Eric Breitenstein ran for three touchdowns and 247 yards as Wofford beat New Hampshire, 23-7, in the second round of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs Saturday in Spartanburg, S.C.
Breitenstein broke free for a 54-yard TD run on the Terriers’ first possession, and Wofford’s defense kept the Wildcats (8-4) out of synch throughout. Breitenstein also scored on a 6-yard run right before halftime and a 26-yard burst in the third quarter that sealed things for the Terriers (9-3) of the Southern Conference.
Wofford will face North Dakota State in next week’s quarterfinals.
The Terriers came in as the country’s second-best FCS rushing team at more than 348 yards a game. They had surpassed that in the third quarter and ended with 454 yards on the ground.
UNH coach Sean McDonnell said Wofford’s run-based offense was difficult to prepare for.
‘‘It’s like teaching another language in two weeks,’’ he said.
New Hampshire lost its opening playoff game for the second straight season. The Wildcats finished with 238 yards of offense, their second-fewest of the season.
Quarterback Sean Goldrich was 17 of 29 for 113 yards passing with two interceptions and a fumble.
Each team committed four fumbles in the first two quarters. But Wofford had Breitenstein, and that was the difference.
Wofford also stepped up against New Hampshire’s rushing attack, which ranked 13th nationally and second in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Wildcats had just 23 yards on 17 carries before halftime.
It took a Wofford miscue to lead to New Hampshire’s only score, Cody Muller scooping up tailback Donovan Johnson’s fumble for a 14-yard return that drew the Wildcats within 13-7.
Breitenstein, one of three finalists for the Walter Payton Award, given to the year’s top FCS player, extended his own school record to an even 1,900 yards rushing this season.
Illinois St. 38, Appalachian St. 37 — In Boone, N.C., Matt Brown threw for five touchdowns and 322 yards, and the Redbirds blocked the tying extra point in overtime to beat the Mountaineers.
After Brown threw his fifth TD pass — a 25-yarder to James O'Shaughnessy that gave Illinois State a 38-31 overtime lead — Appalachian State (8-4) answered with a touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 38-37. However, Illinois State (9-3) blocked the ensuing PAT kick to seal the win.
Old Dominion 63, Coastal Carolina 35 — Taylor Heinicke threw for 497 yards and six touchdowns and rushed for two more while leading the Monarchs (11-1) over the Chanticleers (8-5). Heinicke’s six TD passes tied an FCS playoff record and his 542 yards of total offense established another mark.Sam Houston St. 18, Cal Poly 16 — Tim Flanders rushed for 101 yards and Vincent Dotson blocked a punt that led to a safety to help spark the Bearkats (9-3) to a win over the visiting Mustangs (9-3). Montana St. 16, Stony Brook 10 — The host Bobcats (11-1) preserved a victory over the Seahawks (10-3) when Caleb Schreibeis forced the last of three lost Stony Brook fumbles with 45 seconds to play.
Georgia Southern 24, Central Arkansas 16 — Quarterback Jerick McKinnon ran for 316 yards on 34 carries, scored two touchdowns, and passed for another score as the host Eagles (9-3) defeated the Bears (9-3).Eastern Washington 29, Wagner 19 — Kyle Padron threw for 327 yards and Demitrius Bronson rushed for two touchdowns as the host Eagles (10-1) topped the Seahawks (9-4) .
North Dakota St. 28, South Dakota St. 3 — Brock Jensen passed for two touchdowns and ran for another to help the Bison (11-1) defeat the Jackrabbits (9-4) in Fargo, N.D.