East Tennessee State running back Quay Holmes scores a touchdown against Kennesaw State
Source: Todd Brase
FCS

ETSU at North Dakota State

No. 7 East Tennessee State faces off against No. 2 North Dakota State who is headed back home after beating Southern Illinois on the road.

James Singleton
James Singleton

East Tennesse State put together an impressive comeback to overcome a two touchdown deffecit with less than 1:30 to play. It took a frantic rally which included a successful onside kick and a go-ahead two-point conversion which propelled ETSU into this FCS quarterfinals matchup. To say that ETSU is this weekend's biggest underdog would be an understatement.

North Dakota State has an offense that routinely bullies their FCS counterparts. One of their biggest strengths is outscoring their opponents 87-7 off of turnovers. Their offense is led by quarterback Cam Miller who moves the offense roughly 7.1 yards per play. If Christian Watson is able to play this game after missing last week's game due to a hamstring injury, ETSU's first game against a Missouri Valley Conference opponent is going to make all the more challenging. Furthermore, NDSU is 6-0 all time against Souther Conference opponents.

ETSU will need to lean heavily on Walter Payton Award finalist Quay Holmes to control the ball and the clock. The longer ETSU can keep the Bison offense on the sidelines, the higher their chances of leaving Fargo, ND with a 'W'. Quay Holmes and Jacob Saylors combine for just shy of 300 all-purpose yards per game which no other set of FCS players combine for. However, the Bison defense is allowing just 83.1 rushing yards per game.

NDSU is known to quickly smother teams going into half-time with a substantial lead. However, ETSU have posted an FCS high five wins when trailing in the fourth quarter.