The first eight teams had a bye last week, but every team remaining was in action Saturday. The second round featured several blowouts, with margins of 41, 31 and 24 points. It also may have included the final game for Craig Bohl at North Dakota State.
North Dakota State 38, Furman 7
Furman went up against the No. 1 seeded North Dakota State Bison and were run all over. Coming off the bye, the undefeated Bison ran for 267 yards behind starting quarterback Brock Jensen and running back Sam Ojuri. Jensen completed 15-of-25 passes ball for 249 yards. He threw for two touchdowns and ran for another long one, a 52-yard sprint that contributed to his game-high 86 yards rushing. North Dakota State will face Coastal Carolina in the third round, on their quest for a third consecutive title.
Craig Bohl, head coach of the Bison, is reportedly headed to Wyoming. An interim coach has not yet been named for the third-round matchup with Coastal Carolina.
Eastern Illinois 51, Tennessee State 10
In the biggest blowout of the day, Eastern Illinois running back Shepard Little needed only 12 carries to get 184 rushing yards and two touchdowns, thanks in large part to an 80-yard touchdown to finish off the scoring for the game. Before Little could finish padding his stats, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw for three touchdowns and 240 yards on 17-of-26 passing while only getting picked off once. Eastern Illinois will play Towson.
Eastern Washington 41, South Dakota State 17
Eagles WR Cooper Kupp broke Randy Moss' freshman record for touchdown catches in a season with his two touchdowns in Eastern Washington's victory over the Jackrabbits. The pair of scores gave him 20 on the season. It is also a school record, and his 81 catches on the season tie the FCS single-season record. Running back Quincy Forte set a career-high in rushing with 202 yards on 21 carries with a touchdown. Star quarterback Vernon Adams threw for five touchdowns on only 22 attempts to complete the impressive offensive performance. Eastern Washington will play Jacksonville State in the third round.
New Hampshire 41, Maine 27
New Hampshire used a balanced offensive attack to upset Maine, the fifth-seed in the FCS Playoffs. Sean Goldrich threw for 291 yards and three touchdowns on 16-for-27 passing while staying clean of any interceptions. Three New Hampshire players, including Goldrich, had over 10 carries. Goldrich, counting sacks, had 14 carries for 33 yards. Nico Steriti had 14 carries for 74 yards, a game-high. The rushing touchdowns came by way of Cris Setian, who had 10 carries for 54 yards with both scores coming in the fourth quarter.
Towson 48, Fordham 28
Peter Athens couldn't find a favorite receiver, and it couldn't have turned out any better for Towson. Athens threw only 15 times, completing 13 of them. He totaled 301 yards and three touchdowns. That gave him a huge 20.1 yards per attempt that goes beyond what most people can do in video games. Towson's running game was still the basis of their offense, and they ran the ball 39 times for 189 yards, with Terrance West taking the ball 24 times and reaching the end zone three times. Towson takes on Eastern Illinois next week.
Coastal Carolina 42, Montana 35
Coastal Carolina survived temperatures that were negative-five degrees at kickoff to outlast the Grizzlies and advance. The Chanticleers relied on a heavy dose of the run, totaling 51 rushing attempts. Leading the way of that rushing attack was quarterback Alex Ross, who had 23 carries for a game-high 123 yards. Lorenzo Taliaferro scored two touchdowns for the Chanticleers as part of his 16 carries for 104 yards. Ross also threw for three touchdowns, including an 86-yard touchdown to Demario Bennett.
Montana came into the fourth quarter trailing 42-21, and two touchdown passes by Jordan Johnson put them within striking distance, but it wasn't enough, as the Grizzlies were knocked out. Coastal Carolina plays two-time defending champion North Dakota State next week.
Jacksonville State 31, McNeese State 10
DaMarcus James was the offense for Jacksonville State. He carried 24 times to the tune of three touchdowns and 127 yards to lead his team to victory. He set the Jacksonville State record for rushing yards in a season with 1,458, with the rest of the playoffs to add to his total. He also added on to his school-record single-season touchdown mark with 28 total on the season. Jacksonville State will play Eastern Washington in the third round.
Southeastern Louisiana 30, Sam Houston State 29
Last-minute heroics by Bryan Bennett sent Southeastern Louisiana to the quarterfinals past Sam Houston State. With 45 seconds left, a 25-yard touchdown pass by Bennett to Jeff Smiley put SELU up one. Four incomplete passes later to Torrance Williams, and the Lions were the victors. Bennett put the entire SELU team on his back, throwing for 286 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 83 yards rushing and a touchdown on the ground. Bennett and the Lions will play New Hampshire in the quarterfinals.