In last week's FCS quarterfinal preview, I wrote that Friday night's Incarnate Word-Sacramento State game might be our last opportunity to watch the pedal-to-the-medal glory that is quarterback Lindsey Scott Jr. and the UIW offense. Turns out, it wasn't. And aside from Sac State fans, we're all better off for it.
I've watched a lot of college football through the decades, and I'm not sure I've ever seen a fourth quarter as wild as what took place in Sacramento late into Friday night. The first three quarters had already seen a 21-3 UIW run, three ties, three touchdowns of 20 or more yards and a running back drinking beer. But that barely prepared us for what was next.
• Scott scored on a 64-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter to put UIW up 45-34.
• Sac State scored a touchdown, recovered an onside kick and scored again to go up 48-45.
• UIW's Marcus Cooper rushed 67 yards straight up the middle on third-and-2 to give the Cardinals the advantage again.
• After a Brandon Richard sack, UIW's Kelechi Anyalebechi returned a fumble 55 yards for a score and a 59-48 lead.
• Sac State scored a touchdown and recovered another onside kick, then scored again to go up 63-59 with 1 minute, 43 seconds left.
• UIW needed only seven plays (and a pass interference penalty) to drive 75 yards and score the game-winning TD with 27 seconds left.
It was honestly a surprise when Sacramento State couldn't respond with a long-distance field goal to send this to overtime. But after 17 touchdowns, three field goals, three fourth-down conversions, four Sac State turnovers, 1,317 total yards, two perfect onside kicks and a 57-point fourth quarter, Incarnate Word had taken down the No. 2 seed 66-63.
Scott and his merry band of YOLO artists will now take their show to the Fargodome in the first of what should be two dynamite semifinal games. In between them: the Celebration Bowl, aka Deion Sanders' last game as Jackson State's head coach. And this says nothing of the three national title games we're getting at the sub-FCS level.
This is the biggest weekend of the season at the smaller-school level. Here is what SP+ projects for this week's matchups: