FOOTBALL GAME VERSUS JAMES MADISON SATURDAY LIVE ON COMCAST SPORTS NET NEW ENGLAND
No. 15/16 UNH (3-3, 1-2 CAA) at No. 6/7 James Madison (4-1, 1-1 CAA)
Television: Comcast Sports N.E.: Jon Gurevitch (play-by-play), John Bunting (analyst)
Radio: Wildcat Sports Network: Jim Jeannotte (play-by-play), Mike Murphy (analyst)
UNH: Sean McDonnell
Years as head coach: 12th
Overall Record: 83-56
Record at UNH: 83-56
CAA Record: 49-45
Alma Mater: UNH '78
James Madison: Mickey Matthews
Years as head coach: 12th
Overall Record: 86-52
Record at JMU: 86-52
CAA Record: 56-37
Alma Mater: West Texas State '76
LAST TIME OUT: DURHAM, N.H. – Senior safety John Greer grabbed two of the University of New Hampshire football team's six interceptions, returning his first pick 40 yards for a touchdown, and the 22nd-ranked Wildcats recorded their school-record 12th consecutive home victory by shutting out No. 11 Richmond 17-0 Saturday afternoon before a Homecoming crowd of 12,095 at Cowell Stadium. Senior safety Mike Perkins also notched two interceptions for UNH (3-3, 1-2 Colonial Athletic Association), while junior cornerback Kyle Flemings and senior cornerback Dino Vasso each recorded his third interception of the season for a Wildcats' defense that posted its first shutout since a 56-0 triumph over Iona on Nov. 12, 2005. The loss snapped an 11-game FCS road winning streak for Richmond (2-3, 0-2). UNH continually harassed Richmond backup quarterback Nick Hicks, who finished the day 9-for-27 for 64 yards and five interceptions after replacing injured starter Aaron Corp (2 of 3, INT, seven yards) following the Spiders' first offensive series. That first series ended with the Wildcats securing a 7-0 lead with 12:40 remaining in the opening quarter when Greer intercepted a third-and-3 pass from Corp along the left sideline, sprinting untouched 40 yards for his first career touchdown. Redshirt-freshman kicker Mike MacArthur added the extra-point. Corp was injured on the play and did not return. The UNH defense forced a second turnover with 5:11 to go in the first when senior safety Ryan McGuinness (four tackles) knocked the ball loose from Spider running back Tyler Kirchoff (17 rushes-108 yards), and sophomore linebacker Matt Evans recovered for the 'Cats at the UNH 42. Evans finished the game with 12 tackles, including the first individual sack of his career; and senior safety Hugo Souza matched Evans with a team-leading 12 stops. The Wildcats' defense created a third turnover with 12:15 remaining in the second quarter. Facing pressure from junior defensive end Brian McNally, Hicks under-threw a deep pass to the left side that was picked off by Perkins at the UNH 35. After being held to only 64 yards of offense in the first half, the Wildcats gained 61 yards on six plays on their opening drive of the third quarter, culminating in a 20-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback R.J. Toman to sophomore wide receiver Joey Orlando. Orlando (seven catches-93 yards) fought off defensive back Tremayne Graham to snatch Toman's corner-route pass just inside the left pylon with 12:11 to go in the third quarter, helping the Wildcats go in front, 14-0. It was the ninth touchdown pass of the season for Toman, who went 20 of 29 for 166 yards, and Orlando's third scoring reception of the year. The key play of the drive was another Toman-to-Orlando connection, as the duo hooked up for a 28-yard pass play on a 3rd-and-2 over-the-shoulder fade down the left sideline, spotting the ball at Richmond's 25. New Hampshire increased its lead to 17-0, courtesy of MacArthur's 34-yard field goal from the left hash mark with 2:25 remaining in the third. The field goal was set up by Greer's second interception of the afternoon, a pick of Hicks that was returned 20 yards from the Richmond 35 to its 15. The Spiders' best threat came late in the third quarter, when Justin Rogers (91 all-purpose yards) returned a punt 54 yards to the UNH 11-yard line. Again, though, the defense refused to yield. Perkins (five tackles) stuffed Kirchoff for two yards on first down; Rogers was wrapped up by Evans and Souza for two yards on second down; sophomores Jared Smith (career-high six tackles) and Alan Buzbee (seven tackles); combined for a sack of Hicks on third down and Hicks' fourth-down pass went incomplete. Senior Sean Jellison led the Wildcats' ground game with 15 carries for 40 yards. Richmond defensive tackle Martin Parker made 12 tackles, four solo, and strong safety Max Prokell chipped in with 10 tackles (2.5 for loss).
LAST MEETING: JAMES MADISON-41, UNH-24 (Sept. 8, 2007): Ricky Santos threw for two touchdowns and ran for a 26-yard score, but the Dukes knocked off the Wildcats in the season opener for both teams. Santos' first TD pass was the 100th of his career, giving him the all-time CAA mark. Richmond quarterback Rodney Landers ran for 128 yards and two TDs on 20 carries and added 241 yards through the air on 14 of 22 passing with an additional score.
SCOUTING THE DUKES: James Madison garnered votes in the AP top 25 over a two-week stretch from Sept. 12-19 after its shocking win over nationally-ranked FBS power Virginia Tech, 21-16, in Blacksburg, Va., Sept. 11 in front of 66,233 at Lane Stadium. The Dukes were the second FCS school in history to receive votes in back-to-back AP polls (Appalachian State-2007).
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior RB Jamal Sullivan eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for his career Sept. 25 vs. Liberty and leads the Dukes' rushing attack with 316 yards on 83 carries (63.2 per game). Senior QB Drew Dudzik has thrown for 646 yards (129.2 per game) on 43-of-79 (54.4%) passing with 5 TDs and 4 INTs. The dual threat has also rushed 42 times for 183 net yards (4.4 per carry) and 5 TDs. R-Fr. Dae'Quan Scott and sophomore TE Brian Barlow are tied for the team lead with eight receptions apiece. Junior WR Kerby Long has seven grabs for a team-leading 155 yards (22.1 per catch) and 2 TDs. Long has also compiled 259 kick-return yards and 55 punt-return yards. The JMU defense, which is allowing a paltry 10.4 points per game, is led by R-Fr., middle linebacker Stephon Robertson (49 tackles, including 6.5 for loss), junior SLB Pat Williams (44 tackles) and junior WS Jonathan Williams (2 INTs, 2 pass break-ups).
UNH-JAMES MADISON ALL-TIME SERIES (DUKES LEAD, 7-5): Sean McDonnell and Mickey Matthews took over their respective programs in 1999. Since that time, JMU has led the series, 5-2. Coach Mac has never won at Bridgeforth Stadium, and the Wildcats have not been victorious in Harrisonburg since Sept. 28, 1996.
2010 UNH WEEKLY AWARDS
Player Weekly Award Date
John Greer ECAC Defensive Player 10/12
John Greer CAA Defensive Player 10/11
John Greer College Sporting News All-Star 10/11
R.J. Toman Gold Helmet Award 9/29
R.J. Toman ECAC Offensive Player 9/28
R.J. Toman CAA Offensive Player 9/27
Terrance Fox CAA Spec. Teams Player 9/6
•Richmond had been a perfect 11-for-11 in red zone scoring opportunities on the season, including nine touchdowns, before the Wildcats held them to 0-for-1 in red zone chances last week.
•The Wildcats' last shutout of a CAA opponent came on Nov. 15, 1997, in a 38-0 blanking of Boston University. The Terriers disbanded the football program at the end of the '97 season. UNH's last shutout was a 56-0 shellacking of Iona on Nov. 12, 2005.
•UNH is ranked first in the CAA in passing offense (238.3) and last in rushing offense (127.8). JMU is ranked first in passing defense (128.0) and last in passing offense (129.2).
•Sophomore Matt Evans leads the CAA in tackles (66) and has registered double-digit tackles in five of the six games this season, including a career-best 13 stops vs Lehigh on Sept. 25. Evans is 10 tackles ahead of URI's Matt Hansen, the CAA's second-leading tackler.
•After going without a reception in week one, senior WR Terrance Fox has five straight multi-catch games and leads the CAA in receptions (36) and is tied for first in catches per game (6.0).
•UNH's last nine touchdowns have been through the air, with seven R.J. Toman TD passes, one Kevin Decker scoring toss and John Greer's pick-six vs Richmond on Oct. 9. The last rushing touchdown was R.J. Toman's 28-yard run in the 1st quarter at Rhode Island on Sept. 18. The last running back to score a TD was Dontra Peters, on a 2-yard run at Pittsburgh in the third quarter Sept. 11.
•Senior Kevon Mason is the only Wildcat with at least one reception in every game. He has a streak of 11 straight games with at least one grab and, dating back to the 2009 season opener, has made at least one catch in 17 of the last 18 games.