South Dakota, South Dakota State draw home games in FCS first round

Both teams will be in action Saturday, Nov. 27

South Dakota's Da'Raun McKinney, left, attempts to tackle South Dakota State's Tucker Kraft during a college football game Nov. 13, 2021 at the DakotaDome in Vermillion. (Marcus Traxler / Republic)

For the first time in the schools' Division I era, both South Dakota and South Dakota State will host NCAA FCS playoff games on the same day on Saturday, Nov. 27.

SDSU qualified for the playoffs for the 10th straight year and will host the University of California-Davis at 2 p.m. in Brookings. USD will host an FCS playoff game for the first time at 5 p.m. Saturday against Missouri Valley Football Conference foe Southern Illinois at the DakotaDome.

The winner of the SDSU-UC Davis matchup will travel to No. 4 seed Sacramento State on Dec. 4, while the USD-SIU winners will travel to No. 2 North Dakota State on Dec. 4.

SDSU is coming off a national runner-up finish during the 2021 spring season and was 8-3 during the current season, clinching a playoff berth with a 24-21 win over North Dakota on Saturday in the regular-season finale.

USD (7-4) is in the FCS playoffs for just the second time in school history and the first time since 2017. Despite a 52-24 loss at NDSU on Saturday, the Coyotes' dramatic 23-20 win over SDSU on Nov. 13 helped USD secure a playoff berth.


The Coyotes and Salukis (7-4) are able to play each other in the first round due to an NCAA policy that allows conference foes to matchup if they didn't meet during the regular season. The Valley accounted for six of the 24 teams in the tournament field, with SDSU, USD, NDSU and SIU joined by Missouri State and Northern Iowa.

Saturday's game at the DakotaDome will be USD's first home playoff game since the 1986 Division II playoffs.

Defending national champion Sam Houston earned the No. 1 seed, with NDSU at No. 2. James Madison took the No. 3 seed, followed by the Hornets from Sacramento State, who were the automatic qualifier from the Big Sky Conference.

NCAA FCS football playoffs

All times Central

First round — Saturday, Nov. 27

Stephen F. Austin (8-3) at Incarnate Word (9-2), 2 p.m.

UT Martin (9-2) at Missouri State (8-3), 3 p.m.


Sacred Heart (8-3) at Holy Cross (9-2), 11 a.m.

UC Davis (8-3) at South Dakota State (8-3), 2 p.m.

Florida A&M (9-2) at Southeastern Louisiana (8-3), 6 p.m.

Northern Iowa (6-5) at Eastern Washington (9-2), 3 p.m.

Davidson (8-2) at Kennesaw State (10-1), 1 p.m.

Southern Illinois (7-4) at South Dakota (7-4), 5 p.m.

Second round — Friday, Dec. 3 or Saturday, Dec. 4

Games are Saturday unless noted


Upper bracket

SFA-Incarnate Word winner at No. 1 Sam Houston (10-0), 2 p.m.

UT-Martin/Missouri State winner at No. 8 Montana State (9-2), 3 p.m.

Sacred Heart-Holy Cross winner at No. 5 Villanova (9-2), 6 p.m. Friday

UC Davis-SDSU winner at No. 4 Sacramento State (9-2), 8 p.m.

Lower bracket

Florida A&M-SE Louisiana winner at No. 3 James Madison (10-1), 1 p.m.

UNI-EWU winner at No. 6 Montana (9-2), 8 p.m. Friday


Davidson-Kennesaw State winner at No. 7 East Tennessee State (10-1), 1 p.m.

SIU-USD winner at No. 2 North Dakota State (10-1), 2:30 p.m.

Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at
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