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FCS Weekend Primer: Round of 16

The second round of the FCS playoffs is here, leaving with eight juicy matchups to breakdown.

Let's get right to it.

Furman at North Dakota State (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3): The Paladins have ripped off six straight wins against FCS opponents, allowing a shade under 16 points a game during that span. That all sounds mighty impressive, until you realize North Dakota State has won 20 straight games and allowed just a shade over 12 points per game. 

Coastal Carolina at Montana (2 p.m. ET, ESPN3): Google Maps says it's a 2,490-mile, 36-hour drive from Conway, S.C. to Missoula, Montana. Clearly the NCAA did the Chanticleers no favors here. Each team averages north of 35 points (Coastal Carolina has a slight edge in most offensive stats), but Montana leads the nation in turnover margin.

New Hampshire at Maine (2 p.m. ET, ESPN3): Each of the games in the "South" regional semifinals - where Southeastern Louisiana is the top seed - is an intra-conference showdown and rematch from the regular season. Here, it's the home town Black Bears looking for revenge for the 24-3 spanking New Hampshire put on Maine back on November 23.

Sam Houston State at Southeastern Louisiana (8 p.m. ET, ESPN3): And now to rematch No. 2, where Sam Houston State looks to avenge a 34-21 loss at Southeastern Louisiana on November 16 and keep its seven-game non-championship playoff winning streak alive. The key to that game? Southeastern Louisiana held all-everything running back Tim Flanders to 47 yards on 15 carries. Flanders has made his name in the playoffs, rushing for 1,178 yards in nine career playoff games, so expect an all-out effort from the senior. 

South Dakota State at Eastern Washington (4 p.m. ET, ESPN3): The third-seeded Eagles boast an intimidating offense, but they can be lulled into a shootout, with final scores this year of 49-46, 49-34, 42-37, 55-34, 54-29 and, most recently, 42-41. Unfortunately for South Dakota State, that's not the type of game the Jackrabbits are conditioned to playing.

Jacksonville State at McNeese State (7 p.m. ET, ESPN3): We should know pretty early on which way the wind is blowing here. McNeese State either wins - and scores a lot of points doing so, averaging 49.7 points in their 10 wins - or gets blown out. The Cowboys' two losses this season have come by scores of 41-6 and 41-7.

Fordham at Towson (1 p.m. ET, ESPN3): There are three FCS teams that lost fewer than two games this season: top-seeded and undefeated North Dakota State, second-seeded and one-loss Eastern Illinois, and one-loss Fordham, who didn't receive a national seed and gets sent on the road this week. Think Fordham head coach Joe Moorhead won't bring that up to his team on Saturday? (He'll neglect to mention that the rankings are all justified, considering that Fordham dominated the non-scholarship Patriot League and Towson finished second in the always tough CAA).

Tennessee State at Eastern Illinois (2 p.m. ET, ESPN3): In their first meeting on October 26, Eastern Illinois out-gained Tennessee State by 226 yards, led 28-3 after three quarters and won 34-16. It was the closest game Eastern Illinois has played since its lone setback of the year, a 43-39 loss to Northern Illinois on September 21. I'd expect more of the same here. See you in Frisco, Panthers.