Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE
Sam Houston State faces third-seeded Montana State on Friday night in the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs.
Sam Houston State will try to take the next step to an FCS title Friday night when the Bearkats play the Montana State Bobcats in Bozeman, Montana. At 11-1, Montana State will present the toughest task yet of the playoffs for unseeded Sam Houston.
In their first game of the tournament, the Bearkats edged Cal Poly, 18-16, on Dec. 1. Despite being outgained, 387-241, by the Mustangs, Sam Houston State took advantage of a blocked punt and a pair of field goals to build a halftime lead, then hung on for the close win. Tim Flanders ran for 101 yards on 17 carries, and Brian Bell completed 9-of-19 passes for 88 yards and a score.
The Bearkats will have to find a way to slow down Montana State quarterback DeNarius McGhee. In the Bobcats' 16-10 win over Stony Brook, McGhee threw for 208 yards and a touchdown, and ran for 75 yards on 18 carries.
If Sam Houston State can get past Montana State, the Bearkats will face the winner of second-seeded Eastern Washington vs. Illinois State in the semifinals on Dec. 14-15.
In the rest of the quarterfinal action, top seed North Dakota State hosts Wofford, and No. 4 Old Dominion takes on No. 5 Georgia Southern. Those games will be on Dec. 8.