Charleston Southern will take on Wofford College this Saturday, Nov. 26, in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Division I Football Championship, it was announced Sunday. Kickoff at Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg, S.C., is at 2 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3. The winner will advance to play the No. 6 national seed, The Citadel, in the second round.
CSU repeated as Big South Conference champion and is making its second consecutive playoff appearance. Wofford finished tied for second in the Southern Conference and is making its seventh playoff appearance and first since 2012.
CSU head coach Jamey Chadwell is eager to see what the Bucs can accomplish a year after advancing to the quarterfinals in the program’s playoff debut.
“I think our guys will be excited about being back in now that they know what our route is,” Chadwell said. “We’ll try to take it one game at a time. We’ve done a nice job on the road so hopefully we’ll go up there and play well against a really good team. We know we’ll be in Charleston the second week, for sure.”
CSU is 0-13 all-time against Wofford but has not played the Terriers since 2010.
No. 1 overall seed North Dakota State, the five-time defending national champion, is the only team among the 24 in the playoff field that CSU has played this year. The Bucs nearly ended the Bison’s then 42-game non-conference home winning streak, falling 24-17 in overtime of the FCS Kickoff.
Eastern Washington (10-1) is the No. 2 seed after capturing the automatic qualifying berth from the Big Sky Conference. The Eagles, the 2010 champion, are making their 12th appearance in the championship.
Jacksonville State (10-1) is the No. 3 seed after capturing the Ohio Valley Conference automatic berth. The Gamecocks, 2016 national finalist, are making their fourth straight and seventh overall appearance in the championship.
James Madison (10-1) is the fourth seed after capturing the automatic qualifying berth from the Colonial Athletic Association. The Dukes, the 2004 champion, are making their third straight and 13th overall appearance in the championship.
Winner of the Southland Conference automatic qualifying berth, Sam Houston State (11-0), the 2011 and 2012 national finalist will be the fifth seed. The Bearkats are making their sixth straight and 10th overall appearance in the championship.
The No. 6 seed is The Citadel (10-1). The Bulldogs earned the automatic qualifying berth from the Southern Conference and are making their second straight and fifth overall appearance in the championship.
The eighth and final seeded team will be South Dakota State (8-3). The Jackrabbits will be making their fifth straight appearance and sixth overall after capturing the Missouri Valley Football Conference automatic berth, tying with North Dakota State.
The 2016 championship field consists of 10 automatic qualifiers and 14 at-large qualifiers.
North Dakota (9-2) earned an at-large berth in championship after finishing as co-champion of the Big Sky Conference. The Fighting Hawks are making their inaugural appearance in the championship and will be the seventh seed.