LIVESTREAM: Austrian Semifinal – Projekt Spielberg Graz Giants @Dacia Vienna Vikings, July 8, 3p (9a EST)

In perhaps one of the hottest rivalries in the Austrian Football League, the 7-4 Projekt Spielberg Graz Giants and 8-2 Dacia Vienna Vikings, Europe #6, will face each other at Vienna’s Hohe Warte Stadion, Sunday, July 8 to decide the final berth in the 2018 Austrian Bowl.

The two teams met in the last game of the regular season with Vienna coming out 21-14 winners. The Vikings also won the first game of the year between the two, 45-32.

The Giants defeated the Ljubljana Silverhawks in the wild card playoffs 28-21 to qualify for a spot in the semifinals.

The Vikings enter the game with the second best offense in Austria averaging 39.5 points a game. Meanwhile, the defense allowed an average of  23.4 points a game. Graz’s offense is not nearly as potent scoring at a rate of 31.3 points a game. The defense finished third in Austria giving up 24 points a game.

With quarterback Garrett Safron’s return from injury in the final game of the season, Vienna enters this game with one of the league’s top quarterbacks. Safron missed three games but still threw for 1,635 yards. However, the key is Safron’s rushing ability. At the time of his injury he was one of the top two rushers in Austria. He still finished with 604 yards in the seven games he played and that will be crucial to Vienna’s offense.

Giants quarterback Robert Gallik has thrown for 2,439 yards and 23 TDs in nine games after arriving in early April. The Giants won seven of nine games with Gallick behind center. Graz has been playing well and with running  back Matthias Kiegerl as the second leading rusher in Austria with 1,034 yards and 13 TDs they have a solid offence.

Defensively, not much separates the two teams. They both have given up an average of 24 points a game. And they are the two top defenses against the run and two of the top four against the pass.

The way Graz has been playing, they could give Vienna a challenge. Nevertheless, Vienna is the ruling titleholder while the last time the Giants went to the championship game was in 2016 when they lost to the Swarco Raiders.

Watch the game live here. Austrian Semifinal – Projekt Spielberg Graz Giants @Dacia Vienna Vikings, July 8, 3p (9a EST)

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