(The initial story had the South Division standings incorrect)
After an eligibility violation came to light late last week and a pair of matches on Saturday, the South Independent semifinal match-ups are set.
Florida State and South Florida met in the big South Division decider in Tallahassee, Fla. With a win, the Seminoles would advance to the SIRC semis. A loss would have meant some mathematical computing and USF possibly having a shot to unseat the Seminoles.
Florida State won 20-10 to win a postseason berth.
The Bulls scored first in the opening minutes to take a 5-0 lead, but the Seminoles poured in 15-straight points before intermission that the Bulls could not overcome.
Some indiscipline from USF helped contribute to the big run by FSU.
“Needless penalties: hands on the ball when they shouldn’t have, not releasing, just sort of over exuberance,” said USF coach Gordon Campbell.
“I think we were jacked up and were over exuberant. For every penalty they gave away, we gave away two, and you can’t give away matches like that. It was not deliberate. It was, I think, over exuberance, being gassed up for a big game.”
Central Florida received a forfeit from Florida Atlantic on the weekend, also accruing five points. Florida State takes the top seed from the South to the semifinals with a 7-1 record. UCF (6-2) advances as the second seed.
In the North Division, the biggest result came before the weekend, when Georgia Southern was pinged for fielding an ineligible player against Middle Tennessee State earlier in the season, turning a 32-12 victory for Southern into a forfeit and five table points for MTSU.
Then on the weekend, Kennesaw State downed Georgia Southern to eliminate them from the postseason, and Middle Tennessee overcame a disappointing first half to beat Emory 52-15.
Having beaten Emory 36-3 earlier this season, MTSU started an irregular bunch in Atlanta Saturday, and Emory led 8-7 at halftime. With a some subs and a sobering score line, the Blue Raiders exploded for 45 second-half points to claim the North’s top seed to the SIRC playoffs. Kennesaw State is the second seed.
The SIRC semifinals and finals are April 14-15 in Mobile, Ala. The winner advances to the DI-AA Round of 16 to face the Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference champion in Knoxville, Tenn.
Florida State vs. Kennesaw State
Middle Tennessee State vs. Central Florida