The home teams feel rested after a bye, and the road teams like their momentum following a first-round win, as the FCS playoffs move into the round of 16 (or second round) on Saturday.

While competitive matchups abound, home teams have come to dominate outcomes in the playoffs. The original 24-team field plays at school host sites until the championship game on Jan. 7 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

Following are capsule previews of the second-round games in the top half of the bracket, which is anchored by No. 1 seed South Dakota State, the defending national champion:

Youngtown State (8-4) at No. 8 seed Villanova (9-2)

Kickoff – Noon ET at Villanova Stadium in Villanova, Pennsylvania (ESPN+)

Series – Youngstown State leads 7-2 (last meeting: YSU won 28-21 at Villanova on Nov. 13, 1999)

Coaches – Youngstown State: Doug Phillips (19-21, fourth season); Villanova: Mark Ferrante (46-28, seventh season)

3 Players to Watch – Youngstown State: QB Mitch Davidson (229 of 324, 2,765 yards, 21 TDs, 4 INTs; 5 rush TDs), RB Tyshon King (179 carries, 995 yards, 9 TDs; 15 receptions), DB Troy Jakubec (32 tackles, 4 INTs, 7 pass breakups); Villanova: QB Connor Watkins (134 of 230, 2,332 yards, 19 TDs, 8 INTs), Rayjuon Pringle (37 receptions, 950 yards, 8 TDs), LB Shane Hartzell (68 tackles, three sacks, 2 INTs, 5 QB hurries)

Notable – The margin of victory in each of the past seven meetings (from 1977 to ‘99) has been seven or fewer points, including YSU winning the only three playoff matchups by a combined seven points. YSU cruised past Duquesne 40-7 in the first round with a 300-yard passer (Davidson, 316), a 100-yard rusher (King, 101) and a 100-yard receiver (Bryce Oliver, 181). Redshirt freshman Andrew Lastovka is 15 of 18 on field goals and has a team-high 87 points, while RB Dra Rushton leads with 10 touchdowns. Villanova spreads the carries to the triumvirate of Jalen Jackson (2,398 rushing yards, 23 TD runs in career), DeeWill Barlee (2,226, 15) and TD Ayo-Durojaiye (1,600, 14). Pringle (25.7) and WR Jaylan Sanchez (24.0) rank 1 and 2, respectively, in the FCS in yards per catch. While the Wildcats allow just 292 yards and 17.6 points per game, YSU’s 35-minute, 8-second average time of possession tops the FCS.

Up Next – The winner will face either No. 1 seed South Dakota State (11-0) or Mercer (9-3) in a national quarterfinal on Dec. 8 or 9.

Prediction – Youngstown State 24, Villanova 21


Richmond (9-3) at No. 5 seed UAlbany (9-3)

Kickoff – Noon ET at Casey Stadium in Albany, New York (ESPN+)

Series – Richmond leads 7-0 (last meeting: Richmond won 23-20 at home on Oct. 5, 2019)

Coaches – Richmond: Russ Huesman (42-32, seventh season; 101-69 overall); UAlbany: Greg Gattuso (48-60, 10th season; 145-92 overall)

3 Players to Watch – Richmond: WR Kyle Wickersham (124 of 167, 1,320 yards, 10 TDs, 2 INTs; 401 rush yards, 4 TDs), LB Tristan Wheeler (109 tackles, 9 TFL, 1 fumble recovery), FS Aaron Banks (59 tackles, 3 INTs, 7 pass breakups); UAlbany: QB Reese Poffenbarger (211 of 364, 2,860 yards, 31 TDs, 9 INTs; 134 rush yards, 3 TDs), LB Dylan Kelly (145 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 INTs, 2 fumble recoveries), DE Anton Junjac (49 tackles, 18.5 TFL, 13 sacks, 3 forced fumbles)

Notable – Richmond has won every meeting since UAlbany joined CAA Football in 2013, but the three most recent from 2017-19 were all three-point margins. The Spiders have won seven straight games, including 49-27 over North Carolina Central in the first round as Wickersham passed for three TDs and RB/PR Savon Smith scored three times. They have defended well in the red zone, allowing TDs on just 20 of their opponents’ 39 opportunities. Wheeler has 475 career tackles, the most of current FCS players. UAlbany is 5-0 at home, with each win decided by 16+ points and the average margin 24.8. The Great Danes rank first in the CAA in points allowed per game (17.2) and nationally with 42 sacks. Redshirt freshman Griffin Woodell has rushed for 100+ yards in three of the last five games. In Poffenbarger’s two seasons, the Great Danes are 3-9 when he’s sacked 3+times and 9-2 when it’s less than that.

Up Next – The winner will face either No. 4 seed Idaho (8-3) or Southern Illinois (8-4) in a national quarterfinal on Dec. 8 or 9.

Prediction – UAlbany 24, Richmond 14

Mercer (9-3) at No. 1 seed South Dakota State (11-0)

Kickoff – 2 p.m. ET at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium in Brookings, South Dakota (ESPN+)

Series – First meeting

Coaches – Mercer: Drew Cronic (28-16, fourth season; 75-22 overall); South Dakota State: Jimmy Rogers (11-0, first season)

3 Players to Watch – Mercer: QB Carter Peevy (188 of 282, 2,209 yards, 11 TDs, 3 INTs; 312 rush yards, 12 TDs), WR Ty James (61 receptions, 1,102 yards, 7 TDs), LB Ken Standley (89 tackles, 15 TFL, 4 sacks, 9 QB hurries); South Dakota State: QB Mark Gronowski (159 of 232, 2,359 yards, 23 TDs, 3 INTs; 220 rush yards, 7 TDs), RB Isaiah Davis (162 carries, 1,075 yards, 11 TDs; 18 receptions), LB Jason Freeman (72 tackles, 4 TFL, 2 INTs, 2 fumble recoveries)

Notable – Mercer won its first-ever playoff game, 17-7 over Gardner-Webb in the first round; SDSU enters with a 25-game winning streak (fourth-longest in FCS history) and 18 straight victories at home. The visiting Bears have forced 18 turnovers during a five-game winning streak. James has been over 1,100 receiving yards in each of the past two seasons, while WR Devron Harper ranks 11th among FCS players in all-purpose yards per game (129.7) and has seven combined kickoff and punt return TDs in his career. SDSU’s ranks in the top 10 in the FCS in points (37.6) and offensive yards (446.8) per game, but it’s No. 1 in fewest points (11.3) and yards (266.5) allowed per game. Dating to last season, the Jackrabbits have scored on 88 of their last 89 trips into an opponent’s red zone (70 TDs, 18 field goals). Davis has 21 career games of 100+ rushing yards, including in nine of his 12 postseason games.

Up Next – The winner will face either No. 8 seed Villanova (9-2) or Youngstown State (8-4) in a national quarterfinal on Dec. 8 or 9.

Prediction – South Dakota State 34, Mercer 14

(Flex the muscles: Jackrabbits dominate on the offensive line)

Southern Illinois (8-4) at No. 4 seed Idaho (8-3)

Kickoff – 10 p.m. ET at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Idaho (ESPN2/ESPN+)

Series – First meeting

Coaches – Southern Illinois: Nick Hill (44-47, eighth season); Idaho: Jason Eck (15-8, second season)

3 Players to Watch – Southern Illinois: Nic Baker (214 of 325, 2,543 yards, 17 TDs, 6 INTs), S PJ Jules (105 tackles, 13 TFL, 11 pass breakups), LB Branson Combs (76 tackles, 5.5 TFL, INT, 7 pass breakups); Idaho: QB Gevani McCoy (190 of 288, 2,410 yards, 14 TDs, 7 INTs; 165 rush yards, 2 TDs), RB Anthony Woods (172 carries, 987 yards, 14 TDs), CB Marcus Harris (42 tackles, 2 INTs, 9 pass breakups)

Notable – Two of the FCS’ four wins over FBS programs this season are represented here (SIU, 14-11 over Northern Illinois; Idaho, 33-6 over Nevada). SIU opened its 11th playoff appearance with a shutout for the first time – 35-0 over Nicholls – dropping its season average to 15.8 points allowed per game (No. 6 in the FCS). In the win, Baker added solo possession of the Salukis’ career TD pass record (67) to his passing yardage mark (9,206). Ro Elliott has rushed for at least one TD in seven of his eight games and nine overall. Idaho has outgained all 11 opponents in offensive yards, and in the regular-season finale against Idaho State, redshirt freshman QB Jack Layne stepped in for McCoy to match the program’s single-game record with six TD passes. Wide receiver Hayden Hatten, who owns Idaho’s record for career TD catches (28), is 15 yards shy of 1,000 receiving yards for a second consecutive season. Ricardo Chavez has made 14 of 16 field-goal attempts (4 of 4 at home), including three of 50+ yards.

Up Next – The winner will face either No. 5 seed UAlbany (9-3) or Richmond (9-3) in a national quarterfinal on Dec. 8 or 9.

Prediction – Idaho 24, Southern Illinois 21