It will be Springfield’s third ECAC playoff game in its history, and first since 2004. SC also hosted an ECAC Playoff game in 1995, the first year it went to the Division III ranks. It will be the Pride's first playoff game of any kind since it went to the NCAA Tournament in 2006.
Springfield will enter Saturday's game with an overall record of 7-2, while Plymouth State will enter with an overall record of 8-2. Plymouth State finished second in the Boyd Division of the New England Football Conference with a 6-1 record, losing only to Curry, 20-9, within that division. Plymouth State’s only other loss came in its opener on September 5 – a five overtime 41-35 loss to Division II St. Anselm. There was one common opponent – Mount Ida. Springfield defeated Mount Ida on October 17 by a score of 42-15. Plymouth State defeated Mount Ida on September 12 by a score of 34-16.
The Pride, meanwhile, finished in a tie for third (with Ithaca) in the Empire 8 Conference with a record of 3-2. Alfred and St. John Fisher tied for first in the Empire 8 with 4-1 records. But Alfred defeated St. John Fisher during the season to garner the E8's automatic qualifier to the NCAA's.
This will be one of three ECAC Playoff games in the North Division. Also on Saturday, Hartwick (5-4) will be at Union (7-3) in the ECAC North Atlantic Bowl. And Cortland State (7-3) will be at St. John Fisher (6-3) in the ECAC Northwest Bowl. Thus, four Empire 8 schools received post-season berths overall (Alfred to the NCAA's, and Springfield, St. John Fisher, and Hartwick to the ECAC's).
Springfield will be led by sophomore QB Josh Carter (Marlborough, Mass.). Carter rushed for 899 yards and 14 TD's this season, guiding the Pride's multiple option offense. Carter also completed 34 passes in 75 attempts for 540 yards and 8 TD's. Senior FB Baldwin Cunningham (Manchester, Conn.) rushed for 722 yards and 7 TD's. Up next in rushing was junior HB Joe Myhren (New Hampton, N.Y.) with 435 yards and 5 TD's.
On defense, senior ILB Ken Goodwin (Foxboro, Mass.) led in tackles with 69, including 44 solos. Right behind him was freshman ILB Matt Pieterse (Springfield, Mass.) with 68 tackles, including 29 solos.
Springfield is currently ranked second nationally in rushing offense with 353.9 yards per game.
This has the potential to be a very quick game. In nine games this year, Springfield has run the ball 86.8% of the time (540 rushes, 82 passes). In 10 games this season, Plymouth State has run the ball 82.6% of the time (537 rushes, 113 passes).