FCS First-Round Playoff
The Matchup – Kennesaw State (10-2, 5-1 Big South) at Wofford (8-3, 7-1 Southern)
Kickoff – 1:30 p.m. ET at Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg, South Carolina
Coverage – ESPN3
Series – Kennesaw State lead 1-0 (KSU won 13-10 at home last Dec. 1 in the second round of the 2018 playoffs)
Coaches – Kennesaw State: Brian Bohannon (47-14, five seasons); Wofford: Josh Conklin (17-7, two seasons)
3 Players to Watch – Kennesaw State: QB Tommy Bryant (612 rushing yards, 22 total TDs), RB Bronson Rechsteiner (843 rushing yards, 8.8-yard average), LB Bryson Armstrong (73 tackles, 10½ tackles for loss); Wofford: QB Joe Newman (880 rushing yards, 20 total TDs), RB Blake Morgan (686 rushing yards, 7 TDs), LB Jireh Wilson (47 tackles, 6½ tackles for loss)
The Skinny – Kennesaw State turned a late turnover into a game-winning field goal in the final two minutes of last year’s playoff matchup. With both offenses operating out of the triple option, Kennesaw (350) ranks first in the FCS in rushing yards per game and Wofford (323.5) second. The visiting Owls have reached 10 wins for the third straight season (something only North Dakota State can currently claim), but their strength of schedule in the Massey ratings is the lowest among playoff qualifiers (107th out of all 126 FCS teams). Bryant has overtaken Daniel David at QB and rushed for at least 100 yards in three straight games. DE Desmond Johnson (14 TFL) has made the All-Big South first team four times and Armstrong, a junior, has done it three times and was just named the conference’s defensive player of the year. Wofford, the SoCon champ, has overcome an 0-2 start against FCS competition and is seeking its 100th all-time win at Gibbs Stadium, which opened in 1996. The Terriers are led by Newman, the conference’s offensive player of the year, but they spread around the carries, with FB Nathan Walker coming off a career-high 94 yards and two TDs against The Citadel. PK Luke Carter has made all 136 PAT attempts in his career, five shy of the FCS record for consecutive PATs (Georgia Southern’s Adrian Mora with 141 from 2008-11).
Up Next – The winner will play at No. 3 Weber State (9-3) in the second round Dec. 7.
Prediction – The safest prediction is calling this the fastest game of the first round. With two triple options, both teams know what the other wants to do. Wofford, 24-21.