FOOTBALL NOTES/NORTHWESTERN GAME 9/9
THIS WEEK'S GAME :  The Wildcats enjoyed an extra week off following preseason camp to help heal the usual bumps and bruises associated with "two-a-days" and now turn their attention to Division I-A Northwestern University, a team from the always powerful Big Ten and a squad that was known for its explosive offense and the skills of star running back Tyrell Sutton, who is the nation's third-leading returning rusher. Sutton averaged 128 ypg.  as a true freshman last season. UNH has been picked to finish first in all of I-AA football by "Street & Smith's and by "Lindys" and appears to be in every prognosticator's top five in I-AA.  UNH is led by its dynamic duo of junior quarteback Ricky Santos and senior wide receiver David Ball on offense. Santos passed for an amazing 39 TDs last season and 24 of them ended up in the sure hands of Ball. The NH Wildcats have faired well vs. Division I squads in recent history, posting a huge upset at Rutgers in 2004 (35-24) and just barely losing at Central Michigan by a 40-33 margin in 2003. UNH has made two straight appearances in the NCAA I-AA Playoffs, twice advancing to the quarterfinals. The Wildcats finished the 2005 regular season as the No. 1 ranked team.  Northwestern will be honor former head coach Randy Walker at the game. Walker died suddenly on June 29, 2006 at the age of 52.

THE ALL-TIME SERIES VS. NORTHWESTERN: This will mark the first-ever meeting between the University of New Hampshire and Northwestern University. However, this is not the first time that the UNH Wildcats have battled a Division IA squad. The UNH athletic department has made an effort to play IA teams in recent years. Most recently the Wildcats recorded an impressive upset victory over Rutgers University in 2004, defeating the Scarlet Knights in New Jersey by a 35-24 margin. Over the past four seasons, UNH has posted a 2-1 mark vs. the upper division, including a loss at Kent State in 2002 (34-7) and a loss at Central Michigan in 2003, 40-33. UNH is scheduled to travel to Army in 2008.

SCOUTING NORTHWESTERN: The other Wildcats are opened up last week at Miami (Ohio) and came away with an outstanding defensive effort, holding Miami to just three points in a 21-3 victory. The Wildcats scored on a 19 yd pass play from quarterback Mike Kafka to Tyrell Sutton, on a 4 yd run by Terrell Jordan and on an 8 yd blocked punt return by Erryn Cobb. The offense compiled 299 total yards and was led by Kafka, who ran the football 17 times for 89 yards ( an average of 5.2 yards per carry, and he completed an efficient 13-17 passes for 106 yds and no interceptions. Receivers Shaun Herbert and Rasheed Ward each had four catches in the defensive battle. The team's leading tackler on the evening was Nick Roach with eight tackles. Northwestern's defense put good pressure in the Miami offensive backfield with five sacks and six tackles for a loss.

UNH/NORTHWESTERN/CHICAGO CONNECTIONS:
1. Former Chicago Bear and NFL Pro Bowler Jerry Azumah will be in attendance at the UNH/Northwestern game. Azumah is one of the all-time best running backs in UNH and NCAA history..He owns most of UNH's all-time rushing records and was named the winner of the Walter Payton Award in his senior year as the top player in all of I-AA football.  Azumah is also one of UNH's most famous alumni and the present athletic department weight room is named after him (The Jerry Azumah Performanc Center). At the age of 25, Azumah became the youngest UNH alum to make a gift over $100,000.

2.  When Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald took over the reigns of the football program this past summer, NU needed a new linebackers coach and hired former UNH assistant Coach Randy Bates. Bates was the linebackers coach in Durham, N.H. from 1992-1997. During his tenure, UNH won three conference championshipsHe went to Northwestern from Louisiana Tech where he was on the staff with another former UNH assistant in Jack Bicknell Jr.

3. Major league baseball player Carlton Fisk (UNH Class of '69) was a beloved baseball player in both New England and Chicago. Both Carlton and his brother Calvin have been inducted into the UNH Hall of Fame and now Carlton's nephew Cameron Fisk is a true freshman tight end on the UNH football team.

UNH HEAD COACH SEAN McDONNELL IS 6-1 AS A HEAD COACH AT UNH IN SEASON-OPENERS: Under eighth-year head coach Sean McDonnell, UNH has posted a 6-1 record in season-opening contests. The only season-opening loss during his tenure came in 2002, when the 'Cats lost to Division IA Kent State by a 34-7 margin in Ohio.

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