Thursday, December 1, 2016
San Diego continues play in the NCAA Division I Football Championship when it meets six-time defending national champion and top-seeded North Dakota State in a 3:30 p.m., Saturday second-round contest that will be available digitally on ESPN3.
San Diego at North Dakota State, 3:30 p.m.
Setting the Scene: San Diego enters uncharted territory when it makes a second round appearance in the Division I Football Championship. The Toreros will stay on the road to face No. 1 seed North Dakota State, the five-time defending national champion, in Fargo, North Dakota. It is the first time a PFL squad has advanced to the Championship’s second round in the league’s fourth season with an automatic bid. San Diego was the lone road team to post a win in the opening round but will face a tough task winning at the FargoDome where the Bisons are 16-0 during the playoffs.
San Diego Story to Watch: More Hodges and Lawrence. The Toreros tandem of quarterback Anthony Lawrence and running back Jonah Hodges teamed up in sloppy conditions to roll up 473 offensive yards at Cal Poly – the fourth best offensive yardage total in the opening round. It was Hodges eighth 100-yard rushing performance and his 171 yards was his third outing of more than 170 yards this season. Lawrence’s 296 passing yards was his fourth best passing effort this season and it was the sixth time this season he has posted a multi-touchdown outing.
North Dakota State Story to Watch: Move the line. The Bisons bring a highly-regarded offensive line into the playoffs with four members of the line receiving All-MVFC honors. Seniors Zach Johnson and Landon Lechler were first-team honorees while senior Jack Plankers was a second-team selection. Behind that trio, the Bisons allowed just 1.18 sacks per game – 18th nationally – and led the nation allowing only 3.27 tackles for loss per game. NDSU also ranks 11th nationally in rush offense, gaining 239.9 yards per game despite no single rusher averaging more than 70 yards per game.