FCS playoffs round of 16: Top matchups, key player, latest odds

Defending champion North Dakota State has plenty of offensive firepower, led by its running game and quarterback Cam Miller, who is completing 69% of his passes. Sean Arbaut/Getty Images

The first round of the 2022 FCS playoffs brought plenty of fireworks -- games with scores like 52-42, 52-41, 45-42 and 38-31 -- and a couple of down-to-the-wire finishes. Now the heavyweights join the party.

Saturday's round of 16 will introduce the top eight seeds to the fray and give us both some awesome helmet games (North Dakota State-Montana! South Dakota State-Delaware! Montana State-Weber State!) and prime opportunities for some up-and-comers.

First, here are the second-round pairings and their corresponding SP+ projections. (Full FCS, Division II and Division III SP+ ratings are housed here. All times are Eastern, and all games will be on ESPN+.

• No. 8 Holy Cross 35.5, New Hampshire 26.2 (noon)
• No. 7 Incarnate Word 36.2, Furman 32.3 (2 p.m.)
• No. 5 William & Mary 35.8, Gardner-Webb 25.3 (2 p.m.)
• No. 4 Montana State 33.2, Weber State 30.1 (3 p.m.)
• No. 6 Samford 38.2, Southeastern Louisiana 29.7 (3 p.m.)
• No. 1 South Dakota State 36.7, Delaware 30.6 (3 p.m.)
• No. 3 North Dakota State 34.1, Montana 31.3 (3:30 p.m.)
• No. 2 Sacramento State 36.9, Richmond 27.2 (5 p.m.)

All of the seeded home teams are projected favorites, which feels pretty chalky, but four of the eight games are projected within six points. Chaos is not far from the surface.