Wildcats To Play At Georgia Southern In First Round
DURHAM, N.H.--The entire University of New Hampshire football team, staff, administrators and members of the media were gathered in the team's lockerroom on Sunday afternoon to find out who the Wildcats would play in the NCAA I-AA Playoffs and at what venue. The team cheered as the announcer revealed UNH will play at Georgia Southern on Sat., Nov. 27, at Allen E. Paulson Stadium in Statesboro, Ga. The team cheered again at the end of the broadcast when they learned that the game will be shown live nationally on ESPN2 at 6 p.m.
The Wildcats have been invited to I-AA football's big dance twice in its history, first in 1991 and again in 1994.
In 1991, UNH was defeated by Samford in the first round at Cowell Stadium (29-13). That year the Wildcats were Yankee Conference champions and had posted an impressive 9-2 overall record and a 7-1 mark in conference play.
In 1994, UNH also lost at home, this time by a 17-10 margin in overtime vs. Appalachian State. That season, the Wildcats once again earned the title of Yankee Conference champions and posted a 9-2 overall record and an 8-0 mark in conference.
This will mark the first-ever meeting between the University of New Hampshire and Georgia Southern. The Eagles play in the Southern Conference and the Wildcats have played only one other team from the conference, which, as mentioned above, was Appalachian State in 1994.
Georgia Southern (9-2 overall) will be making its 19th appearance in the NCAA I-AA playoffs. The team's defense is ranked third nationally, with just 272 yards per game allowed. The offensive attack leads the nation in rushing yards with a mark of 373 per game and they lead the nation in scoring (49.2 ppg.).
Following an impressive 50-36 victory over Maine on Nov. 20, the Wildcats are also 9-2 and were ranked No. 5 in last week's Sports Network poll. The team, which finished first in the North Division of the Atlantic 10 Football Conference, is 7-0 on the road this season, 4-0 on television and has won five in a row.