UCA Bears earn playoff spot

Fans and members of the University of Central Arkansas football team celebrate at Estes Stadium after learning the squad is the No. 8 national seed for the 2019 FCS Playoffs. The Bears will play the winner of Southeast Missouri State/Illinois State on Saturday, Dec. 7, in Conway. (Daniel Adams photo)

After clinching a share of the Southland Conference championship with their win over the University of the Incarnate Word Cardinals on Nov. 22, the University of Central Arkansas Bears were rewarded with a national seed in the FCS playoffs. 

With the eighth and final national seed, the Bears (9-3, 7-2) will host a second-round home game on Saturday, Dec. 7, at Estes Stadium.

The Bears await the results of the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks vs the Illinois State Redbirds, which happens this Saturday in Cape Girardeau, Mo. 

This is the third playoff appearance in the past four years for the Bears and fifth overall, as well as the third playoff game at home since 2016. The Bears previously beat Illinois State at Estes Stadium in 2016 while losing to the New Hampshire Wildcats in the second round of the playoffs in 2017 after receiving a first round bye. 

Kickoff for the UCA playoff game will be 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7. The winner will go on to face either the winner of the Nicholls State Colonels-North Dakota Fighting Hawks or the overall National No. 1 seed North Dakota State Bison in the third round on Dec. 13 or 14.