DURHAM, N.H.-- The University of New Hampshire 2003 football schedule will feature six home games, three non-conference matchups and the usual exciting Atlantic 10 Football Conference contests. The announcement was made today by fifth-year head football coach Sean McDonnell.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of all is that the Wildcats will play a 12-game regular-season schedule for the first time ever in the history of the program.
It all starts on Aug. 30 when the team will play its season-opener at home vs. Central Connecticut. This will be the only Wildcat home game that is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. The other five home contests will begin at noon.
Last season, UNH played Division I opponent Kent State on the road and 2003 will feature another opponent from the NCAA Division I ranks when the 'Cats travel to Central Michigan on Sept. 6 looking for an upset victory.
UNH returns to Cowell Stadium on Sept. 13 for a matchup with perennial Atlantic 10 powerhouse Villanova, a team that played in this year's NCAA I-AA Tournament.
After a year's hiatus, the University of Rhode Island returns to the football docket when the Wildcats travel to Kingston, R.I. on Sept. 20. The Wildcats will be looking for their fourth consecutive Granite Trophy victory in Durham on Sept. 27 when cross-state rival Dartmouth comes to town. UNH won the first three matchups, one in Durham and two in Hanover. UMass was ranked in the top 25 last season when the Wildcats defeated the Minutemen in Durham, so fans can expect a great college football game once again when the Wildcats travel to Amherst on Oct. 4 and UMass looks to rebound.
UNH has had a heated rivalry with the University of Delaware over the years and that rivalry will continue at Cowell Stadium on Oct. 11. The first of two trips to Virginia next season is scheduled for Oct. 18 when the Wildcats will look to make it two in a row over Richmond, after defeating the Spiders on Homecoming of 2002 in Durham. On Oct. 25 UNH will travel to Hempstead, N.Y. to battle Hofstra a team recently added to the Atlantic 10 Football Conference.
Following their only Saturday off on Nov. 1, the Wildcats return home to entertain James Madison On Nov. 8.
UNH will make its return trip to Virginia on Nov. 15 to take on a high-powered William & Mary squad in Williamsburg. -1 of 2-
Finally, the team raps up the regular season with the traditional battle vs. Maine at Cowell Stadium on Nov. 22. The Black Bears are another 2003 opponent that advanced to the NCAA I-AA football tournament last season.
2003 UNH FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Aug. 30 CENTRAL CONNECTICUT
Sept. 6 at Central Michigan
Sept. 13 VILLANOVA
Sept. 20 at Rhode Island
Sept. 27 DARTMOUTH
Oct. 4 at Massachusetts
Oct. 11 DELAWARE
Oct. 18 at Richmond
Oct. 25 at Hofstra
Nov. 1 OPEN DATE
Nov. 8 JAMES MADISON
Nov. 15 at William & Mary
Nov. 22 MAINE