DURHAM, N.H. – University of New Hampshire head football coach Sean McDonnell has announced the team's 2013 schedule, which kicks off with a road game at Central Michigan of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) on Saturday, Sept. 7, followed by the home opener at Cowell Stadium against defending Patriot League champion Colgate on Saturday, Sept. 14, at 12 p.m.
"Our players are looking forward to another challenging season against some of the best competition in the nation," McDonnell said. "We're starting off against a Bowl team in Central Michigan and taking on Patriot League powers Colgate and Lehigh, so it will be a very tough non-league schedule leading into the weekly battles of the CAA."
The Wildcats, who compiled an 8-4 record and extended their best-in-the-nation NCAA Division I Championship streak to nine straight years in 2012, will tangle with an FBS opponent for the 11th time in 12 seasons when they square off with Central Michigan. The Chippewas defeated the 'Cats, 40-33, in the teams' inaugural meeting Sept. 6, 2003, in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
UNH, which has captured victories in 22 of its last 24 home games, welcomes Colgate to Mooradian Field for the first time since the Wildcats posted a 55-21 victory against the Raiders in the first round of the 2005 NCAA playoffs. New Hampshire boasts a 4-1 record all-time in the series that dates back to Nov. 22, 1986.
Following an open week (Sept. 21), the Wildcats travel to Bethlehem, Pa., for a Sept. 28 game against Lehigh, which was left out of the playoffs despite a 10-1 record this season. UNH has registered nine straight wins since the Mountain Hawks' last victory in the series Oct. 16, 1982. New Hampshire is 11-2 all-time against Lehigh, but the last encounter went to overtime at Goodman Stadium before hometown hero Joey Orlando (Bethlehem, Pa.) scored his third touchdown of the day to propel the 'Cats to a 48-41 victory Sept. 10, 2011.
The CAA portion of the schedule opens with a battle of reigning co-champions UNH and Towson at Unitas Stadium on Oct. 5. The Tigers snapped the Wildcats' 10-game home winning streak, 64-35, on Nov. 17 to deny New Hampshire the outright CAA championship. Towson has recorded back-to-back wins over UNH, which had been victorious in the first seven all-time meetings between the programs.
Rhode Island will visit Durham on Oct. 12 for the first home conference game of the year and Homecoming at UNH. The Wildcats and Rams will be meeting on the gridiron for the 87th time, with the 'Cats holding a 54-27-5 all-time advantage. New Hampshire has won eight of the last nine meetings, including a 40-20 defeat of Rhody this past season at Meade Stadium.
UNH plays host to Villanova, the '12 CAA co-champs and the league's automatic qualifier to the NCAAs, on Oct. 19. The league's two Wildcats are tied 11-11 all-time in a series that dates back to 1988. New Hampshire has won five of the last seven games against 'Nova, most recently a 47-17 home victory Oct. 8, 2011.
New Hampshire visits Stony Brook, a newcomer to the CAA, for an Oct. 26 encounter. The Seawolves depart the Big South football conference after winning or sharing the league championship in each of the last four years. UNH defeated Stony Brook, 62-7, in the only previous matchup at Cowell Stadium on Sept. 16, 2006.
The 'Cats will make it back-to-back road games when they visit Zable Stadium to challenge William & Mary on Nov. 2. New Hampshire's 28-25 victory against the College on Nov. 3 in Durham snapped a nine-game losing streak in the series, which the Tribe leads 13-3. UNH will be seeking its first win at W&M since Oct. 24, 1998.
On Nov. 9, UNH welcomes James Madison to Cowell Stadium for the 15th all-time meeting between the Wildcats and the Dukes. The series is even, 7-7, courtesy of back-to-back UNH victories, most recently a 28-10 home triumph Nov. 5, 2011.
New Hampshire's final road tilt of the regular season will take place Nov. 16 at Albany, which is entering its first season in the CAA after a successful run in the Northeast Conference (NEC) that included a 2011 league championship and an NCAA playoff bid. In their only previous meeting, the Wildcats beat the Great Danes, 32-24, on Sept. 20, 2008, in Durham.
UNH closes out the regular season with a Nov. 23 home game against Maine in the annual battle for the Brice-Cowell Musket. The Wildcats, who hold a 49-43-8 lead in the series, recorded a 28-21 defeat of the Black Bears at Alfond Stadium on Oct. 20 in the 100th all-time meeting between the rivals.
For more information about UNH football, visit www.unhwildcats.com.
2013 UNH FOOTBALL SCHEDULE (all games Saturdays); (caps/bold = home); (* = CAA game)
|Sept. 7||at Central Michigan (TBA)|
|Sept. 14||COLGATE (12 p.m.)
|Sept. 28||at Lehigh (TBA)|
|Oct. 5||at Towson* (TBA)|
|Oct. 12||RHODE ISLAND* (12 p.m. | Homecoming)|
|Oct. 19||VILLANOVA* (12 p.m.)|
|Oct. 26||at Stony Brook* (TBA)|
|Nov. 2||at William & Mary* (TBA)|
|Nov. 9||JAMES MADISON* (12 p.m.)|
|Nov. 16||at Albany* (TBA)|
|Nov. 23||MAINE* (12 p.m. | Senior Day)|