South Dakota State beats Villanova, advances to FCS semis
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Isaiah Davis ran for three touchdowns, Chris Oladokun and Jaxon Janke combined for two scores and South Dakota State used a big second half to defeat fifth-seeded Villanova 35-21 on Saturday in the FCS quarterfinals.
The Jackrabbits (11-3), the only unseeded team to reach the quarterfinals, will play the winner of top-seeded Sam Houston and eighth-seed Montana State in next week’s semifinals.
Trailing 21-14 at halftime, the Jackrabbits tied the game on a 2-yard run by Davis to complete a 71-yard drive, then went ahead on Oladokun’s 38-yard strike to Janke late in the third quarter. Davis covered 54 yards of a 67-yard drive that ended with his 1-yard plunge and a 34-21 lead with 8:13 remaining.
Michael Griffith made an interception with 4:43 left, the 21st for the Jackrabbits and the most for an FCS team this season.
Davis finished with 25 carries for 174 yards. Janke made six catches for 119 yards.
Villanova’s Daniel Smith and Jaaron Hayek completed a 55-yard touchdown pass play after Hayek made a catch at the Jackrabbits 15 and dragged defenders into the end zone with 55 seconds remaining in the half for a 21-14 lead.
Earlier in the first half, the teams traded two touchdowns apiece on consecutive possessions, the Jackrabbits scoring on Davis’ burst through the line for a 24-yard score and Oladokun throwing a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jaxon Janke. Villanova had a Smith TD pass of 37 yards to Rayjoun Pringle and Smith’s 7-yard keeper that tied the game at 14-all.
Pringle made five catches for 119 yards.
The Jackrabbits are in their 10th straight postseason after having lost in the 2020-21 spring FCS title game to Sam Houston State.
The Wildcats (10-3) had a four-game win streak snapped.
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