It was a wild weekend in the NCAA divisional playoffs. Just about anything short of a 100-yard missed field goal return as time expired was in play.
North Dakota State 48, Coastal Carolina 14
New Hampshire 20, Southeastern Louisiana 17
New Hampshire (10-4) at North Dakota State (14-0) (8 p.m. ET Friday, ESPN2)
It was a vintage effort for Craig Bohl's (and soon to be Chris Klieman's) Bison, taking a 31-0 lead on Coastal Carolina, and then finishing with two unanswered scores when Coastal had dared to pull within 20 points, claiming a 48-14 win on the march to a third straight title.
New Hampshire's win sets up the ultimate David vs. Goliath match-up of the NCAA's second season in the FCS semifinals, as a New Hampshire team that started the season 4-4 and has now won six straight games visits the two-time defending national champions riding a 22-game winning streak.
Eastern Washington 35, Jacksonville State 24
Towson 49, Eastern Illinois 39
Towson (12-2) at Eastern Washington (12-2) (2 p.m. ET Saturday, ESPNU)
Towson racked up a staggering 472 rushing yards and seven touchdowns to shock second-seeded Eastern Illinois on Friday night, setting up a cross-country trip for the FCS semifinals. The Tigers will face an Eastern Washington team hosting its second straight FCS semifinal, in a game that doubles as a shot at redemption for the Eagles. Eastern Washington is 14-1 at home over the past two seasons. Its only loss? A 45-42 loss in the 2012 FCS semifinals to Sam Houston State in a game where the Eagles allowed 418 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
Division II Semifinals
Lenoir-Rhyne 42, West Chester 14
Northwest Missouri State 27, Grand Valley State 13
Northwest Missouri State (14-0) vs. Lenoir-Rhyne (13-1) (12 p.m. ET Saturday, ESPN2)
Playing in just his eighth career game, reserve quarterback Josh Justice rushed for 175 of Lenoir-Rhyne's 451 rushing yards, as the Bears advanced to their first Division II title game without attempting a single pass. Northwest Missouri State was held to its lowest point total of the season, and still managed to win its seventh straight game by at least 14 points. This will be Northwest Missouri State's eighth appearance in the Division II title game; the Bearcats are 3-4 in their previous seven appearances.
Division III semifinals
Mount Union 41, North Central 40
Wisconsin-Whitewater 16, Mary Hardin-Baylor 15
Mount Union (14-0) vs. Wisconsin-Whitewater (14-0) (7 p.m. ET Friday, ESPNU)
The 1980's Celtics and Lakers have nothing on Mount Union and Wisconsin-Whitewater, who will meet in the Stagg Bowl for the eighth time in nine seasons. Whitewater holds a 4-3 edge in the previous seven meetings and has won the past three.
Neither trip to the Division III title game was a given for either of these teams, though.
Mount Union lost its 35-34 lead with 1:38 to play on Saturday, but gained it back 31 seconds later with a 26-yard touchdown pass by Kevin Burke, allowing the Purple Raiders to hold on to a 41-40 win in a game that saw five lead changes. After cruising to the Division III title a year ago by winning all 15 games by at least 13 points, Mount Union's last two victories have come by a combined four points.
In the other semifinal, Whitewater staged its second straight come-from-behind win, fighting back from a 12-7 halftime deficit to squeak out a 16-15 win over a similarly-undefeated Mary Hardin-Baylor squad. After going 45-0 from 2009-11 with three straight national championships but then missing the 2012 playoffs entirely with a 7-3 finish, Lance Leipold's program is back in its rightful place: battling Mount Union for Division III supremacy.