On January 9, Alabama will play for the BCS championship game against LSU. That fact doesn't seem to have any relevance to the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs quarterfinals on Saturday between Maine and Georgia Southern (2 p.m., ESPN3), but consider this:
Maine is meeting a team that scored more points and rushed for more yards against Alabama than any other opponent this season.
Georgia Southern ran for 302 yards in a 45-21 loss to Alabama on Nov. 9, trailing by just 10 points at halftime before Alabama pulled away with a 21-7 second half. The Bulldogs run a triple-option offense that is tough to contend with, especially for a Maine team that rarely ever defends a similar system.
Maine players preached the need to maintain discipline, and coach Jack Cosgrove discussed the quality of Georgia Southern's team.
"What’s in front of us here, it’s a different style of offense and probably the highest caliber of athlete that we’ve seen all year long in terms of speed, athleticism and decision-making skills, which are real important in that offense that they’re running," Cosgrove said. "It’s really going to be a challenge."
Maine will counter with its own high-powered offense. Led by senior quarterback Warren Smith, the Black Bears are averaging 29.8 points and 379.8 yards per game.