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Road to Frisco: FCS Championship on Jan. 6

first_imgSeven Year ItchWith James Madison winning the title last January and North Dakota State claiming the previous five national championships, it’s been seven years since neither of the two 2018 championship game participating schools were playing in Frisco in early January. The last time neither of the teams were featured at the FCS championship game was the 2010 season’s championship on January 7, 2011, when Eastern Washington defeated Delaware 20-19. That contest was the first time the game was held in Frisco and hosted by the Southland Conference, the City of Frisco, and Hunt Sports Ventures.In late 2016, the NCAA agreed to a four-year extension to continue holding the Division I Football Championship title game at Toyota Stadium, keeping the championship game in Frisco through 2020. Game CallsThe championship will telecast live on ESPN2 starting at 11 a.m. CT. Two-time Emmy Award winner Dave Neal will have the play-by-play call, while former NFL and University of Georgia standout Matt Stinchcomb will handle analyst duties. Longtime ESPN college sports broadcaster Quint Kessenich is the sideline reporter.Westwood One will provide the nationwide radio broadcast, available via westwoodonesports.com, the TuneIn mobile app and SiriusXM channel 84. Stingy DuoJames Madison is ranked number one nationally in scoring defense while North Dakota State is the second-ranked team in all of FCS. The Dukes forced an eye-popping 10 turnovers in last week’s contest – six interceptions and four fumble recoveries, both season highs. The six picks matches a 44-year old program record from when JMU competed at the Division III level. Last Friday, the Bison held Sam Houston State to a season-low 13 points after the Bearkats entered the game leading the FCS in scoring offense. Game OfficialsA crew from the Southland Conference will officiate the game as well as handle replay officiating. This year will mark the second time in four years that Southland officials receive the honor to work the national championship game. How They Got HereThe Dukes extended their consecutive game-winning streak to 26 with a 51-16 drubbing of South Dakota State last Saturday. JMU began its playoff march to Frisco on Dec. 2 with a 26-7 victory over Stony Brook followed by a nail-biting 31-28 win over Weber State on Dec. 8. Meanwhile, North Dakota State advanced to the championship after upending Sam Houston State 55-13 on Friday. The Bison’s return to Frisco began with a 38-3 toppling of San Diego on Dec. 2, followed by a 42-10 walloping of Wofford on Dec. 9. Thursday, Jan. 4Noon – NDSU Interviews – Toyota Stadium, Practice Field 712:30 p.m. – Media Luncheon – Toyota Stadium, Winners Club1:15 p.m. – JMU Interviews – Toyota Stadium, Practice Field 25:15 p.m. – Miracle League Community Outreach Activity – Frisco Paint Ball7 p.m. – Great Texas Barbecue Bowl – Main Event Friday, Jan. 58:30 a.m. – Championship Banquet (breakfast) – Frisco Conference Center3 p.m. – Home Team Press Conference – Toyota Stadium, Media Operations Room4 p.m. – Visiting Team Press Conference – Toyota Stadium, Media Operations Room5 p.m. – VIP Reception – Toyota Stadium, Winners Club6 p.m. – STATS FCS Awards Banquet – Frisco Conference CenterSaturday, Jan. 69 a.m. – NCAA Tailgate Town – Toyota Stadium North Concourse11 a.m. – CHAMPIONSHIP GAME – Toyota Stadium Coming in HotJames Madison (14-0) is looking to win its 27th straight game and second consecutive national championship. The Dukes rolled through the regular season with an 11-0 record, beginning the year with a 34-14 win at East Carolina. Before Weber State put up 28 points in the FCS quarterfinals, JMU had not given up more than 14 points in a game all season.North Dakota State (13-1) saw its only blemish of the season come in a 33-21 loss at South Dakota State on Nov. 11. Besides that, the Bison put together a perfect season, including regular-season wins over No. 6 Eastern Washington, No. 8 Youngstown State, No. 10 Western Illinois, No. 25 Northern Iowa, No. 10 South Dakota at No. 21 Illinois State.  One versus TwoAfter beginning the playoffs on Nov. 25 with 24 teams competing for the opportunity to play in the NCAA Division I Football Championship in Frisco, the final game matchup is set. The bracket held form as defending national champion and No. 1 seed James Madison is set to square off against No. 2 seed North Dakota State.Click here for the complete tournament bracket. Tough TicketThe general public ticket allotment sold out shortly after going on sale in August. NCAA Experience ticket and hospitality packages are still available via the NCAA Ticket Exchange. To keep up to date regarding future ticket opportunities, sign up here. Revenge-Minded BisonThe Dukes’ 27-17 win over the Bison in Fargo, ND, in last year’s semifinal round ended a streak of five straight national championships and Frisco appearances for NDSU. The loss snapped the Bison’s 22-game postseason winning streak and was the first home playoff loss since the 1991 Division II first round. Live From FriscoESPNU will air a live half-hour pregame show from Frisco and Toyota Stadium immediately preceding the ESPN2 television broadcast. Championship Week EventsAll times are CTlast_img

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