Kingston, R.I. -- Senior tailback Dan Curran (Chelmsford, Mass.) rushed for 167 yards and three touchdowns as New Hampshire downed Rhode Island, 37-14, in the Atlantic-10 Conference opener for both teams. The win marked the first career victory for first-year UNH coach Sean McDonnell.
Curran's first score came with 2:10 remaining in the first quarter to put the visiting Wildcats in front to stay, 14-7. Curran added second half touchdown runs of 18 and 63 yards.
New Hampshire scored three touchdowns in the first quarter to grab a 20-7 lead, with the third touchdown coming on an 88-yard punt return by redshirt freshman Imion Powell (Berlin, NJ). UNH led 23-14 at the half and held the Rams scoreless in the second half.
New Hampshire also received a strong performance from sophomore quarterback Ryan Day (Manchester, NH), who was making his first career start for the Wildcats. Day completed 15 of 26 passes for 223 yards and one touchdown, a 12-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Jermaine Washington (West Milford, N.J.).
The Wildcats will next battle the defending Division 1-AA national champions when they travel to the University of Massachusetts for another Atlantic 10 match-up on Saturday, September 11 at noon. UNH will open its home schedule the following weekend with James Madison University on Saturday, September 18 (12:00 p.m.) at Cowell Stadium.