(11) New Hampshire (8-3) at (9) Wofford (8-3)
The Sports Network
By Tim McDonnell, FCS Assistant
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 1, 2 p.m. (ET).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gibbs Stadium (13,000) -- Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Surface: Grass. Television: ESPN3.com. Announcers: Mike Gleason, Rocky
Boiman, Rontina McCann. Home Record: New Hampshire 4-1; Wofford 5-0: Away
Record: New Hampshire 4-2; Wofford 3-3. Series Record: First meeting.
Conference: New Hampshire - Colonial Atlantic Athletic Association; Wofford -
Southern. Nicknames: New Hampshire Wildcats; Wofford Terriers. Sports Network
FCS Ranking: New Hampshire (11); Wofford (9). NCAA Playoff Seedings: New
Hampshire (NS); Wofford (NS). Head Coaches: New Hampshire - Sean McDonnell
(14th season, 104-65 at New Hampshire and overall); Wofford - Mike Ayers (25th
year 170-114-1 at Wofford, 28th year 181-135-2 overall). Playoff Records: New
Hampshire (6-10); Wofford (4-5). Previous FCS Playoff Appearances: New
Hampshire 10 (1991, 94, 2004-11); Wofford 5 (2003, 2007-08, 2010-11). Current
Playoff Streak: New Hampshire has lost two straight and three of its last four
playoffs games; Wofford has lost three of its last four playoffs games.
GAME NOTES: Wofford and New Hampshire meet for the first time as two teams
who are really good at what they do when they play their "A" game.
The Terriers rank second in the FCS with 348 rushing yards per game and
average nearly six yards per carry. They have attempted only 75 passes in 11
games and gain 52 yards per game through the air, but who needs to throw the
ball when you have Eric Breitenstein, a healthy Donovan Johnson and many other
Breitenstein is a bearded bowling ball who's rushed for 1,653 yards and 16
touchdowns this season. The senior fullback averages 150 yards per game -
third in the in FCS - and he repeated as the Southern Conference's offensive
player of the year. Quarterbacks Brian Kass and Michael Weimer will both see
playing time, while Kass (six touchdown passes, two interceptions) is a
better thrower and Weimer is more effective on the ground.
New Hampshire actually has found much success running the ball this season,
averaging 234 yards per game, good for No. 13 in the FCS. Running back Nico
Steriti leads the team with 870 yards and nine touchdowns this season, while
quarterbacks Andy Vailas and Sean Goldrich both have the ability to use their
legs in the school's spread, zone-read offense.
UNH got whipped on Nov. 17 versus Towson and the offense's two-quarterback
system looked out of rhythm and troublesome for the first time this year.
Plus, the defense was exploited and embarrassed in the 64-35 loss.
The 'Cats allow 164 rushing yards per game, which looks great compared to 269
passing yards, and the secondary really shouldn't be tested too much this
week. Expect Breitenstein to get his yards and for Wofford to attack an
inconsistent UNH defensive front.
Wofford's triple option attack matches up very well against New Hampshire's
fast-striking offense because the Wildcats rank 114th in the FCS in time of
possession and rarely put together long drives. If the Terriers can hold onto
the ball and keep the clock moving, the UNH defense could be in trouble.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wofford 42, New Hampshire 31.
11/28 18:36:29 ET
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