FCS Playoff Preview: UND Hosts Richmond
The University of North Dakota is playing in its first-ever FCS playoff game as they host the Richmond Spiders at Alerus Center in Grand Forks.
UND (9-2) will go for its 10th consecutive victory and first playoff victory since jumping to the FCS from Division II in 2008. The Fighting Hawks are undefeated at home this season (5-0). They'll host a Richmond team (9-3) that was trounced last season in their loan visit to the state of North Dakota, as they lost in the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs to NDSU, 33-7.
Safety Cole Reyes will lead the UND defense, which is ranked seventh in the FCS in their matchup against Richmond. Reyes was also Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year. Reyes compiled 58 tackles, a sack, three interceptions, eight pass break-ups, two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles during the regular season.
Richmond will counter with their offensive attack, led by quarterback Kevin Johnson, whose loan start was in the opening playoff round after they lost two-year starting quarterback Kyle Lauletta in the regular season finale with a torn ACL injury. Johnson passed for 315 yards in the opening round, 39-10 win over North Carolina A&T. Deontez Thompson also added 98 rushing yards on 24 carries in the opening round victory.
Richmond has now racked up 42 victories in the past five seasons. Only seven teams have won more during that time span. As for UND, they're looking to win their first playoff game since they were in Division II, where they had plenty of playoff success, including national championships in 2001 and 2003.
The game can be streamed online on ESPN3 at 5 p.m., Saturday afternoon.
Source: Fox Sports