Everything You Need to to Know about The First Round Of the 2021 Spring FCS Playoffs Tomorrow: Streaming Info, Previews, Fearless Predictions

Below find everything you need to know about this weekend’s FCS Playoff games, including full previews, and our staff’s predictions on how the games are going to go.

ESPN3 Links to Playoff Streams

ESPN3 – Monmouth at Sam Houston
ESPN3 – Davidson at Jacksonville State
ESPN3 – VMI at James Madison
ESPN3 – Holy Cross at South Dakota State
ESPN3 – Eastern Washington at North Dakota State
ESPN3 – Southern Illinois at Weber State
ESPN3 – Missouri State at North Dakota
ESPN3 – Sacred Heart at Delaware

Full Game Previews and Fearless Predictions

Monmouth vs. Sam Houston

“The game will feature two of most explosive offenses in the FCS with the Hawks averaging 41.7 points per game which is fifth in the FCS and Sam Houston scoring 45.4 per contest just ahead of MU in fourth.” – Read our full preview here.

CSJ’s Fearless Predictions:

Rob: “Sam Houston will win this game and host either defending national champion North Dakota State or Eastern Washington, setting the stage for one of the biggest games in Bearkat history.”

Chuck: “The Bearkats don’t realize what’s going to hit them.”

Ben: “A close game, but Eric Schmid’s arm keeps them in the game and scoring.”


Davidson vs. Jacksonville State

“Jacksonville State, the No. 4 seed in this year’s playoffs, will play host to Davidson, the Pioneer League champion, in one of eight first-round games. It will be the first-ever meeting between the Gamecocks and Wildcats.”Read our full preview here.

CSJ’s Fearless Predictions:

Ray: “Davidson will do just enough in the passing game to surprise to end the Gamecocks’ season.”

Jamie: “Davidson’s offense is predicated on its excellent run game. Jacksonville State’s defense is predicated on its excellent run defense. Jacksonville State is clearly the more talented team. I expect their defense to stifle Davidson easily.”

Ben: “Anyway you slice it, Jacksonville State is better than Davidson.”


VMI vs. James Madison

“This game features two teams at opposite ends of the historical FCS spectrum. On one side, there is James Madison; a perennial National Championship contender and regular playoff participant. JMU is one of the blue bloods of the FCS. On the other side is VMI, a team who went a combined 1-21 in 2017 and 2018 with the one win coming against a non-FCS opponent. But in 2021, these teams are equals and will match up in the playoffs.”Read our full preview here.

CSJ’s Fearless Predictions:

Jamie: “VMI is the Cinderella story. But there is no glass slipper. Teams don’t come into Bridgeforth Stadium and win.”

Ray: “The rust of having played a reduced schedule in a season already reduced will show as VMI squeaks past the Dukes in one of the biggest surprises of the weekend.”

Ben: “VMI will be on the offensive and possibly even lead at some point, but the Dukes will outlast them in the fourth quarter.”


Holy Cross vs. South Dakota State

“Like Holy Cross, South Dakota State waited about a month in between their final two games – before beating the Bison, the Jackrabbits traveled to Carbondale and spanked Southern Illinois 44-3.” Read our full preview here.

CSJ’s Fearless Predictions:

Chuck: “I think Holy Cross is a team that will take the Jackrabbits by surprise to some degree, and will hang in the game for about a half. But the Jackrabbits are a team built to win the spring, and they’ll survive the Holy Cross challenge and advance to the next round.”

Ben: “I see SDSU catching Holy Cross off guard early and then turning on the heat to keep them down and out.”

Ray: “The Jacks needed points late to get past UNI and NDSU during the regular season and will need a late score against the Crusaders if they have any hopes of continuing their Cinderella season.”


Eastern Washington vs. North Dakota State

“Eastern Washington and North Dakota State meet in a first round marquee matchup of a national championship rematch.” Read our full preview here.

CSJ’s Fearless Predictions:

Ben: “Eastern Washington has a better overall attack of all sides of the ball than the Bison, but when NDSU is consistent they are able to work through teams like a well-oiled machine. If EWU is able to function on all cylinders, they have the offensive explosiveness behind Barriere and enough playmakers in the secondary to limit the passing threat from NDSU. The biggest problem in question is who wins in the trenches.”

Jamie: “NDSU will try to shorten this game by pounding the ball with the run game. They’ll have some success there. Eastern Washington will have to rely on its explosive offense to take advantage of fewer opportunities than usual. THis game wont get into the 30s. But I trust Eastern Washington’s offense more than I trust North Dakota State’s..”

Ray: “The haters have come out of hibernation in full force this season but will make a hasty retreat as NDSU protects its home turf in the familiar surroundings of a playoff game at home.”


Southern Illinois vs. Weber State

“Weber State has diligently earned their nickname of “The Cardiac Cats”. Despite a well balanced attack on all sides of the ball the Wildcats struggle to produce high value margin of victories.”Read our full preview here.

CSJ’s Fearless Predictions:

Ben: “Weber State will struggle through three-fourths of the game as they play true to their name of “The Cardiac Cats”. Weber State is a well rounded team that can score on all sides of the ball, but they are unreliable when it comes to how much or how little they will score.”

Chuck: “The enormous chip on Wildcats’ shoulder – and the home game – are the difference. Weber State’s snub involving the 4th seed will be felt by the Salukis.”

Jamie: “This is a tough game to call and could go either way. Southern Illinois has shown the ability to put up points, but Weber State has shown the ability to play solid defense. This looks like an evenly matched one score game. Weber State is tough to beat at home, so that’s why the Wildcats will take this one.”


Missouri State vs. North Dakota

“While two teams from the same conference have played before (rule implemented if two conference mates had not played during the regular season), this game features two schools within the same conference that have never played each other as conference mates before.”Read our full preview here.

CSJ’s Fearless Predictions:

Kent: “A big key for this game will be if UND has its game legs. With the Fighting Hawks having not played in nearly a month, this could go two ways. UND might have mended all the small injuries, and are a completely healthy team ready for a playoff run. Or it could be that the team has lost its timing and groove that only playing against opposition can give.”

Ray: “At the start of the season I thought UND might be a team to be reckoned with and I was proven correct. The Hawks big over the Bears.”

Jamie: “Missouri State backed into the playoffs not having played two of the top three teams in the Missouri Valley. North Dakota plays great at home and has Otis Weah to lead the charge.”


Sacred Heart vs. Delaware

“This first round game features the champions of the NEC, Sacred Heart against the champions of the CAA, Delaware.” Read our full preview here.

CSJ’s Fearless Predictions:

Jamie: “This game looks like a mismatch on paper and it will be on the field. Delaware is clearly the better team and they will prove it on Saturday..”

Chuck: “The Pioneers have the best RB in all of FCS, but run into their worst possible matchup vs. Delaware, who have a really solid defense.”

Ray: “The Blue Hens, who rightfully should be slighted by the selection committee, takes out their frustrations on the Pioneers..”


Bonus – CSJ’s Picks for Who Wins the 2021 Spring FCS National Championship


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