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Sports

December 17, 2013

UNH football team peaking at right time

Red-hot Goldrich, Wildcats gear for powerhouse North Dakota State after dramatic win

(Continued)

It was the third straight playoff game in which Goldrich shined. In the opening 45-7 romp over Lafayette he threw for 267 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 31 yards on just four carries and he followed that with 291 yards and three touchdowns in the Wildcats’ 41-27 win over Maine.

“The thing is that I’m healthy now and that makes a big difference,” said Goldrich. “I hurt my ribs pretty bad against William and Mary. I missed a game and a half and I haven’t felt back to normal until the last couple of games. As I’ve gotten healthier, I’ve gotten a lot more confidence.

“And I think (offensively) we have a better understanding of what we want to do. In the beginning of the season, we might have been trying to get a little too complicated, a little too tricky. We’ve simplified things and gone more with plays that are more successful and found what’s worked.’

With one upset behind them, Goldrich and the Wildcats know they’ll have an even tougher task Friday (8 p.m., ESPN2) at unbeaten North Dakota State (13-0), the top-seed and two-time defending champion, in the Fargo Dome.

North Dakota State has outscored opponents by an average of 46-12 this year and defeated Coastal Carolina 48-14 in its quarterfinal victory. It boasts two 1,000-yard rushers in Sam Ojuri and John Crockett and its quarterback, Brock Jensen, has rushed for more than 400 yards and eight touchdowns and thrown for 30 TDs while completing 60 percent of his passes.

What’s more, the Bison will be at home in the noisy Fargo Dome, which regularly sells out (18, 219).

It’s a big challenge for the Wildcats, but Goldrich is upbeat about it.

“It’s an awesome place to play and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Goldrich. “It’s going to be loud, but we have some experience indoors. We played Georgia State in the Georgia Dome last year.

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