Unbeaten Sacramento State hosts Richmond in the FCS Playoffs on Saturday, December 3.
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The game (5 p.m. ET start time) won’t be on TV, but anyone in the US can watch Richmond vs Sacramento State live on ESPN+ right here:
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Richmond vs Sacramento State Preview
Sacramento State (11-0) enters the FCS playoffs with enormous expectations with an unbeaten record and a Big Sky Conference title in tow. The Richmond Spiders (9-3) will look to play spoiler after making the cross-country trip to the west coast from Virginia.
Richmond opened FCS playoff action with a bang amid a 41-0 rout of Davidson on November 26. Spiders quarterback Reece Udinski threw for 246 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Running back Milan Howard also posted a big game for the Spiders with 73 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Sac State’s defense will pose a challenge for the Spiders offense. The Hornets allow 21.82 points and 372.7 yards per game, and that’s from competition in a pass-happy Big Sky league.
Hornets linebacker Armon Bailey gives opposing offenses trouble with a team-high six sacks, two forced fumbles, and 78 tackles. Defensive back Marte Mapu poses a threat to the Spiders passing game. Mapu has two interceptions, a forced fumble, a sack, and 64 tackles thus far.
Udinski, who has 3,396 yards passing and 26 touchdowns this year, will look to get around the Hornets defense. Jakob Herres, Jasiah Williams, and Nick Degennaro have all been reliable receivers for Udinski. All four tallied 50 or more receptions and 515 or more yards, and three of them have three or more touchdowns. Tight End Connor Deveney and running back Savon Smith also pose touchdown threats.
“They’re going to throw it a ton,” Hornets defensive coordinator Andy Thompson said via the Sacramento Bee. “They have a big, tall quarterback, and he’s good. We’ve got to always attack on defense and give them different looks. Overall, we’re going to do what we always do.:
Sac State can also pile on the offense with 41.5 points and 480.6 yards per game. Hornets quarterback Jake Dunniway has 1,867 yards passing and 16 touchdowns versus 10 interceptions this season. Running back Cameron Skattebo has 1,250 yards rushing and five touchdowns this fall, but the biggest running threat comes when quarterback Asher O’Hara gets under center.
O’Hara has 798 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground. When he does throw the ball, he has 642 yards passing and eight touchdowns versus zero interceptions.
Sac State looks to change course on its recent history in the FCS playoffs, an 0-2 mark since 2019. That includes last year’s 24-19 loss at home to South Dakota State.
“It used to take me months to get over losses,” Hornets head coach Troy Taylor said via the Sacramento Bee. “I’ve gotten better about it because, as a leader, you’ve got to be able to move on from it and learn from it. You don’t like losing. It’s one of those things that, if you play sports long enough, it’s part of the deal. The reality is, there’s only one team that wins the last game. It’s how you respond.”