October 6, 2009

FOOTBALL GAME DAY (OCT. 10 HOMECOMING GAME VS. NO. 2 VILLANOVA)

FULL SET OF GAME NOTES IN PDF FORMAT | VIDEO | AUDIO

NO. 5 WILDCATS READY FOR KEY BATTLE OF THE UNBEATENS VS. NO. 2 RANKED VILLANOVA: This week's Homecoming matchup in Durham will feature a battle of the unbeatens,, a CAA showdown between No. 5 and No. 2 in the nation, a key battle between the North and the South Divisions, and a meeting between two teams that have beaten FBS squads, as UNH defeated Ball State and Villanova topped Temple. Something has to give in this game. Villanova is coming off a very huge victory over then-ranked No. 5 William & Mary (28-17) and UNH is fresh off its first CAA victory of the season, a 57-7 win at Towson. Both teams feature defenses that have been getting the job done, as UNH has not allowed opponents to score more than 16 points this season and opponents are averaging just 12.8 ppg., while Villanova opponents are averaging just 13.6 ppg. UNH's offense has come alive as of late, as the team has scored 44 points against Dartmouth and 57 vs. Towson, although many of those points have come via returns as well. Villanova has been effective both on the ground and through the air. It is also a battle of first-place teams, as UNH sits in first place in the North Division and Villanova is on top in the South Division of the CAA. There will be a playoff atmosphere at Cowell Stadium this coming Saturday.

SCOUTING VILLANOVA:  Villanova sits on top of the CAA South Division with a 5-0 overall record and a 2-0 mark in CAA action. The team has been unstoppable with a defense that is allowing opponents only 332.0 ypg. and just 13.6 ppg. this season. Villanova has posted wins over FBS team Temple, and Lehigh, Penn, Northeastern and William & Mary.  Looking at the Villanova offense, the top rusher on the squad this season has been quarterback Chris Whitney with 63 carries for 307 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Whitney is also the team leader in passing after completing 55 of 82 attempts for 652 yards and six touchdowns, while averaging 130.4 passing yards per contest. The top receiver for the other Wildcats has been Brandyn Harvey with his 22 catches for 326 yards and three touchdowns. On the defensive side of the football, Villanova has recorded nine interceptions on the season with Ross Ventrone and James Pitts each checking in with two pickoffs apiece. Looking at the squad's tackle leaders, Terence Thomas is tops on the list with 34 tackles (21-13-34) and Marquis Kirkland checks in with 32 tackles (21-11-32). Villanova has been putting tremendous pressure on quarterbacks this season with 12 sacks and no less than 29 tackles for a loss.  Villanova is led by 30th year head coach Andy Talley, who has 198 career victories and 170 victories at Villanova. He is the CAA's all-time winningest coach and has won four conference championships. He was named the 1997 National Coach of the Year while with the Wildcats.

HOMECOMING TRAFFIC PLAN: On Saturday Oct. 10, the Homecoming football game vs. Villanova, the Athletic department has implemented a new traffic plan that will help alleviate some of the congestion on campus. Here's a look at the plan:In an effort to improve the traffic congestion during the Homecoming football game, the Athletic Department and University Police have worked with the town of Durham to develop a new traffic plan. The plan involves turning some of the roads close to the stadium into one way traffic lanes from 7am to Noon on Homecoming morning.  We are encouraging all vehicles coming to the game to enter from the UNH Route 4 exit. When you reach the intersection of Main Street and Mast Rd, the road will turn into one way traffic with 3 lanes. The right lane will go into Boulder field, the middle lane will go into VIP lot and the left lane will go into Lot A, Field House or straight through to downtown. When coming from downtown towards the stadium, all traffic will be diverted down past Lot A then down Mast Road to the intersection of Main Street and Route155a where you will turn left and go in the appropriate lane.
 
THE ALL-TIME SERIES VS. VILLANOVA:  The all-time series between UNH and Villanova now stands at 10-8 in favor of the team from Villanova, Pa., but UNH has won two of the last three meetings, winning in 2004 (51-40) and in 2005 in Durham (45-17). Villanova won the most recent meeting at home last season (24-13). Villanova won six straightcontests between the two teams from 1997 through 2003. The initial meeting took place in 1988 and the Wildcats won that matchup by a 58-7 margin.

UNH DEFENSE RANKED NO 1 IN THE NATION IN TOTAL DEFENSE, TURNOVER MARGIN AND PASS EFFICIENCY DEFENSE: The UNH defense continues to be very impressive and the Wildcat D is now ranked No. 1 in the nation in total defense with a mark of just 210.00 yards allowed per contest. UNH is also ranked first in all of FCS in turnover margin with a mark of 3.25. The Wildcats are also ranked No. 1 in passing efficiency defense with a mark of 78.88.

UNH RANKED NO. 1 IN CAA IN BOTH SCORING OFFENSE AND SCORING DEFENSE: The UNH football team is ranked No. 1 among CAA teams in both scoring offense and scoring defense. UNH is averaging 37.0 ppg. offensively and giving up only 12.8 ppg. defensively.

A LOOK AT WHAT THE UNH DEFENSE HAS DONE SO FAR IN 2009, GAME-BY-GAME:
The No. 1 ranked UNH defense has done a great job of holding teams to low yardages in 2009. Here's a look game-by-game at opponent yardge totals. UNH is allowing just 210. ypg this season:

St. Francis       14 points        198 yards
Ball State        16 points        127 yards
Dartmouth      14 points        314 yards
Towson             7 points        201 yards

A LOOK AT UNH'S IMPROVEMENT GAME-BY GAME OFFENSIVELY: The UNH offense continues to score more and move the ball better in 2009. Here's a look at what the team has done in terms of yards and scoring in 2009.

St. Francis       24 points        277 yards
Ball State        23 points        212 yards
Dartmouth      44 points        259 yards
Towson           57 points        285 yards
   
SEAN JELLISON NAMED CAA SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOLLOWING THE 57-7 VICTORY OVER TOWSON: Junior running back Sean Jellison (Amherst, N.H.) returned his first kick for a touchdown in his UNH career during the victory over Towson this past Saturday, 57-7. With 7:28 remaining in the first quarter, Jellison gave The Wildcats a 23-0 lead after taking a free kick following a UNH safety and he returned it 81 yards along the left sideline for paydirt. Jellison also carried the football nine times for 46 yards in the contest and leads the team with three rushing touchdowns, one receiving touchdown and one return for a touchdown giving him a total of five this season.

WILDCATS ONCE AGAIN OFF TO FANTASTIC START: UNH has opened the 2009 season with a 4-0 mark after defeating St. Francis, Ball State, Dartmouth and Towson. Getting off to a quick start has been a Coach McDonnell trademark in recent seasons. The Wildcats got out of the gates 4-0 in 2008, 5-0 in 2006, 4-0 in 2005 and 4-1 in 2004.

A LOOK AT UNH AMONG THE NATION'S STATISTICAL LEADERS:
  The Wildcats are ranked high in several statistical categories according to www.NCAA.com.

Team:
Total Defense            1st          210.0 ypg.
Turnover Margin        1st          3.25
Pass Eff. Defense       1st         78.88
Pass Defense             5th        131.25 ypg.
Scoring Defense         5th        12.75 ppg.
Scoring Offense         5th         37.00 ppg.
Kickoff Returns          7th         26.31 ypr.
Interceptions             T1          10
Turnovers Gained       T1          18

Individuals:
Dino Vasso                   T6th        .75 ipg.
Sean Jellison-Scoring    T27th      7.5 ppg.

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