The 2022 FCS playoffs will kick off with eight first-round games on Saturday.

The 24-team field will play at school host sites until the championship game on Jan. 8 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

Following are capsule previews of the first-round games in the bottom half of the bracket, which is anchored by No. 2 seed Sacramento State (all times ET):

Elon (8-3, 6-2 CAA) at Furman (9-2, 7-1 SoCon)

Kickoff – Noon at Paladin Stadium in Greenville, South Carolina (ESPN+)

Series – Furman leads 12-8 (last meeting: Elon won 45-7 at home on Sept. 8, 2018)

Coaches – Elon: Tony Trisciani (20-19, fourth season); Furman: Clay Hendrix (40-25, sixth season)

3 Players to Watch – Elon: QB Matthew McKay (177 of 283, 2,471 yards, 21 TDs, 4 INTs; 405 rushing yards, 3 TDs), RB Jalen Hampton (1,023 rushing yards, 10 TDs), Spur Marcus Hillman (73 tackles, 16.5 TFL, 8.5 sacks, 4 FF); Furman: QB Tyler Huff (70.1 completion%, 13 TDs; 537 rushing yards, 5 TDs), TE Ryan Miller (61 receptions, 652 yards, 11 TDs), ILB Braden Gilby (76 tackles, 14 TFL)

Notable – Furman won 28-27 at Elon in a 2017 first-round matchup. This season, both teams posted three regular-season wins over ranked opponents, just one shy of the national high. Hampton is an Elon workhorse with over 22 carries per game, but Furman has been solid in a run-oriented SoCon, allowing only 110.5 rushing yards per game. The host Paladins’ 16 interceptions, led by FS Hugh Ryan’s four, are tied for the third-most in the FCS, but Elon has the better turnover margin, +9 to +6. Elon’s Skyler Davis is 16 of 20 on field goal attempts this season and 67 of 88 (76.1%) in his career.

Up Next – The winner will advance to play at No. 7 seed UIW (10-1) in the second round (2 p.m. ET on Dec. 3).

Prediction – Elon 24, Furman 23

Davidson (8-3, 6-2 Pioneer) at Richmond (8-3, 6-2 CAA)

Kickoff – 2 p.m. at E. Claiborne Robins Stadium in Richmond, Virginia (ESPN+)

Series – Richmond leads 19-9-1 (last meeting: Richmond won 42-0 at Davidson on Sept. 15, 1973)

Coaches – Davidson: Scott Abell (34-18, fifth season; 73-42 overall); Richmond: Russ Huesman (32-28, sixth season; 91-65 overall)

3 Players to Watch – Davidson: RB Dylan Sparks (792 rushing yards, 5 TDs), FB Coy Williams (779 rushing yards, 11 TDs), DE Jonathan Hammond (36 tackles, 9.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks); Richmond: QB Reece Udinski (329 of 445, 3,152 yards, 24 TDs, 4 INTs), WR Jakob Herres (65 receptions, 850 yards, 5 TDs), LB Tristan Wheeler (97 tackles, 9 TFL, 2 INTs)   

Notable – Davidson, from the non-scholarship PFL, has lost in each of the past two playoffs – their first appearances – by a combined 97-35. The Wildcats, facing Richmond for the first time in 49 years, leads the FCS in rushing yards per game (350.5), with QB Jayden Waddell at the controls. They seek to contain a Udinski-led passing attack that boasts the only FCS trio to have 60+ receptions (Jasiah Williams, 75; Herres, 65; and Leroy Henley, 61). The Spiders have allowed only 277.4 yards and 15.3 points per game in wins, but it’s 472.7 and 33.7, respectively, in losses.

Up Next – The winner will advance to play at No. 2 seed Sacramento State (11-0) in the second round (5 p.m. ET on Dec. 3)

Prediction – Richmond 42, Davidson 21

Idaho (7-4, 6-2 Big Sky) at Southeastern Louisiana (8-3, 5-1 Southland)

Kickoff – 7 p.m. at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond, Louisiana (ESPN+)

Series – First meeting

Coaches – Idaho: Jason Eck (7-4, first season); Southeastern Louisiana: Frank Scelfo (33-22, fifth season)

3 Players to Watch – Idaho: QB Gevani McCoy (185 of 272, 2,376 yards, 25 TDs, 5 INTs), WR Hayden Hatten (74 receptions, 1,000 yards, 15 TDs), LB Fa’Avae Fa’Avae (99 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 2 FF); Southeastern Louisiana: QB Eli Sawyer (121 of 194, 1,605 yards, 11 TDs, 1 INT), WR Gage Larvadain (45 receptions, 582 yards, 2 TDs; 25.0-yard KOR average), LB Donte’ Daniels (79 tackles, 5.5 TFL)

Notable – Idaho is enjoying its first winning season since 2016, and that includes the first four seasons of the Vandals’ return from the FBS level. McCoy, the Big Sky freshman of the year, missed the regular-season finale, with Jack Layne stepping in to pass for 255 yards and a touchdown. Anthony Woods (814 rushing yards, 2 TDs) is the Vandals’ rushing leader, but Roshaun Johnson (12 total TDs) does the heavy lifting around an opponent’s goal line. SLU handed UIW (10-1) its only loss and Jacksonville State (9-2) one of its two losses. With Zy Alexander, Jack Henderson and Ferlando Jordan, the Lions gained three of the five defensive back spots on the All-Southland first team. Sawyer and Cephus Johnson III (1,146 passing yards, 419 rushing yards) split time behind center.

Up Next – The winner will advance to play at No. 6 seed Samford (10-1) on Dec. 3 (3 p.m. ET on Dec. 3)

Prediction – Southeastern Louisiana 33, Idaho 31

Southeast Missouri (9-2, 5-0 Ohio Valley) at Montana (7-4, 4-4 Big Sky)

Kickoff – 10 p.m. at Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula, Montana (ESPN2)

Series – First meeting

Coaches – Southeast Missouri: Tom Matukewicz (50-51, ninth season; 51-51 overall); Montana: Bobby Hauck (115-33, 12th season; 130-82 overall)

3 Players to Watch – Southeast Missouri: RB Geno Hess (206 carries, 1,569 yards; 21 total TDs), ILB Bryce Norman (108 tackles, 7 QBH, 2 takeaways), DB Lawrence Johnson (76 tackles, 4 sacks, INT, 8 PBU); Montana: QB Lucas Johnson (161 of 254, 1,857 yards, 19 TDs, 6 INTs; 7 rush TDs), LB Patrick O’Connell (64 tackles, 8 sacks, 3 takeaways), S Robby Hauck (95 tackles, 4 TFL)

Notable – Montana gained an FCS-record 26th playoff bid despite a 55-21 loss to Montana State last Saturday. Still, the Grizzlies have a +206 scoring margin that is sixth-best in the FCS and second-best among teams in action in the first round (Saint Francis, +212). Robby Hauck has 459 career tackles, which ranks third in Big Sky history but the total is only 14 shy of the record. Both starting QBs have battled injuries recently. SEMO’s Paxton DeLaurent has missed the last two games, with true freshman Patrick Heitert subbing in for him. Hess is coming off a career-high 317 rushing yards against Murray State, while the 439 UM surrendered to Montana State was its most allowed in nearly 24 years.

Up Next – The winner will advance to play at No. 3 seed North Dakota State (9-2) in the second round (3:30 p.m. on Dec. 3)

Prediction – Montana 42, Southeast Missouri 28