James Madison vs Sam Houston State Live Stream: How to Watch Online The Sam Houston State Bearkats (8-0) will head to Bowers Stadium in Huntsville to face the James Madison Dukes (7-0) in the FCS Spring Football playoff semifinals on Saturday, May 8.
James Madison vs Sam Houston Broadcast
Date: Saturday, May 8
Game Time: 2:30 pm ET
Venue: Bowers Stadium, Huntsville, TX
Network: ABC Watch TV
The game starts at 2:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on ABC. But if you don’t have cable, here are several different ways you can watch a live stream of James Madison vs Sam Houston State online for free:
James Madison (7-0) got up fast on North Dakota in a 34-21 win, and the defense held tough in the second half. The running game was great, QB Cole Johnson was razor sharp, and the team controlled the tempo throughout.
Sam Houston might have a high-powered offense, but it doesn’t control the clock, it turns the ball over a bit too much, and the defense now has to deal with an offense that knows how to convert on third downs.
North Dakota State wasn’t the normal North Dakota State, but it was still strong. Sam Houston still had to hold on for dear life late, and it caught a bit of a break with young Bison QB Cam Miller struggling in the big moment.
That’s not going to be a problem for Johnson.
Johnson and the James Madison offense should be able to keep things moving, the offensive line is a killer, and the run defense has been among the best in the FCS all year.
Why Sam Houston Will Win
The Bearkats might be known for their downfield passing game and the all-around playmaking ability of QB Eric Schmid, but the defense allows just 69 rushing yards per game, stuffed North Dakota State outside of two decent runs, and it’s got the pass rush and ability to pressure the JMU backfield all game long.
Once signed up for FuboTV, you can watch James Madison vs Sam Houston State live on the FuboTV app, which is available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Samsung Smart TV, Android TV, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer via the FuboTV website.
You can also watch the game live via ESPN.com or the ESPN app. Games on ABC (labeled as ESPN3 on the ESPN platforms) can be watched for free this way if you have a participating internet service provider, but if you don’t have that, you can also use your FuboTV credentials to sign in and watch.
It’s James Madison vs. Sam Houston State Saturday with a ticket to the FCS National Championship Game on the line. We hit the semifinals of the 2021 FCS Playoffs as the sudden spring football season starts to come to a close. Saturday’s matchup between undefeated teams pits the 7-0 Duks against the 8-0 Bearkats. JMU rolled past North Dakota last week, 34-21 to make the semis thanks to quarterback Cole Johnson and a big rushing day from Percy Agyei-Obese. On the other side, Sam Houston State is coming off a huge win over FCS powerhouse North Dakota State, knocking the reigning champs out of the tournament.
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — Eric Schmid threw for 227 yards and a touchdown, and his 6-yard touchdown run with 3:39 left helped send second-seeded Sam Houston State past defending FCS champion North Dakota State 24-20 on Sunday.
The Bearkats (8-0) advance to face the winner between No. 3-seed James Madison and North Dakota in the semifinals. Sam Houston State’s win gives it a 15-0 all-time playoff record in home games as it searches for its first-ever championship.
The loss snaps North Dakota State’s (7-3) FCS string of nine straight semifinals’ appearances. In many other seasons a matchup like this would be reserved for Frisco, but Sam Houston has been in championship mode from the first round. Despite receiving one of the top seeds in the FCS playoffs, the Bearkats were faced with an extremely tough Monmouth team that took them down to the wire; that Hawks team was more than capable of beating other teams in the playoffs. They were then given a home matchup with the reigning champions, North Dakota State. Although they were clearly not the NDSU we have grown to expect, their signature toughness and never-say-quit attitude made Sam Houston fans sweat the outcome all the way down to the end.
Now they get the chance to sweep the 2019-20 FCS Championship participants when they welcome James Madison.
James Madison was a hot name when the season started. Then, because of some unimpressive victories and COVID complications, they lost a lot of traction nationally, but they slowly kept winning. They were workman-like when they dispatched Cinderella hopeful VMI. Last week, against a very good North Dakota team, they were able to impose their will on the Fighting Hawks and ran the ball down their throat. More impressive was the offensive output in the passing game — the Dukes showed that they are improving and have a real opportunity to go back to the Championship again…and this time, win it.
These two teams will battle it out on ABC at 2:30 in the afternoon. James Madison is a 1-point favorite and the over/under is 47. Here’s my preview for Saturday’s other semifinal between Delaware and South Dakota State. If you want to place a bet, our partners at BetMGM have a first-time special available. If you don’t bet, I still have a ton of analysis below on a pure football level. So let’s take a look at how they match up.
James Madison has the best rushing offense of the four remaining playoff teams. They put that talent on display last Sunday when they rushed for 219 yards and two touchdowns in their victory over North Dakota. This was a big game for JMU because they had not faced many upper tier teams this spring, so for them to perform like that speaks to their dedication to the run and effectiveness on the ground. Sam Houston is 30th in the FCS in rushing and averaged 166.2 yards on the ground. Because they throw the ball around more, they probably don’t have the need to put up major rushing numbers, but it does not mean they are not effective. They have a quarterback who can make teams pay with his legs and that always makes things interesting in the run game.
Defensively, the teams are two of the best in the FCS against the rush. JMU allows 66.4 yards per game and SHSU is right behind them with 68.9. However it is safe to say that Sam Houston has faced tougher rushing offenses than James Madison. Monmouth, North Dakota, Incarnate Word, and Nicholls all have rushing offenses that are legit tops in the FCS — and Sam Houston State was able to hold them all in check. They will not be intimidated by JMU’s rushing offense because they will feel like they have seen it before.
JMU relies on their running game much more than SHSU does. So if both teams struggle to run, Sam Houston feels good about putting the ball in the air. Despite their success last week, the Dukes can’t feel that same level of confidence. I’ll give the edge to Sam Houston.
Sam Houston has a quarterback, Eric Schmid, who should have been a Walter Payton finalist (I went in-depth on him and four more quarterbacks last month) and weapons all over the field. The Bearkats are the best passing team left in the playoffs, by far. They average 298.5 yards per game.
In stark contrast, James Madison’s passing game has been uneven throughout the spring. The encouraging thing for the Dukes is that they had an efficient, big play passing game against North Dakota in the second round of the playoffs. They average 206.9 yards per game to go with their dominant run game. SHSU and JMU have turned the ball over too much through the air — but during the playoffs both have done a better job of taking care of the ball.
Both teams will want to avoid turnovers in this game because their defenses are great, but JMU has the more dominant passing defense. They are only allowing 108.9 yards per game and even going against lesser-talented teams, that is phenomenal. Sam Houston has faced teams who are much better in the pass game and that shows in the statistics; they are surrendering close to 280 yards per game through the air. But it is worth noting that they have given up a lot of empty yards in blowout games.
Even though the competition has not been at the same level, this is probably a push. The better passing offense has the lesser passing defense and the better passing defense has the lesser passing offense.
Facing a third-and-10 near midfield, Ife Adeyi pulled in a spectacular 47-yard, over-the-shoulder, one-foot inbounds catch on the sideline from Schmid at the Bison’s 9-yard line to set up Schmid’s go-ahead score.
On the previous drive, North Dakota State put together a 20-play, 60-yard drive that lasted almost 10 minutes which ended with Jake Reinholz’s 33-yard field to give North Dakota State its first lead at 20-17 with 8:17 left.
Ramon Jefferson’s 1-yard scoring plunge near the end of the first quarter gave the Bearkats a 10-0 lead. Logan McCormick blocked Matt McRobert’s punt attempt for a safety for North Dakota State’s first points with 5:13 before intermission.
Schmid connected with Noah Smith on a 23-yard touchdown pass for a commanding 17-2 advantage with 8:39 left in the third. The Bison rallied when on the ensuing kickoff Christian Watson returned it 94 yards to make it 17-9. Less than two minutes later, Braylon Henderson returned a punt 76 yards for a Bison score and the 2-point conversion tied it.