FCS Playoffs 2013: Quarterfinals Results, Semifinals Schedule and Bracket Update

Kyle Vassalo@VassaloBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2013

Aug 30, 2013; Manhattan, KS, USA; North Dakota State Bison wide receiver Zach Vraa (82) tries to make a catch while being hit by Kansas State Wildcats defensive back Dorrian Roberts (4) during the first half at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

While the North Dakota State Bison are rolling along as expected, the Eastern Illinois Panthers' loss to the Towson Tigers proved nobody in the tournament is safe.

The FCS playoffs are heating up, and with seven teams all vying for a shot at the championship, it's hard to imagine we've seen the last major upset of the tournament. The unpredictable nature of the playoffs makes every game worth watching, and with the talented teams and players that remain, it's going to make for an extraordinary finish.

Here is a current look at the results to this point, along with schedule information for the upcoming semifinals clashes.

Updated Bracket:

The full FCS bracket can be found here at NCAA.com.

Quarterfinals Results:

Towson 49, Eastern Illinois 39

Dec 13, 2013; Charleston, IL, USA;  Towson Tigers running back Terrance West (28) scores a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Eastern Illinois Panthers at O'Brien Field. Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports
Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Towson running back Terrance West stole the show, rushing for an FCS playoff-record 356 yards and five touchdowns in a stunning performance against Eastern Illinois. NCAA.com's David Mercer provided West's comical reaction to the news:

Along the way he set a new FCS playoff record for rushing yards, something he had no idea he'd done until he was asked about it after the game.

''I did?'' he asked in disbelief, explaining nonetheless that he pictured himself having a big night. ''If you picture big plays, you make big plays. So I was picturing.''

Prior to the game, CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora weighed in on the back's bright future. It's safe to say West supported his claims:

After falling to a 14-0 deficit early in the first quarter, Towson battled back to take a 21-14 lead at halftime. On Saturday, Towson finds out who they will take on in the school's first semifinals game in school history.

North Dakota State 48, Coastal Carolina 14

Jan 5, 2013; Frisco, TX, USA;  North Dakota State Bison quarterback Brock Jensen (16) reacts to beating the Sam Houston State Bearkats in the FCS Championship football game at FC Dallas Stadium. North Dakota State beat Sam Houston State 39-13.  Mandatory

The North Dakota State Bison did exactly what was expected of them: they dominated Coastal Carolina in a lopsided victory.

The Bison settled for a field goal on their first possession, but then punched it into the end zone to take a 17-0 lead into the second quarter.

By the game’s end, North Dakota State’s run-heavy offense had accumulated 623 yards of total offense424 yards of which came on the ground. The Bison defense stepped up also, holding Coastal Carolina under 300 yards of offense and forcing them to punt eight times.

Bison quarterback Brock Jensenlast year’s postseason MVPwas the star of the game with 262 total yards and four touchdowns (two of which came on the ground).

In the end, the FCS powerhouse was too much for Coastal Carolina to handle. With the win, the Bison advance into the semifinals where they’ll play the winner of the Southeastern Louisiana-New Hampshire matchup.

North Dakota State is just two wins away from an undefeated season (including a win over Kansas State) and a completed three-peat.

Eastern Washington 35, Jacksonville State 24

Aug 31, 2013; Corvallis, OR, USA; Eastern Washington Eagles quarterback Vernon Adams (3) celebrates with fans after defeating the Oregon State Beavers  49-46 at Reser Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports
Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

In a battle between Eastern Washington’s high-octane offense and Jacksonville State’s talented defense, the offense won out.

Both offenses put together a very balanced performance with over 200 yards on the ground and 300 yards in the air. The difference, however, was Eastern Washington running back Quincy Forte, who rushed for 190 yards and two touchdowns.

The Gamecocks couldn’t contain him, but they also had trouble defending Eagles wide receiver Ashton Clark who had a huge game, catching 11 passes for 181 yards and a score.

After a relatively slow first quarter, the second quarter was a scoring explosion with four touchdowns. Eventually the game became a shootout, which played to the strengths of Eastern Washington.

The Eagles survive another round in the playoffs, and will play Towson in the semifinals next weekend.

New Hampshire 20, Southeastern Louisiana 17

Dec 14, 2013; Hammond, LA, USA; New Hampshire Wildcats quarterback Sean Goldrich (5) carries the ball in front of Southeastern Louisiana Lions linebacker Isaiah Corbett (6) in the first half at Strawberry Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA T
Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Spor

The New Hampshire Wildcats are officially on Cinderella notice as they are the only unseeded team left in the tournament.

They continued their impressive play (putting up over 40 points against Lafayette and No. 5 Maine) by pulling out the win against No. 4 Southeastern Louisiana thanks to a late touchdown.

New Hampshire put up close to 500 yards of total offense, and they used their huge advantage on the ground to pull of the upset. The Wildcats rushed for 203 yards compared to just 67 yards on the ground by Southeastern Louisiana.

Wildcats quarterback Sean Goldrich rushed for all three New Hampshire touchdowns, but a blocked extra point on the last score left the door open for Southeastern Louisiana to win or tie the game with 47 seconds left on the clock. Unfortunately, the Lions couldn't get into field-goal range, and were bounced out of the tournament as a result.

The Wildcats have played brilliantly so far, but their road to the final goes through No. 1 seed North Dakota State.

If the glass slipper fits.


Semifinals Schedule

No. 1 North Dakota State vs. New Hampshire

When: Friday, Dec. 20 at 8 p.m. ET

No. 3 Eastern Washington vs. No. 7 Towson

When: Saturday, Dec. 21 at 2 p.m. ET

Championship Game

When: Saturday, Jan. 4 at 2 p.m. ET