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