NEWARK, DE -- Junior quarterback Andy Hall (Cheraw, SC HS) rushed for a career-high 157 yards and a touchdown and senior running back Keith Burnell (Western Branch/Chesapeake, VA) added 117 more yards on the ground as the University of Delaware ran over New Hampshire 21-9 for an Atlantic 10 Football Conference victory Saturday at Delaware Stadium.
The Blue Hens, who won their sixth straight home since last season, improved to 5-4, 3-3 with their third win in the last four games as they piled up a season-high 312 yards on the ground. New Hampshire (2-6, 1-5 Atlantic 10) lost its second straight game and remained at the bottom of the league standings despite a solid effort from quarterback Mike Granieri who threw for 236 yards and also scored a touchdown.
Delaware's 312 yards rushing on 40 carries was its highest total since gaining 312 in a loss to Hofstra midway through last season. Hall, a first-year transfer from Georgia Tech who was coming off a 124-yard effort in last week's 17-14 overtime loss to Rhode Island, went over 100 yards for the second straight week, becoming the first UD quarterback since Bill Vergantino in 1991 to have consecutive 100-yard rushing game.
Hall's 157 yards, which included a 25-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and a 53-yard scamper to the one-yard line that set up Germaine Bennett's fourth quarter touchdown, was the second highest ever by a UD quarterback, trailing only the 175 gained by Vergantino vs. Connecticut in 1990. Hall also completed 13 of 24 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown.
"We played hard and when you do that good things will happen," said Delaware first-year head coach K.C. Keeler, who improved to 28-2 all-time at Delaware Stadium as a player and a head coach. "Our defense stepped up and made a lot of big plays today. They made things happen. That was the turning point. Andy Hall makes so many plays with his feet and really gives us an extra dimension. He's hard to prepare for. And Keith pushed it up a level today. He practiced harder than he has all year this past week. They made a difference."
Burnell, a first-year transfer from Virginia Tech and the league's fifth leading rusher at 80.8 yards per game, carried 24 times for 117 yards, his second 100-yard effort of the season. Combined with Hall, it marked the first time since 1999 vs. Rhode Island that more than one Blue Hen player rushed for over 100 yards in a game. New Hampshire has struggled against the run all season, ranking 123rd nationally at 276.8 yards per game entering the contest.
New Hampshire opened the scoring with a 24-yard field goal by Connor McCormick with 2:34 left in the first quarter. That score was set up when Czar Wiley tackled Hall for a 12-yard loss and Derek Stank recovered on the Delaware 22-yard line.
The Blue Hens came back to take a 7-6 lead into halftime when Hall connected with freshman Justin Long (7 catches for 55 yards) on a four-yard touchdown with 1:12 left before halftime. The Wildcats had a chance to take the lead into intermission as Granieri completed five straight passes, three to Michael Taylor (8-89) to take UNH inside the Delaware 20-yard line and later added a nine-yard run to put the ball at the two. After two incomplete passes, UNH was halted when Granieri was stopped at the one-yard line as the half ended.
Delaware shut down the Wildcats in the second half, holding New Hampshire to just 62 yards in the third quarter while building the lead to 14-3 on Hall's 25-yard scamper around the right side with 8:49 left in the third quarter.
The Hens then added some insurance as Hall's 53-yard run to the one-yard line set up Bennett's first career touchdown. New Hampshire capped the day's scoring when Granieri scored on a one-yard dive with 5:03 left to play.
Senior All-American linebacker candidate Dan Mulhern led the Delaware defense with 15 tackles while senior cornerback Ricardo Walker added 11 stops and broke up a pass. New Hampshire's Brandon Taylor led the Wildcats with 10 tackles while Czar Wiley had eight tackles, forced a fumble, and broke up three passes.