Lehigh at New Hampshire FCS Football 2016 Playoffs First Round Breakdown

Lehigh at New Hampshire, Saturday, 2:00
After a perfect season in the Patriot League, Lehigh is hoping to make another little playoff run like they did in 2010 and 2011. This Mountain Hawks team has an extremely potent offense and an ever improving defense. It was the offense that was supposed to be good this year, but the defense really stepped up and led Lehigh to the postseason. It is the offense though that New Hampshire will have to worry about with quarterback Nick Shafnisky, receiver Troy Pelletier and running back Dominick Bragalone all providing a huge threat.
New Hampshire has a young defense and Shafnisky will look to pick apart the secondary. There is talent though, especially with the senior leadership provided by cornerback Casey DeAndrade. He could easily neutralize Troy Pelletier and force Lehigh to look elsewhere in the passing game. And that would be fine by freshman cornerback Prince Smith. Smith has been tested often this season and has given up some big plays, but he has also intercepted five passes. If the New Hampshire defense does not let the bright lights of the playoffs get to them, they have the talent to contain the Lehigh offense.
On the other side of the ball, New Hampshire will want to establish a run game with Dalton Crossan. The 1,000 yard rusher should have a good day against a Lehigh front seven that has struggled against bigger and tougher backs and linemen. On average, Lehigh has allowed over 200 yards per game on the ground and if that happens against New Hampshire, the Mountain Hawks will have a short visit to the playoffs.
Projected Score: New Hampshire 38, Lehigh 28