’s scores came in the first half, as Villanova took a 31-7 lead into halftime before holding on in the second half for the victory.
The Wildcats rushed for 241 yards as a team, with four players accumulating at least 42 yards.
Villanova travels to play eighth-seeded South Dakota State next week.
New Hampshire 64 Lehigh 21
Durham, NH–Dalton Crossan rushed for 184 yards and scored three touchdowns, as New Hampshire used a stout ground game to earn a 64-21 win over Lehigh.
The Wildcats rushed for 364 yards and six touchdowns, with both Crossan and Trevon Bryant going over the 100-yard mark.
Quarterback Adam Riese threw for three touchdowns and added another on the ground,
New Hampshire will travel to play fourth seeded James Madison next week.
Chattanooga 45 Weber State 14
Chattanooga, TN–Derrick Craine rushed for 160 yards and a touchdown to lead Chattanooga to a 45-14 win. Five Weber State turnovers aided in the Moccasins route.
The Mocs led 24-0 at the half and increased the margin in the second half. Craine and the rushing attack spearheaded the charge, accounting for 229 yards and two touchdowns.
Quarterback Alejandro Bennifield added three total touchdowns of his own, including two passes to Alphonso Stewart.
Chattanooga advances to play at fifth seeded Sam Houston State next week.
Central Arkansas 31, Illinois State 24
Conway, AR–Antwon Wells scored a four-yard touchdown with 1:28 remaining in the game to give Central Arkansas a come-from-behind 31-24 win over Illinois State.
The Bears trailed 17-7 going into the fourth quarter before going on a 17-point run to take a touchdown lead.
Illinois State responded with a Jake Kolbe touchdown pass to Anthony Warrum, but Central Arkansas completed its comeback with a quick two-play, 43-yard drive..
Bear quarterback Hayden Hildebrand threw for 268 yards and two touchdowns against an interception. Desmond Smith hauled in both of Hildebrand’s touchdowns.
Central Arkansas travels to second seeded Eastern Washington next week.
Richmond 39 North Carolina A&T 10
Richmond, VA—Fourth string quarterback Kevin Johnson threw for 315 yards and a touchdown, and Griffin Trau converted all four of his field-goal attempts, helping Richmond to a 39-10 win over North Carolina A&T.
Garrett Hudson had a team-high 92 yards on three receptions, and Brian Brown had 75 yards and a score on his three grabs.
Running back Deontez Thompson added 98 yards on 24 carries.
The Spiders travel to seventh seeded North Dakota next week.
Wofford 15 Charleston Southern 14
Spartanburg, SC—Running back Lorenzo Long scored a 32-yard touchdown with 2:32 remaining, and Wofford’s defense held on late to give the Terriers a 15-14 win over Charleston Southern.
Long finished with 96 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Wofford won despite gaining only 185 yards of total offense.
Devin Watson had two interceptions for the Terriers in the second half, including one with a minute remaining in the game to secure the win.
Wofford travels to sixed seeded The Citadel next week.
Youngstown State 38 Samford 24
Youngstown, OH—YSU’s strong second half in which it scored 28 of its 38 points was enough to outlast Samford and move on to the second round.
Jody Webb paced the Youngstown offense, rushing for 174 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
All of Youngstown’s touchdowns came on the ground as four-different rushers recorded touchdowns on the game.
The Penguins will face third seeded Jacksonville State next week.
Originally from LaMoure, North Dakota, Kent is a 1996 graduate of North Dakota State University. His prior writing experience is over 15 years having previously worked with D2football.com, I-AA.org, and College Sporting News before coming to College Sports Journal in 2016. His main focus is college football in the western half of the United States– the Big Sky Conference and Missouri Valley Football Conference within the Division I FCS. And in 2017, he began also to look at the FBS Group of Five conferences of the American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, and Sun Belt.
Originally from LaMoure, North Dakota, Kent is a 1996 graduate of North Dakota State University. His prior writing experience is over 15 years having previously worked with D2football.com, I-AA.org, and College Sporting News before coming to College Sports Journal in 2016. His main focus is college football in the western half of the United States-- the Big Sky Conference and Missouri Valley Football Conference within the Division I FCS. And in 2017, he began also to look at the FBS Group of Five conferences of the American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, and Sun Belt.