November 18, 2012

No. 11 Football Receives At-Large Bid to NCAA Tourney; Plays at Wofford on Dec. 1

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INDIANAPOLIS
– The 11th-ranked University of New Hampshire football team will begin its quest for the 2013 Division I Football Championship Subdivision title Dec. 1 with a second-round game at Wofford College. Game time at Gibbs Stadium (Spartanburg, S.C.) is 2 p.m.

 

UNH, which received one of 10 at-large berths to the tournament following an 8-3 overall record that included 6-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association and a share of the conference crown, has earned a bid to the NCAA Division I Football Championship for the ninth consecutive season, the longest current streak in the nation.

New Hampshire has won its opening postseason game six of the past eight years. The Wildcats had won five of six first-round games prior to receiving a first-round bye in 2010, and all but the 2005 victory against Colgate University was on the road.

UNH closed the regular season Nov. 17 with a 64-35 loss to 15th-ranked Towson University. That result ended the Wildcats' six-game winning streak and stretch of 10 consecutive home wins.

No. 9 Wofford enters postseason play at 8-3 overall and 6-2 in the Southern Conference to finish as co-champions. The Terriers, who are NCAA bound for the fifth time in the last six seasons, ended the regular season Nov. 17 with a 24-7 loss at the University of South Carolina. Wofford opened the year with five consecutive wins but lost two of the last three, including a 24-17 double overtime loss at Samford University on Nov. 3.

In the NCAA stats, Wofford is No. 2 in rushing offense at 348.2 yards per game with Eric Breitenstein ranked third at 150.3 rushing yards per game. The Terriers are also 10th in scoring defense (17.73 yards allowed per game).

The Dec. 1 second-round matchup at Gibbs Stadium will mark the first meeting between the UNH and Wofford football programs. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.

UNH's offense is ranked No. 9 in the nation in total offense (470.9 yards per game), 11th in scoring offense (36.55 points per game) and 13th in rushing offense (234.18 ypg). Those numbers all rank second in the CAA. Sophomore wide receiver R.J. Harris (Odenton, Md.), a CAA All-Conference Second Team selection a year ago, is currently ranked 18th nationally in receptions per game (6.64) and 23rd in receiving yards per game (89.18) – that number leads the CAA. Harris' season numbers include 73 catches for 981 yards and nine touchdowns.

The Wildcats' defense boasts the reigning Buck Buchanan Award recipient (national defensive player of the year) in senior linebacker Matt Evans (Hanover, Mass.). He ranks second in the CAA and 19th in the nation in tackles per game (10.45). Evans became the programs' career leader in tackles during his game-high 10-tackle effort Nov. 3 against William & Mary; he has 449 career stops.

UNH is one of three CAA representatives in the FCS playoffs. The other conference teams to advance to postseason play are Old Dominion and Villanova, which received the conference's auto bid.

For ticket information, visit www.unhwildcats.com, or call (603) 862-4000, extension 5.

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