Lafayette at New Hampshire FCS Football 2013 Playoffs 1st Round Game Breakdown

George Hammond

Lafayette at New Hampshire FCS Football 2013 Playoffs 1st Round Game Breakdown


Lafayette at New Hampshire, Saturday, 12:00

The biggest question surrounding this matchup of Patriot League champion Lafayette (5-6) and at-large entry New Hampshire (7-4) is this: Which team has the most left in its tank? Both had huge rivalry games on Saturday that each had to win just to make the playoffs, and there’s no doubt the Leopards’ 50-28 win over Lehigh and the Wildcats’ 24-3 triumph over Maine took an emotional toll. The team that can rebound the best could have an edge, and that figures to be New Hampshire. The Wildcats, who have the nation’s longest playoff appearance streak at 10 straight years, are almost unbeatable at home.  They were 5-0 this season at Cowell Stadium and since the start of 2007, the Wildcats sport a 33-4 mark. No wonder it’s called “The Dungeon.” New Hampshire enjoys a 5-1 edge against Lafayette all time, but the two schools haven’t met since 1987. They did, however, have three common opponents this year. New Hampshire defeated Colgate, 53-23, but lost to Lehigh, 34-27, and William & Mary, 17-0. Lafayette lost to Colgate, 28-24, and William & Mary, 34-6, but beat Lehigh. Although the forecast calls for temperatures in the 30s (and sunny), expect points to be scored. The Wildcats are 28th nationally in total offense while the Leopards are 50th in total defense. Likewise, Lafayette is 21st in passing offense and will face a unit that is 81st in total defense. Lafayette’s turnaround from a 1-5 start is due in part to the play of freshman quarterback Drew Reed, who in his first start against Holy Cross threw for 283 yards and five TDs. He completed 21 of 22 passes in the 41-23 victory, and he completed his final 20 passes in a row – tying a Patriot League record. On Saturday, Reed, a Tennessee native, threw for a career-high 378 yards and three touchdowns against Lehigh. Meanwhile, New Hampshire uses two quarterbacks – Sean Goldrich and Andy Vailas. Goldrich replaced the injured Vailas in the second quarter against Maine, but either is capable of running the Wildcats’ offense. The winner of this game visits CAA champion Maine on Dec. 7. If it’s New Hampshire, that would mean two games against the Black Bears in three weeks!

Projected Score: New Hampshire 38, Lafayette 21


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