(9) Fordham (11-2) at (1) New Hampshire (10-1) (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Cowell Stadium (6,500) – Durham, New Hampshire. Surface:
Field Turf. Television: ESPN3.com. Announcers: Bob Picozzi, Matt Chatham. Home
Record: Fordham 7-0; New Hampshire 6-0. Away Record: Fordham 4-1; New Hampshire
4-1. Series Record: First meeting. Conference: Fordham – Patriot League; New
Hampshire – Colonial Athletic Association. Nicknames: Fordham Rams; New
Hampshire Wildcats. FCS Playoff Seeds: Fordham – Not ranked; New Hampshire –
1st. Head Coaches: Fordham – Joe Moorhead (3rd year, 29-9 at Fordham and
overall); New Hampshire – Sean McDonnell (16th year, 124-72 at New Hampshire
and overall). Playoff Records: Fordham (3-3); New Hampshire (9-11). Previous
FCS Playoff Appearances: Fordham 3 (2002, 2007, 2013); New Hampshire 12 (1991,
1994, 2004-13). Current Playoff Streak: Fordham has split its six FCS playoff
games; New Hampshire has won three of its last four FCS playoff games.

GAME NOTES: Top-ranked New Hampshire has a difficult assignment right away
in Fordham, but the CAA Football champion has a veteran team that won three
playoff games en route to reaching the national semifinals last year. The
Wildcats also play their best at home, where they have tied the program record
with 12 straight wins.

Quarterback Sean Goldrich is fully recovered from an early season knee injury
and the Wildcats can really mix up the running game between Goldrich and backs
Nico Steriti and Jimmy Owens.

Fordham, which won the Patriot League title, will be hard-pressed to stop the
athleticism of UNH wide receiver R.J. Harris (79 receptions for 1,220 yards
and 13 touchdowns) and tight end Harold Spears.

But as strong as UNH is offensively, the Wildcats will get tested by Fordham
quarterback Mike Nebrich, who has been one of the best in the FCS over the
last two seasons while going 20-2 as a starter. The Wildcats will rely on
their defensive standouts, end Cody Muller and linebacker Akil Anderson in the
front seven and Casey DeAndrade defending passes in the secondary.

Nebrich was 29-for-50 for 423 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions
in Fordham’s 44-22 win over Sacred Heart in the first round. He is protected
by an excellent offensive line and his choice of passing options is almost
unfair as Brian Wetzel, Tebucky Jones Jr. and Sam Ajala have each gone over
1,000 receiving yards for two straight seasons.

Running back Chase Edmonds was slowed by a thigh injury in November, but he
can be dazzling, rushing for 1,630 yards and 22 yards in his rookie season.

Linebacker Austin Hancock has stepped up to be Fordham’s leading tackler (95)
since All-American Stephen Hodge was lost to a knee injury in the preseason.
Cornerback Ian Williams has been phenomenal with four interceptions and 16
pass breakups, and he was especially strong in the win over Sacred Heart.

Fordham has a potential difference maker in senior place-kicker Michael
Marando, who has kicked 19 field goals for the second consecutive season.

The winner will advance to play either Indiana State or No. 8 seed Chattanooga
in the national quarterfinals.

PREDICTION: New Hampshire has the target of being the top seed and it didn’t
face CAA playoff teams Villanova and James Madison during the regular season.
There will be some nerves on edge when Fordham is threatening with an upset in
the second half. New Hampshire, 35-30.