DURHAM, N.H.--Junior quarterback Ryan Day (Manchester, N.H.) of the University of New Hampshire football team was named this week's Coca-Cola Gold Helmet Award Winner for his heroic efforts in UNH's miraculous, come-from-behind, upset, victory at previously undefeated and No. 2 Delaware this past Saturday.
In addition to the Gold Helmet, Day was also selected as the Atlantic 10 Football Conference's Offensive Player of the Week.
Day broke UNH records for completions (37), passing attempts (65), and tied the school record in touchdown passes (4) against the top-rated defense in Division I-AA football. His total passing yardage of 426 was just 60 yards shy of the UNH record (486) set by Jim Stayer vs. Villanova in 1988. Day's four touchdown passes were for 19, 15, 53 and 7 yards. His last two scoring strikes tied the game at 38-38 with 42 seconds left in regulation and won the contest in UNH's first overtime possession to give the Wildcats the 45-44 overtime win following a Delaware score and botched extra point kick. Day was the key player in a ferocious comeback, as UNH had trailed by a 31-3 margin vs. the Fightin' Blue Hens with 9:04 left in the third quarter. UNH scored an amazing combined total of 28 points in the fouth quarter and overtime sessions vs. the top-ranked defense in the Atlantic 10. It was the most points (45) and the most offensive yards (578) compiled by a Delaware opponent this season. The most points given up so far by the previously undefeated Blue Hens had been 17.
This marks the second consecutive week that UNH has defeated a top 15 squad, as UNH was fresh off an impressive 24-16 victory over 14th-ranked Massachusetts the week before.
This also marks the second consecutive week that UNH has won the Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Week award, as sophomore tailback Stephan Lewis (Coatesville, Pa.) took home top honors and was the Gold Helmet Award winner following the victory over the Minutemen.
The win vs. Delaware was essential for the Wildcats (6-3, 4-3 Atlantic 10), as it keeps the team's NCAA playoff hopes alive as the squad heads into its final two contests of the regular season.
The Wildcats return to action at home this weekend with a contest vs. Gardner-Webb. Game time is set for 12 p.m. at Cowell Stadium.