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DURHAM, N.H. - The 10th-ranked UNH football team embarks on its nation-leading seventh consecutive trip to the NCAA Division I FCS Championship this Saturday, Dec. 4, with a 1 p.m. second-round game against MEAC champion Bethune-Cookman in Daytona Beach, Fla. Radio coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. on the Wildcat Sports Radio Network.
No. 10/11 UNH (7-4, 5-3 CAA) at No. 13/13 Bethune-Cookman (10-1, 7-1 MEAC)
NCAA DIVISION I FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP | SECOND ROUND
1:00 p.m. |Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010 | Municipal Stadium | Daytona Beach, Fla.
Radio: Wildcat Sports Network: Jim Jeannotte (play-by-play), Mike Murphy (analyst)
UNH: Sean McDonnell
Years as head coach: 12th
Overall Record: 87-57
Record at UNH: 87-57
CAA Record: 53-46
Alma Mater: UNH '78
Bethune-Cookman: Brian Jenkins
Years as head coach: 1st
Overall Record: 10-1
Record at Bethune-Cookman: 10-1
Alma Mater: Cincinnati '93
LAST TIME OUT: UNH-38, TOWSON-19-NOV. 20, COWELL STSADIUM: Playing in their final regular season home game, seniors Kevon Mason, Mike Greene and Kyle Auffray all collected their first touchdown receptions of the year, and classmate R.J. Toman went a perfect eight-for-eight for 95 yards and two scoring tosses in limited playing time as 13th-ranked UNH rolled to a 38-19 triumph over Towson on Nov. 20 at Cowell Stadium. UNH (7-4, 5-3 Colonial Athletic Association) locked up its national-best seventh consecutive NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoff appearance by earning its fifth win in six games. Towson concluded its season with a mark of 1-10 and 0-8 in the CAA. Mason finished with four catches for 41 yards, while Sean Jellison led the ground game with 14 carries for 57 yards. Jellison eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in career rushing yards with 1,025. In notable defensive performances, Matt Evans notched a 25-yard interception return for a touchdown and forced a fumble. Evans's seven tackles in the game raised his CAA-leading total to 135 on the season, good for third all-time in UNH single-season history. Additionally, Kyle Flemings recorded an interception and a fumble recovery.
SCOUTING B-CU: Bethune-Cookman punched its ticket to the NCAA tournament as the regular-season champions of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). The Wildcats finished 10-1, with their lone loss coming in the regular season finale, 38-27, to Florida A&M in the 31st annual Florida Classic at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. Head coach Brian Jenkins was named MEAC Coach of the Year in just his first season on the job. B-CU QB Matt Johnson was named the MEAC Offensive Player of the Year. Bethune-Cookman is going to the postseason for the first time since 2003. B-CU ranks first in the nation in turnover differential (+29) and second in points per game (39.9). However, the MEAC champs are tied for 115th of 117 FCS teams in penalties against (113).
PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Matt Johnson was named the MEAC Offensive Player of the Year. Johnson led the MEAC in total offense (250.3 yds per game), pass efficiency (155.7) ranked second in passing (186.6 yds per game) and ranked seventh in rushing (63.6 yds per game). Center Natiel Curry was named to the All-MEAC First-Team. On defense DL Ryan Davis, LB Ryan Lewis (league-leading four forced fumbles, team-best 68 tackles) and DBs Arkee Smith (five interceptions) and Michael Williams (six interceptions) were named to the First Team.
-TALE OF THE TAPE:
Totals (NCAA Rank) UNH B-CU
Total Yards Gained 3,866 (60) 4,849 (T-7)
Total Offense 351.5 (60) 440.8 (T-7)
Rush Offense 130.0 (79) 226.1 (7)
Pass Offense 221.5 (37) 214.7 (45)
Points Per Game 24.9 (55) 39.9 (2)
Total Yards Allowed 3,423 (25) 3,444 (28)
Total Defense 311.2 (25) 313.1 (28)
Rush Defense 140.3 (46) 148.6 (58)
Pass Defense 170.9 (22) 164.6 (16)
Points Allowed/Game 16.2 (6) 16.6 (8)
Possession Avg. 29:33 (69) 30:09 (58)
Sacks Allowed/Yards Lost 34/232 (103) 24/148 (T-73)
Sacks Made/Yards 27/154 (T-22) 23/143 (T-39)
Total Touchdowns Scored 34 (61) 63 (2)
Penalties Against/Yards 67/611 (T-49) 113/1,006(T-115)
Punts/Avg. 67/36.7 (101) 45/35.8 (23)
Turnover Differential +13 (T-4) +29 (1)
LONGEST PLAYOFF STREAK IN FCS: UNH is making its seventh straight trip to the NCAA D-I Football Championship postseason. Both Montana (17) and Southern Illinois (seven) had longer streaks than the Wildcats, but neither the Grizzlies nor the Salukis qualified for the postseason, giving New Hampshire the longest current streak in FCS football. The Wildcats are 5-1 in opening-round playoff games during the streak, including last year's 49-13 road victory at McNeese State. Here is a breakdown of UNH's all-time playoff record:
Year Game Opponent Result
1975 D-II Quarterfinals Lehigh W, 35-21
1975 D-II Semifinals W. Kentucky L, 3-14
1976 D-II Quarterfinals Montana State L, 16-17
1991 I-AA First Round Samford L, 13-29
1994 I-AA First Round App. State L, 10-17(OT)
2004 I-AA First Round Ga. Southern W, 27-23
2004 I-AA Quarterfinals Montana L, 17-47
2005 I-AA First Round Colgate W, 55-21
2005 I-AA Quarterfinals Northern Iowa L, 21-24
2006 FCS First Round Hampton W, 41-38
2006 FCS Quarterfinals UMass L, 17-24
2007 FCS First Round Northern Iowa L, 35-38
2008 FCS First Round Southern Illinois W, 29-20
2008 FCS Quarterfinals Northern Iowa L, 34-36
2009 FCS First Round McNeese State W, 49-13
2009 FCS Quarterfinals Villanova L, 7-46
FOUR WILDCATS NAMED TO ALL-CAA FIRST TEAM: Terrance Fox, Brian McNally, Hugo Souza and Dino Vasso were all named to the 2010 All-CAA Football First Team, the league announced Nov. 22. Fox was tabbed as a wide receiver, McNally as a defensive end, Souza as a safety and Vasso as a cornerback.UNH senior offensive tackle Seth Price and sophomore linebacker Matt Evans, the league leader with 135 tackles, were named to the All-CAA Second Team, while senior quarterback R.J. Toman, sophomore running back Dontra Peters, senior defensive tackle Steve Young and freshman kicker Mike MacArthur garnered Third Team honors. Fox leads the CAA in receptions per game (5.6), ranks fifth in receiving yards per game (59.5) and seventh in all-purpose yards (97.7). The 5-8, 166-pound receiver has hauled in six receiving touchdowns and returned a kickoff for a score. McNally, a member of the CAA Preseason All-Conference Team, is the league leader in sacks (9.0), paces UNH with 10.5 tackles for loss and has compiled 32 tackles, including 17 solo stops. Souza has tallied 82 tackles, 46 unassisted, during his senior campaign with one interception, five pass break-ups and a forced fumble. His 318 career tackles place him sixth all-time at UNH. Vasso, a two-time All-CAA Second Team selection (2008, 09) and member of this year's Preseason All-Conference Team, is tied for the league lead in interceptions (five), tops the conference with 12 passes defended, has a team-best seven pass break-ups and has notched 48 tackles, 32 of the solo variety. Toman ranks in the top-5 in the CAA in passing average (207.1/third), total offense (221.5/fourth), and pass efficiency (129.2/fifth), while Peters is tied for fourth in touchdowns (eight) and rates sixth in rushing yards (68.4 per game). Young has posted 33 tackles, 20 solo, with 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. MacArthur, the only true freshman to play for the Wildcats this season, is 9-for-12 in field goals, which ties him for second in the CAA in field goal percentage (75%)
BEST D IN 15 YEARS: With Brian McNally, Hugo Souza and Dino Vasso all earning All-CAA First Team recognition, 2010 marks the first year UNH has placed multiple players on a conference defensive first-team since 1995, when defensive linemen Mike Foley and Ray Lyons were feted by the Yankee Conference. The last season three players were named all-conference on defense was '94, when Foley and Lyons were joined by DL Joe Fleming.
NUMBER ONE PICKS: UNH leads all of FCS football with 21 interceptions on the season, while Bethune-Cookman is tied for fifth in the country with 16 picks. Dino Vasso leads the way with five interceptions, while three other Wildcats' defenders have registered pick-sixes during the regular season: Randi Vines (30 yards, vs CCSU, Sept. 4), John Greer (40 yards, vs Richmond, Oct. 9) and Matt Evans (25 yards, vs Towson, Nov. 20).
EVANS LEADS CAA IN TACKLES: Matt Evans may have been able to secure his third CAA Defensive Player of the Week honor Nov. 20 in just one half of action, but sitting out the second half of the lopsided 38-19 victory over Towson kept the super sophomore to just seven tackles, tying a season low. Still, Evans paces the CAA with 135 tackles, 69 solo stops, and ranks in the Top 5 in FCS football in both categories. Only one postseason participant (Kyle Glazier, Western Illinois) rates ahead of Evans in the tackle tallies:
Rank Player/College Total Tackles
1. Kyle Glazier/Western Illinois 154
2. A.J. Storms/Idaho State 146
3. Scott Lewis/St. Francis (Pa.) 138
4. Matt Evans/UNH 135
5. Jordan Ridley/Butler 130
Rank Player/College Solo Tackles
1. Bryce Smith/Samford 85
T-2. Kyle Glazier/Western Illinois 77
T-2. Derek Rose/Northwestern St. 77
4. Tommy Connors/Southeastern La. 72
T-5. Matt Evans/UNH 69
T-5. Nick Webb/Weber State 69
EVANS A FINALIST FOR BUCK BUCHANAN AWARD: New Hampshire linebacker Matt Evans is one of the 20 finalists for the 2010 Buck Buchanan National Defensive Player of Year Award, sponsored by Fathead.com. No Wildcat has ever won The Buchanan Award, now in its 16th season. Voting for the honor took place last weekend and does not take postseason games into account. The FCS National Defensive Player of the Year will be unveiled on Thursday, Jan. 6 in Frisco, Texas - the night before the national championship game.
IN-D-VIDUAL RECOGNITION: The UNH defense is ranked third in the CAA and sixth in the nation in scoring defense (16.2 ppg). The Wildcats boast the CAA leaders in tackles (Matt Evans-135), sacks (Brian McNally-9.0), passes defended (Dino Vasso-12), interceptions (Vasso-T-5) and forced fumbles (Evans-T-3) .
WILDCATS AMONG CAA LEADERS (alphabetical):
Player Category CAA Rank Total
Alan Buzbee Fumbles Forced T-4 2
Matt Evans Tackles 1 135
Matt Evans Tackles Per Gm. 1 12.3
Matt Evans Fumbles Rec. T-4 2
Matt Evans Fumbled Forced T-1 3
Terrance Fox Receptions/gm. 1 5.6
Terrance Fox Rec. Yards/gm. 5 59.5
Terrance Fox All Purpose Yds. 7 97.7
Mike MacArthur Field Goal % T-2 75.0
Ryan McGuinness Fumbles Rec. T-4 2
Brian McNally Sacks 1 9.0
Dontra Peters Rushing Offense 6 68.4
Dontra Peters Scoring TDs T-4 8
R.J. Toman Total Offfense 4 221.5
R.J. Toman Passing Offense 3 207.1
Dino Vasso Interceptions T-1 5
Dino Vasso Passes Defended 1 12
2010 UNH WEEKLY AWARDS
Player Weekly Award Date
Matt Evans CAA Defensive Player 11/22
Ryan Glasgow CFPA National Punter 11/22
Matt Evans CAA Defensive Player 10/25
Matt Evans Gold Helmet Award 10/20
Matt Evans ECAC Defensive Player 10/19
Matt Evans CAA Co-Defensive Player 10/18
John Greer ECAC Defensive Player 10/12
John Greer College Sporting News All-Star 10/11
John Greer CAA Defensive Player 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
V IS FOR VASSO: Senior cornerback Dino Vasso has reached five interceptions in a season for the third straight year. His career total of 17 interceptions is three shy of the school record of 20, held by Bill Pappas (1952-54). He is tied for the CAA lead in picks and one more interception will move him into a tie for eighth all-time in conference history.
VASSO, YOUNG, TOMAN UNDER FINAL CONSIDERATION FOR FCS SENIOR SCOUT BOWL: Seniors Dino Vasso (CB), R.J. Toman (QB) and Steve Young (DT) are all under final consideration to participate in the FCS Senior Scout Bowl on Dec. 11, 2010. The Collegiate Development Football League (CDFL) is proud to present the "FCS Senior Scout Bowl." This game will showcase the talent of FCS Division Senior Football players at the conclusion of the 2010 season. Eighty-six players will compose two teams in a North vs. South format all-star game to be held in the Metro New York area. The selected players will have earned the right to play against their peers in a showcase game for all to recognize their talent. For more information on the FCS Senior Scout Bowl, visit www.fcsseniorbowl.com.
EVANS ADDED TO MIDSEASON WATCH LIST FOR CFPA LINEBACKER OF THE YEAR: Matt Evans has been added to the midseason watch list for the College Football Performance Award (CFPA) Linebacker of the Year. The purpose of the College Football Performance Awards is to provide the most scientifically rigorous conferments in college football. Recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams. As prominent scholars from a wide variety of disciplines note, CFPA eliminates the politics and biases that vitiate balloting-based awards. Furthermore, CFPA is the only awards organization to receive praise from both Republican and Democratic White House officials for promoting objectivity and fairness in college football.
GLASGOW SAVES BEST FOR LAST: Senior punter Ryan Glasgow saw his first action of the year on Senior Day at Cowell Stadium on Nov. 20. Glasgow punted three times for 149 yards, averaging 49.7 yards per punt, with a long of 53 yards to win the College Football Performance Award National Punter of the Week honor for week 12.
TURNOVER BATTLE: UNH is 6-0 this season when winning the turnover battle. The Wildcats are +13 in turnover margin, tied for fourth in the country. However, Bethune-Cookman leads all of FCS football with an amazing +29 turnover margin.
•UNH has outscored FCS opponents 58-9 in the third quarter this season.
•This game marks only the second time UNH has played a game in the state of Florida. The Wildcats dropped a 42-41 overtime contest to South Florida at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Oct. 23, 1999.
•UNH has defeated a school-record four ranked teams this season (Richmond, James Madison, UMass, Villanova) and Lehigh, which wasn't ranked at the time UNH knocked it off on Sept. 25, entered the Top 25 at the end of the regular season and followed that up by upending Northern Iowa in the first round of the NCAA Championship tournament last weekend.
•The Wildcats snapped Villanova's 15-game home winning streak Nov. 13 and, on Oct. 9, ended Richmond's 11-game FCS road winning streak.
•UNH's win at Villanova was its first in the road white uniforms since an NCAA championship first-round victory at McNeese State, 49-13, on Nov. 28, 2009.
•R.J. Toman passed for 158 yards in UNH's win at Villanova on Nov. 13, leapfrogging Ryan Day (No. 4) and Bob Jean (No. 3) to claim sole possession of 2nd place on UNH's all-time passing yards list. With 7,879 career passing yards, the senior is still a distant 4,310 yards behind all-time leader Ricky Santos.
•Toman needs 258 yards of total offense to place among the CAA's career Top 10 in that department.
•Senior Kevon Mason is the only Wildcat with at least one reception in every game. He has a streak of 15 straight games with at least one grab and, dating back to the 2009 season opener, has made at least one catch in 21 of the last 22 games. Mason's 6-yd touchdown reception Nov. 20 vs. Towson was his first since Sept. 5, 2009, vs St. Francis.
•Dontra Peters owns two of the CAA's top four rushing performances this season: 197 vs CCSU (Sept. 4/#2) and 157 at Villanova (Nov. 13/#4).
•Sean Jellison's team-leading 57 rushing yards vs Towson on Nov. 20 put him over the 1,000-yard threshold for his career. The senior from Amherst, N.H., has compiled 1,025 career rushing yards, most among active Wildcats.
WINNINGEST CLASSES IN UNH HISTORY: Senior players from the 2007 and 2008 UNH football squads share the distinction of owning the most combined victories (37) in school history during their four-year playing career. The 2009 senior class amassed 36 total victories. The 20 seniors on the 2010 roster have totaled 34 wins, the fourth-best in UNH history. The class would have to reach the National Championship game to tie for most wins by a class and, naturally, could become the first group to capture 38 victories by winning the school's first national title.
•Matt Evans is one tackle away from a tie for second place on UNH's all-time single-season list (136, Chris Robinson, 2003).
•Hugo Souza needs five tackles to become No. 5 all-time in UNH history.
•Dino Vasso is eight tackles shy of joining the career Top 10.
•R.J. Toman needs 15 more completions to become No. 2 all-time in school history and 23 completions to match his personal single-season best.
•Terrance Fox needs six more receptions to reach 7th place in UNH single-season history and nine more catches to crack the Top 5.
FOX ENTERS TOP 10 IN SINGLE-SEASON RECEPTIONS: Terrance Fox made four receptions in the victory over Towson, placing him in sole possession of 10th place all-time in UNH single-season history with 62 receptions. Fox knocks Curtis Olds (1987) and Calvin Jones (1996) out of the Top 10 and now sets his sights on the Top 5, which he could reach with nine more catches:
Rank Player (Year) Receptions
1. David Ball (2006) 93
T-4. Jermaine Washington (1999) 71
T-4. Keith LeVan (2007) 71
6. Keith LeVan (2006) 70
T-8. Mike Boyle (2008) 67
T-8. David Gamble (1993) 67
10. Terrance Fox (2010) 62
TOMAN AMONG BEST SIGNAL CALLERS IN SCHOOL HISTORY: Senior quarterback R.J. Toman has already moved into the top 5 in every major passing category in UNH history. Here is a look at how the Mission Viejo, Calif, native stacks up against the all-time great Wildcat QBs:
Rank Quarterback (Years) Attempts
1. Ricky Santos (2004-07) 1,498
2. Bob Jean (1985-88) 1,126
3. Ryan Day (1998-01) 1,089
4. R.J. Toman (2007-10) 1,041
5. Mike Granieri (2001-04) 764
Rank Quarterback (Years) Passing Yards
1. Ricky Santos (2004-07) 12,189
2. R.J. Toman (2007-10) 7,879
3. Bob Jean (1985-88) 7,742
4. Ryan Day (1998-01) 7,670
5. Matt Griffin (1988-91) 5,425
Rank Quarterback (Years) Completions
1. Ricky Santos (2004-07) 1,024
2. Ryan Day (1998-2001) 653
3. R.J. Toman (2007-10) 638
4. Bob Jean (1985-88) 567
5. Mike Granieri (2001-04) 564
TOMAN NEARING TOP 10 IN SINGLE-SEASON COMPLETIONS: With 208 completions, R.J. Toman has cracked the Top-10 in single-season history for the second time in his career. He needs 23 more completions to match his personal best, set during his sophomore campaign in 2008:
Rank Player (Year) Completions
1. Ricky Santos (2005) 301
5. Bob Jean (1988) 246
6. Mike Granieri (2003) 237
7. Ryan Day (2001) 233
8. R.J. Toman (2008) 231
9. Ryan Day (1999) 221
10. R.J. Toman (2010) 208
SOUZA CLOSING IN ON TOP 5/VASSO NEARING TOP 10: UNH senior safety Hugo Souza is within five tackles of sole possession of fifth place on UNH's all-time tackles list. Senior CB Dino Vasso needs eight tackles to move into the Top 10 all-time. Here is the breakdown of the top tacklers in school history, dating back to 1981 when records were first tabulated:
Rank Player (Years) Career Tackles
1. Steve Doig (1978-81) 434
2. Jeff Pammer (2004-07) 359
3. Matt Parent (2005-08) 356
4. Aaron Thomas (2001-04) 343
5. Chris McGrath (1988-91) 322
6. Hugo Souza (2007-10) 318
7. John Clements (2005-08) 300
T-8. Romande Carter (1993-96) 297
T-8. Brett Bashaw (1997-2000) 297
10. Neal Zonfrelli (1982-85) 286
T-11. Dino Vasso (2007-10) 278
T-11. Scott Curtis (1984-87) 278
EVANS RISING THROUGH THE RANKS: With a CAA-leading 135 tackles, Matt Evans needs just two more tackles to move into second place on UNH's all-time single-season list.
Rank Player (Year) Tackles
1. Steve Doig (1981) 195
2. Chris Robinson (2003) 136
3. Matt Evans (2010) 135
T-4. Aaron Thomas (2004) 130
T-4. Jeff Pammer (2007) 130
T-4. Husain Karim (2007) 130
7. Brett Bashaw (2000) 127
8. Jeff Pammer (2005) 123
9. Scott Curtis (1986) 122
10. Neal Zonfrelli (1985) 117
BRIAN SACK-NALLY: Since UNH began tracking sacks in 1989, Brian McNally's nine sacks are the most accrued by a Wildcat since Joe Fleming's 10.0 sacks 16 seasons ago and rank fourth in single-season school history. Here is a look at how McNally stacks up with the school's all-time greats at getting to the quarterback:
Rank Player (Year) Sacks
1. Dwayne Sabb (1991) 11.5
2. Mike Foley (1993) 11.0
3. Joe Fleming (1994) 10.0
4. Brian McNally (2010) 9.0