2021 FCS Playoffs Semifinal Schedule Is Set

Unseeded South Dakota State is in the FCS semifinals for the fourth time in the past five seasons. Will they advance to the championship game this year?

2021 FCS Semifinals Teams
Source: NCAA FCS Football

The 2021 FCS playoffs semifinals are set.

On Friday at 8:15 p.m. CT No. 2 North Dakota State will host No. 3 James Madison which will air on ESPN2. Between these two FCS giants, the Bison have won eight national titles since 2010 and JMU has appeared in the 2016, 2017, and 2019 championship games but only winning a national title in 2016.

James Madison will bring one of the nations top defenses into Fargo, trying to slow down a North Dakota State offense that ran all over East Tennessee State for 278 yards. If they can stop NDSU's which averaged 382 rushing yards and scored 16 touchdowns during the month of November, they might just have a chance.

Unseeded South Dakota State heads to No. 8 Montana State this Saturday for a 1 p.m. CT game aired on ESPN2. South Dakota has risen to one of the top FCS programs, making the FCS playoffs in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2021. The Jacks lost to Sam Houston 23-21 in the 2021 spring national championship game. Their opponent, Montana State, just beat that Sam Houston team 42-19 in a absolutely dominant fashion.

Montana State will need to slow down Isaiah Davis and if healthy Pierre Strong Jr. Strong has rushed for 1,578 yards and 17 touchdown which makes him the nation's top rusher in the FCS right above Quay Holmes of ETSU. Is MSU can stop the run and keep the momentum from their victory over No. 1 Sam Houston, this game could turn into a highlight reel.