In the seventh game of their season, the Rhode Island Rams will be facing off against a team that beat them handily last season. The New Hampshire Wildcats rocked Rhody to the tune of 40-20 a year ago, so needless to say, the Rams have their work cut out for them against their in-conference rivals. UNH finished last season ranked #13 overall in the FCS Coaches Poll, and with most of their offensive starters returning, the Wildcats figure to be one of the top teams in the country once again.
2012 Record: 8-4 (6-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association)
Key Losses: DT Jared Smith, LB Alan Buzbee, LB Matt Evans
Key Returners: QB Andy Vailas, RB Nico Steriti, WR R.J. Harris
Player to Watch: WR R.J. Harris
New Hampshire has a pretty explosive offense all around, but the most dangerous player is likely wide receiver R.J. Harris. The 6’0″, 192-pounder is entering his junior season after posting some pretty stellar numbers a year ago. Harris caught 84 passes for 1,059 yards and nine touchdowns in 12 games last season, good for an 88.2 yards-per-game average. He also caught eight passes for 131 yards at Meade Stadium last year, so the Rhody secondary is in for a real test when they line up against Harris.
Prediction: New Hampshire 34 – Rhode Island 24
The Rams will be able to put up some points against the Wildcats, but UNH’s offense will be too powerful for URI to handle. This game is sure to be action-packed, but in the end, New Hampshire will win in a shootout against a still-developing Rhody defense.