Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - There's an common recipe for success that
teams strive for when they reach the FCS playoffs.
It doesn't matter what conference one comes from, how much experience one has
or sometimes even the type of offense run by a team.
Everyone wants to control the line of scrimmage with their run game.
As the 2012 season entered the first round of the FCS playoffs, four teams
which survived to the next round all rushed for at least 200 yards and set the
tone on the ground.
Wagner gained 245 rushing yards in its 31-20 victory over Colgate, while
running back Dominique Williams and quarterback Nick Doscher rushed for 106
and 91 yards, respectively, scored one touchdown each and averaged five yards
South Dakota State jumped out of the gates with 580 yards of offense - 434 of
which came on the ground - in a convincing 58-10 victory over pass-heavy
Eastern Illinois. Running back Zach Zenner set a school record with 295
rushing yards, scoring three touchdowns, and counterpart Reggie Gandy rushed
for 151 yards and two touchdowns. The team averaged 8.2 yards per rush.
Without the FCS' leader in passing efficiency (quarterback Kyle Essington),
Stony Brook didn't need to put the ball in the air. SBU passed for 37 yards
and rushed for 263. The dynamic one-two running back punch of Miguel Maysonet
and Marcus Coker should give the team's next opponent, Montana State, a lot of
Coastal Carolina's priority moving forward should be to cross the 200-yard
rushing mark because the team has won six games in a row and accomplished that
feat in every win. The Chanticleers rushed for 202 yards on 45 carries in
their 24-14 playoff victory at Bethune-Cookman.
When it comes to postseason football, a team's ability to run the ball is
probably one of the most important factors.
For all the promise in its teams, some things can never be ignored.
Whether it be scores, statistics or standout performances, the numbers never
Here are some important figures from Week 13 of the 2012 FCS season that
should not be overlooked:
In Wagner's 31-20 victory over Colgate, a season-high 3,032 fans witnessed the
Seahawks record the Northeast Conference's first-ever FCS playoff win. Wagner
has won nine straight games after starting the season with an 0-3 record, and
Doscher has thrown 210 consecutive passes without an interception. His only
interception came in Week 1 versus FBS Florida Atlantic. The Seahawks also
have just one turnover in their last 11 games.
Colgate came into its FCS playoff first-round matchup at Wagner averaging 294
rushing yards and 41 points per game, good nationally for No. 5 and No. 3,
respectively, in the regular season. However, the Raiders were limited to just
296 yards of offense and 177 rushing yards in their 31-20 loss. Quarterback
Gavin McCarney accounted for all five of Colgate's turnovers, losing three
fumbles and throwing two interceptions.
In South Dakota State's 58-10 victory over Eastern Illinois, Zenner rushed for
a school-record 295 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. Through 12 games
this season, Zenner leads the FCS in rushing with 166 yards per game. He's
averaging seven yards per carry and is two yards shy of the 2,000-yard mark.
He's rushed for over 100 yards nine times and over 200 yards three times.
Eastern Illinois receiver Erik Lora finished his amazing season with 12
catches for 133 yards and one touchdown in the loss at SDSU. He finished his
junior campaign with 136 receptions, which is an FCS single-season record. He
also totaled 1,664 receiving yards in 12 games.
In Stony Brook's 20-10 home playoff victory versus Villanova, the Seawolves
passed for just 37 yards on 3-of-6 attempts, but they dominated the line of
scrimmage, rushing for 263 yards. Maysonet and Coker accounted for 54 carries
and 267 rushing yards, while Maysonet scored the team's only two touchdowns
and averaged 6.4 yards per carry.
Southern University quarterback Dray Joseph completed 22-of-37 passes for 284
yards and five touchdowns in the Jaguars' 38-33 victory over rival Grambling
State in the XXXIX Bayou Classic. It was the team's first win in the series
since 2007 and Joseph finished the season with 25 touchdowns versus seven
interceptions in 11 games.
Grambling State rushed for a mere 54 yards on 28 attempts, for an average of
1.9 yards per carry, in the loss to Southern. In 11 games this year, the
Tigers rank 110th in the FCS with 98.7 rushing yards per contest.
Coastal Carolina picked up the program's first FCS playoff victory in three
previous appearances with a 24-14 win at Bethune-Cookman. The Chanticleers'
improving run attack totaled 202 yards on the ground, and the team has now
gone over the 200-yard rushing mark in six straight wins.
Tuskegee now leads the Turkey Day Classic series with Alabama State, 49-32-3,
after a hard-fought 27-25 victory. Running back Derrick Washington ran for 95
yards and one touchdown, passed for 57 yards on a halfback option and had
three catches for 32 yards as the Golden Tigers improved to 10-1. ASU
quarterback Greg Jenkins rushed for 106 yards and passed for 147, but the
Hornets lost in their first game at their new ASU Stadium.
The Sports Network