WILDCAT FOOTBALL OPENS UP WITH WIN AND TRAVELS TO BALL STATE FOR FBS MATCHUP: The University of New Hampshire football team opened the 2009 campaign with a 24-14 victory, its fifth straight season-opening home win, but the coaching staff and players were not pleased with how the squad moved the ball in the final three quarters. However, the offense is expected to have some key starters returning for Ball State, such as senior wide receiver J.T. Wright, senior running back Chad Kackert, and junior left tackle Seth Price if they can put in a healthy week of practice. UNH scored all three TDs in the first quarter and had a field goal in the second to sum up the scoring. The defense was solid allowing the St. Francis offense just one TD on the day (the other was a returned kickoff). Junior safety Hugo Souza had a big day with 7 total tackles, a fumble recovery, and a key blocked kick. Junior running back Sean Jellison had a career day rushing for two touchdowns on 23 carries for 125 yds. Perhaps the best player on the field Saturday was junior punter Ryan Glasgow (7 punts for 40.6 avg.). Ball State is coming off a tough 20-10 loss at home to North Texas, but got a strong 100-yard effort from MiQuale Lewis, who carried the ball 15 times for 103 yards and a TD. Both teams have improvements to make as UNH looks for a chance to win its fifth straight matchup vs. an FBS team.
SCOUTING BALL STATE: The Cardinals are team coming off a fantastic season in 2008, but they have lost some key parts of that squad and are looking to rebuild in some areas. The key may be at QB where Kelly Page took over as the starter in game one and completed 15 of 24 passes for 140 yards. The Wildcats can most likely expect a large dose of running back MiQuale Lewis, who carried for 103 yds and a touchdown vs. North Texas and averaged 6.9 yards per carry in that contest. Ball State was outgained 512-309 total yards in their opener. Looking back at last season, Ball State was 12-2 overall, winning its first 12 games, but then losing to Buffalo and then Tusa in the GMAC Bowl in the final two games of the season. Quarterback Nate Davis is gone after throwing 26 TD passes and for 3,591 yards in 2008 leaving huge shoes to fill. The leader of the Ball State defense is Brandon Crawford (who by the way is 33 years old) and the team returns MAC Freshman of the Year Sean Baker as well on their loaded defense. Ball State is similar to UNH in that it has had to reload on the offensve line with four new starters. At receiver, two of its top performers from 2008 are back, including Briggs Orsbon and Lewis. Lewis was named first-team All-Mid American Conference at the end of the 2008 campaign and set the Ball State single-season rushing record vs. Buffalo last year (1,736 yards). He has 26 career rushing TDs heading into the contest vs. New Hampshire. The Cardinals are coached by Stan Parrish, who is in his fith season at Ball State and his first as the school's head coach.
THE SERIES VS. BALL STATE: This
contest will mark the first-ever meeting between UNH and Ball
State. However UNH has played MAC opponents Kent State, Central
Michigan and Toledo in past years.
UNH UPENDS ST. FRANCIS IN SEASON HOME-OPENER (24-14): DURHAM, N.H. – Sean Jellison (Amherst, N.H.) rushed for 125 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown run, and also had a 30-yard TD reception to lead the eighth-ranked University of New Hampshire football team to Saturday afternoon’s 24-14 non-conference victory against St. Francis (Pa.) University at Cowell Stadium. The game marked the season opener for both teams. UNH has now won five consecutive home openers and six of the last seven season openers. UNH quarterback R.J. Toman (Mission Viejo, Calif.) completed 11 of 23 passes for 95 yards and two TDs. Jellison was the team’s top receiver with three catches for 24 yards. Kevon Mason (Quincy, Mass) had three catches for 17 yards, including a five-yard scoring play. Hugo Souza (Marshfield, Mass.) tallied six tackles (five solo), two pass breakups, recovered a fumble and blocked a 45-yard field goal attempt to spearhead the defensive effort. The Red Flash offense was led by Antoine Rivera, who recorded six receptions for 72 yards. John Kelly finished 13-for-30 for 133 yards and a 15-yard TD pass to Anthony Howze. Calvin Williams was SFU’s top ground gainer with 46 yards on 15 carries. Matthew Parker highlighted the defensive effort with 13 tackles (nine solo), including a sack, and a pass breakup. New Hampshire scored a touchdown on each of its initial three possessions of the game to build a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. The ‘Cats marched 66 yards on 10 plays on the opening drive and took a 7-0 advantage at 10:12 when Toman found Mason in the back-right corner of the end zone from five yards out. Following a three-and-out by SFU, the Wildcats went 49 yards on six plays to extend the lead to 14-0 at 6:06. The ‘Cats faced 4th-and-2 on the SFU 30 and Toman beat the blitz with a quick pass to Jellison in the flat, and he raced untouched along the left sideline for the score. UNH regained possession at 1:36 and needed just 29 seconds to push the lead to 21-0. Toman’s 11-yard completion to Dontra Peters (Annapolis, Md.) advanced the ball to the UNH 30, then Jellison broke through the middle of the line of scrimmage and raced down the right side for the score. On the ensuing kickoff, Kyle Harbridge caught the ball at the SFU 14, followed the wedge up the middle, eluded two UNH defenders and went untouched for an 86-yard kickoff return that trimmed the deficit to 21-7 with 56 seconds remaining in the first quarter. The ‘Cats increased their lead to 24-7 when Tom Manning (Rome, N.Y.) made a 35-yard field goal at 7:11. SFU scored on its last possession of the first half to close within 24-14. The Red Flash began the drive with 1:40 on the clock at the UNH 41. Following a pass interference call that moved the ball 15 yards, a pair of Jude Yearwood runs advanced the ball to the UNH 17. The next two plays netted zero yards, but on third down Kelly lofted a pass to the right side of the end zone, where Howze leapt in the air, tipped the ball and then corralled it as he fell to the ground with :05 on the clock. Both teams had nine scoreless possessions in the second half.
UNH QUICK HITTERS:
• Junior running back Sean Jellison ran for a career-high 125 yards in the victory over Ball State and scored twice for the 'Cats on a 70 yard run and a 30 yard pass play.
• Junior punter Ryan Glasgow was refered to in the post-game press conference as the best player on the field for UNH by head Coach Sean McDonnell. The punter booted seven for 284 yards, good for an average of 40.6 yards per punt. He also recorded a career-best 60-yarder and had two punts inside the 20.
• The UNH defense held St. Francis to just 198 total yards and allowed them to score just one TD on the afternoon. The other TD by the Red Flash was due to special teams blown coverage on a kickoff return.
• Redshirt freshman Dontra Peters saw time at running back for the first time in his career and averaged 8.0 yards per carry in his debut. He also ripped off a season-high 20-yard run in the contest and finished the day with 56 yards on seven carries.
• Senior captain and linebacker Sean Ware showed that he could be on his way to his best season as a Wildcat. He led he team with eight tackles and had a tackle for a loss. He could be a strong candidate for postseason honors in 2009.
• The UNH defense put good pressure on the SFU QB and came up with three sacks on the afternoon. They also recovered one fumble and posted an interception for two turnovers on the day.
UNH FOOTBALL RANKED NO. 9 IN SPORTS
NETWORK FCS TOP 25: The UNH football team fell one spot to
No. 9 this week after posting a 24-14 victory over St. Francis on
Sept. 5. Here's a look at the poll.
1. Richmond (103) 1-0 3,042 2
2. Appalachian State (10) 0-1 2,740 1
3. Villanova Wildcats (3) 1-0 2,705 5
4. Northern Iowa (3) 0-1 2,651 4
5. Montana 1-0 2,615 3
6. James Madison 0-0 2,235 6
7. William & Mary (3) 1-0 2,204 14
8. Southern Illinois 0-1 1,980 7
9. New Hampshire 1-0 1,952 8
10. Elon 1-0 1,846 11
11. Weber State 0-1 1,826 9
12. Cal Poly 0-0 1,453 12
13. Central Arkansas 0-1 1,350 13
14. Wofford Terriers 0-1 1,262 10
15. South Carolina State (1) 1-0 1,229 16
16. McNeese State 1-0 1,109 15
17. Massachusetts 0-1 1,027 17
18. Eastern Washington 1-0 905 18
19. Texas State 1-0 805 20
20. Maine Black Bears 1-0 709 19
21. South Dakota State 0-0 475 22
22. Eastern Kentucky 0-1 467 23
23. Jacksonville State 0-1 430 21
24. Harvard 0-0 361 23
25. Holy Cross 1-0 348 25
UNH FOOTBALL RANKED NO. 8 IN FCS COACHES PRESEASON TOP 25: The UNH football team was also ranked No. 9 in the FCS Coaches Preseason Top 25 this week:
1. Richmond (24)
2. Appalachian State (3) 1
5. Northern Iowa
6. James Madison
7. William & Mary (1)
8. Southern Illinois
9. New Hampshire
10. Weber State
12. Central Arkansas
13. Cal Poly
15. South Carolina State
16. McNeese State
17. Eastern Washington
19. Texas State
21. Jacksonville State
23. Eastern Kentucky
25. South Dakota State
GIANT SLAYER UNH HAS WON FOUR GAMES
IN A ROW OVER FBS FOOTBALL TEAMS FOLLOWING ITS VICTORY AT ARMY,
28-10: The UNH football team continued its success vs. FBS teams in
2008 as the Wildcats upset FBS opponent Army at West Point, 28-10.
In 2007, UNH posted a 48-35 victory over Marshall. UNH also posted
two other impressive FBS victories with a 34-17 win over Big
Ten Northwestern in 2006 and a victory over Big East Rutgers in
2004 (35-24). The Wildcats will be playing for a chance at
their fifth consecutive FBS victory when the squad travels to Ball
State on Sept. 12.
CAA TEAMS SUCCESSFUL VS. FBS ALREADY THIS SEASON: How tough is the CAA going to be this season? Take a look at what CAA teams did so far against FBS opponents, many stepping up and defeating the big boys. William & Mary topped Virginia (26-14), Richmond defeated Duke (24-16), Villanova topped Temple (27-24), and Massachusetts narrowly missed defeating Kansas State, losing by just a 21-17 margin.
JUNIOR QB R.J. TOMAN IN THE UNH RECORD BOOKS: Junior quarterback R.J. Toman is only a junior but he has made an impact in the UNH record books. Here are some of his accomplishments so far in his UNH career:
• Most Passing Attempts In A Season (8th, 355, 2008)
• Most Passing Yards In A Season (4th, 3,110, 2008)
• Most Completions In A Season (8th, 231, 2008)