FOOTBALL GAME NOTES VS. RICHMOND (9/29/07)
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WILDCATS AND SPIDERS BOTH LOOKING FOR THIRD STRAIGHT VICTORY: Both the UNH and Richmond offenses are rolling right along and both teams have won two straight and are looking to make it three in a row.  The Spiders are fresh off a 45-14 win at Bucknell this past week and also posted an impressive CAA victory at Northeastern on Sept. 8, 49-14. The lone loss of the season for the Spiders was at FBS Vanderbilt, where they were defeated 41-17. The Wildcats are riding high after winning the battle of the Granite State over Dartmouth this past weekend (52-31) and winning a huge game over FBS Marshall on the road (48-35). UNH is averaging 41.3 ppg. and Richmond, 37.0 this season. The key to the Richmond offense has been the powerful running of senior Tim Hightower, who checks in with an average of 204.7 rushing yards per game. Richmond is averaging 521.3 yards per game. UNH has been led by senior quarterback Ricky Santos and his 10 total touchdowns, seven through the air and three on the ground. UNH is averaging 469 yards per game offensively in 2007. The Wildcats also boast the top pass-catching tight end in the league in Scott Sicko with a team-leading 20 catches for 223 yards. So it looks like it could be a shootout in Richmond on Saturday and fans will have an opportunity to see all of the excitement live on CN8-TV.

THE SERIES VS. RICHMOND: This will mark the 18h meeting between these two CAA rivals and Richmond leads the overall series by a 9-8 margin. UNH won the most recent meeting between the two teams, defeating the Spiders in Durham by a 27-17 margin. In that game David Ball caught the historic TD that broke Jerry Rice's all-time TD reception record. Richmond won he most recent contest played in Viriginia by a 35-23 margin in 2003 and UNH has not won at UR stadium since 1994, when the Wildcats topped the Spiders by a 42-14 margin.

RICKY SANTOS TOPS 11,000 CAREER PASSING YARDS AND IS RANKED NINTH AMONG ALL TIME NCAA FCS LEADERS: Senior quarterback Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.) has now compiled 11,081 career passing yards at UNH after finishing with 199 in UNH's win over Dartmouth. He is presently UNH's top passer in that category and ranks one yard ahead of Dave Dickerson of Montana for ninth on the all-time NCAA listing for FCS passing yards. Here is a look at the top all-time passers listed in the NCAA record book. This chart does not include any other active quarterbacks other than Santos.

1. Steve McNair (Alcorn State)        14,956
2. Bruce Eugene (Grambling)            13,513
3. Willie Totten (Mississippi Valley State)    12,711
4. Marcus Brady (Cal State Northridge)        12,479
5. Jamie Martin (Weber State)        12,207
6. Robert Kent (Jackson State)        11,784
7. Neil Lomax (Portland State)        11,550
8. Travis Brown (Northern Arizona)        11,400
9. Ricky Santos (New Hampshire)        11,081
10. Dave Dickerson (Montana)        11080

SANTOS MOVING UP THE ALL-TIME CAREER TD PASS LISTING FOR FCS: UNH senior quarterback Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass. ) now has 106 career touchdown passes which places him fifth on the all-time NCAA FCS listing. Here's a look at the list (which includes no other active QBs other than Santos).
 1. Bruce Eugene (Grambling)        140
2. Willie Totten (Mississippi Valley State)    139
3. Steve McNair (Alcorn State)        119
4. Marcus Brady (Cal State Northridge)        109
5. Ricky Santos (New Hampshire)        106
6. Robert Kent (Jackson State)        104

MIKE BOYLE NAMED CAA SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK AFTER RETURNING A KICKOFF 91 YDS FOR A TD VS. DARTMOUTH: Junior wide receiver/returner Mike Boyle (Plymouth, N.H.) of the University of New Hampshire football team was honored on Monday as the recipient of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Special Teams Player of the Week Award for his outstanding efforts in the Wildcats’ 52-31 Granite Bowl victory over Dartmouth on Sept. 22.  The Granite State native took the game's opening kickoff?91 yards for paydirt helping to push the Wildcats on top early, and finished the game?with 112 yards and a touchdown on three kickoff returns.  The junior also?tallied two rushes for 11 yards, including a three-yard touchdown scamper,?and a pair of catches for 19 yards to give him 142 all-purpose yards in the?game.

WILDCAT DEFENSE KEEPS OFFENSE ON THE FIELD VS. DARTMOUTH WITH THREE INTERCEPTIONS: The goal of the UNH defense if to cause turnovers and keep the UNH offense on the field to score touchdowns. That was one of the keys to victory vs. Dartmouth on Sept 22, as the Wildcat "D" came up with three interceptions, two of which led directly to touchdowns. The interceptions were recorded by redshirt freshman corner Dino Vasso, senior free safety Jeff Pammer and one by junior corner John Clements.

UNH HAS THREE RECEIVERS RANKED IN THE NCAA FCS TOP 100: The University of New Hampshire receiving corps has been strong through three games and three of the student-athleties are ranked among the top 100 receivers in the nation. Leading the team in receiving yards per game is sophomore tight end Scott Sicko in a tie for 10th in the nation (74.33), followed by senior wide receiver Keith LeVan in 35th (70.33) and junior Mike Boyle in a tie for 68th (63.67). 

UNH'S VICTORY OVER MARSHALL PICKED AS THE BIGGEST WIN OF THE WEEK BY "ANY GIVEN SATURDAY": "Any Given Saturday" web site selected UNH's victory over Marshall on Sept. 15 as the biggest win among the FCS squads in week three of the season. UNH defeated FBS Marshall by a 48-35 margin.

UNH FOOTBALL HAS THE LONGEST STREAK OF WEEKLY APPEARANCES IN THE TOP 25 AMONG ALL CAA TEAMS: The Wildcats lead the entire Atlantic 10 in the number of consecutive appearances in the Sports Network Top 25 with 45, including five straight weekly appearances at No. 1 in 2006. UNH has been in the top 25 dating all the way back to Sept. 6, 2004.

1. New Hampshire (45)
2. Massachusetts (33)   

THE SERIES VS. RICHMOND: This will mark the 18h meeting between these two CAA rivals and Richmond leads the overall series by a 9-8 margin. UNH won the most recent meeting between the two teams, defeating the Spiders in Durham by a 27-17 margin. In that game David Ball caught the historic TD that broke Jerry Rice's all-time TD reception record. Richmond won he most recent contest played in Viriginia by a 35-23 margin in 2003 and UNH has not won at UR stadium since 1994, when the Wildcats topped the Spiders by a 42-14 margin..


RICKY SANTOS GARNERS NATIONAL HONORS AFTER THE MARSHALL WIN:   University of New Hampshire senior quarterback Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.) garnered national honors on Monday following his outstanding efforts in the team’s impressive 48-35 victory at Marshall on Sept. 15. Santos was named National Offensive Player of the Week by both the “Sports Network” and by “The College Sporting News”.  Santos, the winner of the Walter Payton Award in 2006, showed great poise, leadership and skill as he led the Wildcats to the impressive victory over the FBS very big and physical Thundering Herd. Santos completed 23-of-33 passes for 289 yards and accounted for four touchdowns in the Wildcats' win. The All-American quarterback threw three TD strikes and rushed 13 times for 45 yards and another touchdown to pile up 334 yards of total offense. It was the third time Santos had led the Wildcats to an upset of an FBS opponent. New Hampshire beat Rutgers in 2004 (35-24) and Northwestern in 2006 (34-17) with Santos as the starting quarterback. Santos presently leads the nation in total offense with an average of 362.0 yards per game.

RICKY SANTOS NAMED CAA OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR HIS EFFORTS IN UNH'S UPSET VICTORY OVER FBS SQUAD MARSHALL:  Ricky Santos, the CAA Football Offensive Player of the Week, garnered 334 yards of total offense and accounted for four of the 12th-ranked Wildcats' six touchdowns in a 48-35 win over Marshall, a BCS opponent.  The win, in front of 27,225 fans, marks the third-consecutive for UNH over a BCS opponent, and is also the 14th win for CAA Football over a BCS foe in the last 10 years. Santos finished the day against the Thundering Herd 23-of-33 for 289 yards and three touchdowns through the air, while also rushing 13 times for 45 yards and a touchdown.  Santos, a native of Bellingham, Mass., is now 3-0 against BCS foes as New Hampshire's starting quarterback, having helped the Wildcats beat Rutgers in 2004 (35-24), Northwestern in 2006 (34-17) and now Marshall in 2007.

RICKY SANTOS EARNS THE FIRST NEW ENGLAND FOOTBALL WRITER'S GOLD HELMET AWARD OF 2007 FOR HIS EFFORTS VS. JMU: Senior quarterback Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.) was the recipient of the Gold Helmet Award for his outstanding efforts vs. James Madison in week one. The honor was presented at the New England Football Writers Luncheon held on the campus of Harvard University. Santos passed for two TDS and ran for one vs. the Dukes.

FREE SAFETY JEFF PAMMER RANKS IN THE TOP 10 IN CAREER TACKLES AT UNH: Senior free safety Jeff Pammer (Northampton, Pa.) has been named an All-American, all-conference and earned numerous other awards and honors as one of the Wildcats' top defensive players over the past four seasons. Consistently among the team's tackle leaders, he heads now has 258 career tackles in three seasons at UNH (123-135-258), bringing him to within five tackles of taking over the ninth spot on the list and passing Brian O'Neill (1982-85).

Most Tackles?Career (since 1981)
1.    Steve Doig (1978-81)    434
2.     Aaron Thomas (2000-04)    343
3.    Chris McGrath (1987-91)    322
4.     Romande Carter (1993-96)    297
5.    Brett Bashaw (1996-2000)    297
6.    Neal Zonfrelli (1982-85)    286
7.    Scott Curtis (1984-87)    278
8.    Czar Wiley (1999-2002)    273
9.    Brian O?Neill (1982-85)    262
10.     Jeff Pammer (2004-)    258

THERE'S A NEW TIGHT END IN TOWN AND HE IS SICKO:  UNH has had a strong tradition of bringing in talented tight ends and sophomore Scott Sicko (Stillwater, N.Y.) is no exception. through three games played.  He is presently ranked 10th in the nation in receptions per game (6.67). and is ranked 40th in the nation in receiving yards per contest (74.33 ypg.). The 6-3, 225-pounder leads the Wildcats in receiving this season with a team-high 20 catches for 223 yds and an average of 74.3 ypg. Sicko has emerged as a favorite target of Ricky Santos and led the'Cats in their FBS victory at Marshall with six catches for 78 yds. He also posted seven catches for 64 yds in the victory over Dartmouth.

GIANT SLAYER UNH MAKES IT THREE WINS IN A ROW OVER FBS FOOTBALL TEAMS WITH BIG WIN OVER MARSHALL: The UNH football team continued its success vs. FBS teams with its 48-35 victory over Marshall. UNH is 3-0 since 2004 against the top tier teams, after posting a 34-17 win over Big Ten Northwestern and a victory over Big East Rutgers in 2004 (35-24).

THE UNH OFFENSE IS AVERAGING 469 YARDS PER GAME IN 2007: The UNH offense continued its practice of posting big numbers in its first three games of 2007. The Wildcats produced an eye-popping 432 net yards in the loss at James Madison.Against FBS Marshall, the 'Cats topped that total with 506 total yards. In the win over Dartmouth the 'Cats compiled 473 yards of total offense. Last season UNH averaged 401.1 yards per contest.  So far this season UNH is averaging 469.0 ypg. this season, good for eighth in the NCAA FCS standings.

WILDCATS RANKED FOURTH IN THE NATION IN KICK RETURN YARDAGE: After Mike Boyle's 91 yd kick return for a TD last week, the Wildcats are now ranked fourth in the nation in FCS ranks with an average of 29.53 yards per kick return.

RICKY SANTOS RANKED SIXTH IN THE NATION IN TOTAL OFFENSE: Senior quarterback Ricky Santos is presently ranked sixth in the nation in total offensive this week with an impressive average of 315 yards per game.
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