FCS Quarterfinals, New Hampshire @ Delaware, 12/10/2010
by, 12-10-2010 at 07:23 PM (3116 Views)
Newark will play host Friday night on prime-time ESPN2 to another fantastic matchup of Northeast football as well, as New Hampshire returns to Tubby Raymond Field to face off against Delaware for the first time since quarterback Ricky Santos almost singlehandedly defeated Joe Flacco and the Blue Hens in a 52-49 shootout.
Through the quirks of CAA scheduling, New Hampshire have not played in Newark since 2006, and last played in 2007.
But through the magic of the playoffs, the league matchup that wasn't meant to be in the regular season will now be a do-or-die struggle for CAA supremacy.
New Hampshire coach Sean McDonnell, a man as restrained as Keeler is outspoken, hinted that Decker might be the starter again this week. "
We'll figure that out as we go along," McDonnell said.
"Coming off a physical game against Bethune Cookman, you lose that extra day for healing for the Friday game," McDonnell added. "The only thing that helps us is that we see Delaware on tape all the time, and at this time of year you have a pretty good idea about what you want to do. We're excited to have an opportunity to play them, and on Friday night [on ESPN]."
Keeler also mentioned defense in the run-up to this Friday's game.
"If you look at New Hampshire, they have 33 sacks," Keeler said. "Like Lehigh last week, they're a totally different team now than they were at the beginning of the season."
Keeler gave special praise to the highly-respected McDonnell and his staff.
"I don't think anyone in the country does as good a job of coaching as those guys do," Keeler explained. "They have really good personnel, their defensive line is outstanding and they play with a lot of passion and a lot of speed. Cornerback Dino Vasso could be the best corner in the league."
The quest for the semis starts now, in frigid Newark, Delaware.