UNH FOOTBALL GAME NOTES VS. DARTMOUTH (9/22/07)
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UNH FOOTBALL FACES DARTMOUTH IN GRANITE STATE SHOWDOWN ON WMUR-TV 9: The football bragging rights of the Granite State are up for grabs once again this week as the nationally-ranked No. 10 Wildcats will be the host of Dartmouth on Saturday at Cowell Stadium for the home-opener. UNH got back on track this week with an impressive 48-35 FBS victory over Marshall, a program with an amazing winning tradition in recent years. It was the Thundering Herd's first loss to an FCS opponent since becoming an FBS team in 1997. UNH's offense exploded for 502 yards, 289 through the air and 213 on the ground vs. a speedy, big, and physical Marshall defense. UNH led 24-0 at the half but had to match scores in the second half to hold on for the win. Senior Walter Payton Award-winning quarterback Ricky Santos passed for three TDs and ran for another to lead UNH. He completed 23-33 passes for 289 yds and also ran 13 times for 45. Dartmouth lost a heartbreaker this past weekend vs. Colgate after the Big Green jumped out to a 28-0 lead, but losing in OT, 31-28 after a visitor field goal.  Dartmouth amassed 383 yards of offense and was led by running back Milan Williams, who carried the football 30 times for 179 yds and TD, and QB Tom Bennewitz was sharp, connecting on 16 of 29 pass attempts for 178 yds and three TDs. This game will be the first ever played on UNH's new state-of-the art FieldTurf surface.

RICKY SANTOS  BECOMES THE ALL-TIME CAA LEADER FOR CAREER TOUCHDOWNS AND CAREER COMPLETIONS: Senior quarterback Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.) became the CAA's all-time TD passing leader on Sept. 8 after throwing for a pair of TDs against the Dukes. The previous mark was 99 set by Villanova's Chris Boden. Santos now has 104 passing TDs heading into the game vs. Dartmouth. Santos also became the CAA leader for completions. He needed just three more vs. JMU to surpass the mark of 868 set by Boden. Santos completed 36 of 47 passes for 353 yds and enters the game vs. Dartmouth with a CAA record 925 career completions.  Santos, a concensus FCS All-American, was named the preseason CAA Offensive Player of the Year and is looking to become the first-ever player to win the Walter Payton award twice. He won the honor in 2006 and just missed winning in 2005 by just five points in the closest voting ever for the honor. A senior co-captain, Santos is on pace to become one of the top five quarterbacks in the history of FCS football.

UNH'S VICTORY OVER MARSHALL PICKED AS THE BIGGEST WIN OF THE WEEK BY "ANY GIVEN SATURDAY": "Any Given Saturday" web site selected UNH's victory over Marshall on Sept. 15 as the biggest win among the FCS squad in week three of the season. UNH defeated FBS Marshall by a 48-35 margin.

UNH FOOTBALL HAS THE LONGEST STREAK OF WEEKLY APPEARANCES IN THE TOP 25 AMONG ALL CAA TEAMS: The Wildcats lead the entire Atlantic 10 in the number of consecutive appearances in the Sports Network Top 25 with 44, including five straight weekly appearances at No. 1 in 2006. UNH has been in the top 25 dating all the way back to Sept. 6, 2004.

1. New Hampshire (44)
2. Massachusetts (32)   

THE SERIES VS. DARTMOUTH: This will mark the 37th meeting between these two intrastate rivals in a series that dates back to 1956. the Big Green won that first meeting by a 51-0 margin with UNH not able to earn its first victory until 1973 (10-9). Dartmouth, which won nine straight to open the series, has not defeated the Wildcats since 1976. UNH has won seven straight contests since the inception of the Granite Bowl Trophy in 2000 and eight straight games dating back to 1992. Since 1976, UNH has recorded a 14-0-2 record vs. the Big Green. In addition, the Wildcats have scored over 40 points in six of the seven Granite Bowl games. UNH scored 56 points last year in its 56-14 victory, but the most points scored by the Wildcats in the series was 66 points in 1986, when UNH won by a 66-12 margin. The 66 points is the most scored by either team.

THREE TIMES A DOZEN:  The top three tacklers on the UNH defense each had a total of a dozen tackles in the contest at James Madision. Sophomore DB Terrance Klein (Westwood, N.J.), senior free safety Jeff Pammer (Northampton, Pa.) and senior linebacker Husain Karim (Burlington, Vt. each posted a dozen tackles. It was a career high for Klein.

RICKY SANTOS GARNERS NATIONAL HONORS AFTER THE MARSHALL WIN:   University of New Hampshire senior quarterback Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.) garnered national honors on Monday following his outstanding efforts in the team’s impressive 48-35 victory at Marshall on Sept. 15. Santos was named National Offensive Player of the Week by both the “Sports Network” and by “The College Sporting News”.  Santos, the winner of the Walter Payton Award in 2006, showed great poise, leadership and skill as he led the Wildcats to the impressive victory over the FBS very big and physical Thundering Herd. Santos completed 23-of-33 passes for 289 yards and accounted for four touchdowns in the Wildcats' win. The All-American quarterback threw three TD strikes and rushed 13 times for 45 yards and another touchdown to pile up 334 yards of total offense. It was the third time Santos had led the Wildcats to an upset of an FBS opponent. New Hampshire beat Rutgers in 2004 (35-24) and Northwestern in 2006 (34-17) with Santos as the starting quarterback. Santos presently leads the nation in total offense with an average of 362.0 yards per game.

RICKY SANTOS NAMED CAA OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR HIS EFFORTS IN UNH'S UPSET VICTORY OVER FBS SQUAD MARSHALL:  Ricky Santos, the CAA Football Offensive Player of the Week, garnered 334 yards of total offense and accounted for four of the 12th-ranked Wildcats' six touchdowns in a 48-35 win over Marshall, a BCS opponent.  The win, in front of 27,225 fans, marks the third-consecutive for UNH over a BCS opponent, and is also the 14th win for CAA Football over a BCS foe in the last 10 years. Santos finished the day against the Thundering Herd 23-of-33 for 289 yards and three touchdowns through the air, while also rushing 13 times for 45 yards and a touchdown.  Santos, a native of Bellingham, Mass., is now 3-0 against BCS foes as New Hampshire's starting quarterback, having helped the Wildcats beat Rutgers in 2004 (35-24), Northwestern in 2006 (34-17) and now Marshall in 2007.

RICKY SANTOS EARNS THE FIRST NEW ENGLAND FOOTBALL WRITER'S GOLD HELMET AWARD OF 2007 FOR HIS EFFORTS VS. JMU: Senior quarterback Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.) was the recipient of the Gold Helmet Award for his outstanding efforts vs. James Madison in week one. The honor was presented last Wednesday at the New England Football Writers Luncheon held on the campus of Harvard University. Santos passed for two TDS and ran for one vs. the Dukes.

FREE SAFETY JEFF PAMMER MOVES ONTO THE UNH TOP 10 CAREER TACKLES LISTING WITH EIGHT TACKLES VS. MARSHALL: Senior free safety Jeff Pammer (Northampton, Pa.) has been named an All-American, all-conference and earned numerous other awards and honors as one of the Wildcats' top defensive players over the past four seasons. Consistently among the team's tackle leaders, he heads now has 249 career tackles in three seasons at UNH (121-128-249), bringing him to within seven tackles of tying for the 10th spot on the list, which is held by Jim Concannon. Here's a loot at UNH's top 10 all-time leading career tacklers.

Most Tackles?Career (since 1981)
1.    Steve Doig (1978-81)    434
2.     Aaron Thomas (2000-04)    343
3.    Chris McGrath (1987-91)    322
4.     Romande Carter (1993-96)    297
5.    Brett Bashaw (1996-2000)    297
6.    Neal Zonfrelli (1982-85)    286
7.    Scott Curtis (1984-87)    278
8.    Czar Wiley (1999-2002)    273
9.    Brian O?Neill (1982-85)    262
10.     Jeff Pammer (2004-)    249

THERE'S A NEW TIGHT END IN TOWN AND HE IS SICKO:  UNH has had a strong tradition of bringing in talented tight ends and sophomore Scott Sicko (Stillwater, N.Y.) is no exception. Through two games, he has The 6-3, 225-pounder leads the Wildcats in receiving this season with a team-high 13 catches for 159 yds and an average of 79.5 ypg. Sicko has emerged as a favorite target of Ricky Santos and led the'Cats in their FBS victory at Marshall with six catches for 78 yds.

GIANT SLAYER UNH MAKES IT THREE WINS IN A ROW OVER FBS FOOTBALL TEAMS WITH BIG WIN OVER MARSHALL: The UNH football team continued its success vs. FBS teams with its 48-35 victory over Marshall. UNH is 3-0 since 2004 against the top tier teams, after posting a 34-17 win over Big Ten Northwestern and a victory over Big East Rutgers in 2004 (35-24).

THE UNH OFFENSE IS AVERAGING 469 YARDS PER GAME IN 2007: The UNH offense continued its practice of posting big numbers in its first two games of 2007. The Wildcats produced an eye-popping 432 net yards in the loss at James Madison. Then against FBS Marshall, the 'Cats topped that total with 506 total yards. Last season UNH averaged 401.1 yards per contest.  So far this season UNH is averaging 469.0 ypg. this season, good for eighth in the NCAA FCS standings.

WILDCATS SECOND IN FCS IN PUNT RETURNS WITH AN AVERAGE OF 24.50 PER RETURN: The UNH punt returners have been very effective so far this season and are second-best in all of FCS with an average of 24.50 yards per return. UNH's top returner is senior Jeff Pammer (Northampton, Pa.). He checks in with two returns for a total of 49 yds.

QB RICKY SANTOS IS THE NCAA LEADER IN TOTAL OFFENSE WITH AN AVERAGE OF 362 YPG: Senior QB and Walter Payton Award winner Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.) is presently the NCAA FCS leader in total offense with an average of 362 ypg.

WILDCATS THE ONLY TEAM IN CAA FOOTBALL HISTORY TO ADVANCE TO THE NCAA QUARTERFINALS THREE CONSECUTIVE TIMES: The University of New Hampshire football team advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the third consecutive time last season and is the only team in the history of CAA football ever to accomplish that feat.

UNH FOOTBALL BOASTS A 31-10 RECORD OVER THE PAST FOUR SEASONS: The UNH Wildcats have enjoyed impressive success over the past four seasons, posting an impressive record of 31-10 during that timespan under head coach Sean McDonnell.

UNH'S BRAND NEW FIELDTURF PLAYING SURFACE AT COWELL STADIUM SET FOR DEBUT ON SEPT 22 WHEN UNH BATTLES DARTMOUTH:  Construction on UNH's brand new state-of-the art Field Turf playing surface is winding down and the Wildcats are excited to play their first game on the new field on Sept. 22 when the squad battles Dartmouth. The new field was made possible thanks to a generous gift given by UNH alum Ed Fish. The new field is exactly the same as the field used by the NFLs New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.

UNH'S BRAND NEW AWAY UNIFORMS MADE THEIR DEBUT ON CN8-TV AT JMU: UNH fans got their first look at UNH's new away football jersey in week No. 1 at JMU when the contest was carried live on CN8.

WATCH ALL UNH FOOTBALL HOME GAMES AT UNHWILDCATS.TV: Can't make it to the game? Now you can follow the action of UNH Athletics live on your computer. UNH has partnered with Pack Network to provide online video streaming of UNH’s seven ticketed sports for the upcoming 2007-08 season. UNH fans are encouraged to buy the “Wildcat All-Access Pass” which is an annual subscription for $79.95 that provides not only all the live coverage of various UNH home athletic events, but also premium content not available to view without the All-Access Pass. The premium content includes a behind-the-scenes look at UNH athletics through player and coaches interviews, highlights, podcasts, select post-game interviews and an in-depth archive section of all video available on UNHwildcats.TV. Fans can also purchase home events on a per-game basis for $6.95. The UNHwildcats.TV website will regularly have live UNH football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s hockey, volleyball and gymnastics. Want to learn more? Chick out the tile on the front page of wwwlunhwildcats.com where you can sign up or e-mail any questions and comments you may have to info@UNHwildcats.TV.
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