SATURDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL GAME AVAILABLE ON MAINE'S CW TELEVISION

No. 14/15 UNH (2-2, 0-1 CAA) at Maine (1-3, 0-1 CAA)

6:00 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010 Alfond Stadium | Orono, Maine

Radio: Wildcat Sports Network: Jim Jeannotte (play-by-play), Loren Foxx (analyst)

Television: CW Network (Maine): George Hale (play-by-play), Walter Abbott (analyst)

THE COACHES

UNH: Sean McDonnell

Years as head coach: 12th

Overall Record: 82-54

Record at UNH: 82-54

CAA Record: 48-44

Alma Mater: UNH '78

Maine: Jack Cosgrove

Years as head coach: 18th

Overall Record: 94-104

Record at Maine: 94-104

 CAA Record: 63-77

Alma Mater: Maine '77

 

LAST TIME OUT: Senior quarterback R.J. Toman (Mission Viejo, Calif.) passed for a career-high 348 yards and threw four touchdown passes as the 16th-ranked University of New Hampshire football team defeated Lehigh, 31-10, in front of a sun-drenched crowd of  8,144 at Cowell Stadium on Saturday afternoon.  The 'Cats matched a school record by earning their 11th straight home victory. Toman went 26 of 37, adding 19 yards rushing on eight carries. Senior Terrance Fox (Piscataway, N.J.) went over the 100-yard receiving mark for the second consecutive game, catching nine passes for a career-high 134 yards and a touchdown, and sophomore Joey Orlando (Bethlehem, Pa.) set new career benchmarks with 10 receptions, 81 yards and two touchdowns against his hometown team. The UNH defense turned in a stirring performance, holding Lehigh to just 129 total yards (60-rushing, 69-passing) and tallying three interceptions. Making his second straight start at middle linebacker in place of injured captain Devon Jackson (Williamstown, N.J.), sophomore Alan Buzbee (Chester, N.J.) recorded a game-high and career-best 13 tackles, including six solo stops and a forced fumble. Sophomore running back Dontra Peters (Annapolis, Md.) rushed 19 times for 93 yards (4.9 yards per carry), pacing a Wildcats' ground attack that compiled 165 yards on 51 carries. UNH (2-2, 0-1 Colonial Athletic Association) scored first on a 37-yard field goal from redshirt freshman Mike MacArthur (North Hampton, N.H.) with 9:36 remaining in the opening quarter for a 3-0 lead.  MacArthur's field goal capped a 13-play, 44-yard drive, including a 26-yard pass play from Toman to senior wide receiver Kevon Mason (Quincy, Mass./two catches-77 yards) on a 3rd-and-10 play, extending the drive and putting the ball at the Mountain Hawks' 28-yard line. Lehigh (2-2, 0-0 Patriot League) evened the score, 3-3, on a 42-yard field goal from Jake Peery with 5:34 to go in the first quarter. UNH recaptured the lead, taking a 10-3 advantage courtesy of a three-play, 67-yard drive culminating in a one-yard scoring toss from Toman to Orlando, who caught a fade over his right shoulder in the back right corner of the end zone. Toman began the drive by finding Mason deep along the left sideline for a 51-yard pass play to the Lehigh 16.  It was the 'Cats longest pass play of the season. Peters carried for 15 yards on the next play, setting up Orlando's first scoring reception with 4:13 remaining in the first. Lehigh would bounce back to tie the game, getting a fortuitous bounce on a 3rd-and-11 play when Buzbee forced a fumble from Colvin (10 of 28, 69 yards, three interceptions), only to see Hawks' tight end Alex Wojdowski fall on the loose ball at the New Hampshire 11 for a first down. Lehigh capitalized on the break, with tailback Jay Campbell racing into the end zone on the next play. The PAT knotted the score at 10 with 14:04 to go in the first half. The seesaw swung back in UNH's direction four minutes later when Toman hooked up with Fox on a 21-yard touchdown pass. Fox snared Toman's throw on a crossing route inside the Lehigh 10-yard line and fought his way the final few yards for the touchdown.  The Wildcats' defense once again flexed its collective muscle on Lehigh's next drive, with junior defensive end Brian McNally (Cornwall, N.Y.) sacking Colvin for a 10-yard loss, one of McNally's seven tackles (four solo) on the afternoon. Two plays later, sophomore linebacker Matt Evans (Hanover, Mass./10 tackles) applied pressure on Colvin, forcing an errant pass that was intercepted by Dino Vasso (Crum Lynne, Pa.) at Lehigh's 35-yard line.  The Wildcats took a 24-10 lead into the locker room after amassing a methodical 10-play, 80-yard drive that took five minutes off the clock. Toman went 5-for-5 on the drive for 50 yards, completing passes to five different receivers –Orlando; Fox; senior Chris Chandler (Wakefield, Mass./two catches-27 yards); senior Sean Jellison (Amherst, N.H./one catch-4 yards/15 carries-35 yards) and Peters, who took a swing pass in for a 14-yard score with 1:04 remaining in the half.  UNH added to its lead on the opening possession of the second half when Toman threw his fourth touchdown pass of the game, finding a leaping Orlando in the left corner of the end zone with a 14-yard, back-shoulder fade, bumping the lead to 31-10 with 7:40 remaining in the third quarter. The highlight of the drive was Fox's 33-yard reception at the Lehigh 19.

 

SCOUTING THE BLACK BEARS:  Maine is coming off a heartbreaking defeat to now seventh-ranked William & Mary, 24-21, last Saturday night in Orono.  The Tribe scored 21 fourth-quarter points to notch the victory, dropping the Black Bears to 1-3 on the season and 0-1 in CAA action.  Maine outgained William & Mary, 365-280, but the Bears were undone by 11 penalties for 134 yards.  Maine is 0-2 at home, having also dropped a 3-0 decision to Albany in week one, Sept. 2. The Black Bears' lone victory was a 31-23 triumph at Monmouth on Sept. 11; their other defeat came in the Carrier Dome, 38-14, at the hands of Syracuse.

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior fullback Jared Turcotte is averaging 96.7 rushing yards per game, leading a Maine ground attack averaging 136.8 yards. Junior tailback Pushaun Brown averages 45.5 rushing yards.  With Turcotte out of action last Saturday, Brown carried 30 times for 104 yards and two touchdowns in the near-upset of William & Mary. In last year's meeting, Brown's one-yard TD with :46 remaining in the third quarter gave Maine a 24-17 lead over UNH. Junior quarterback Warren Smith, a transfer from Iona, has completed 71 of 106 passes (67.0%) for two touchdowns and two interceptions.   Smith missed last year's game versus the 'Cats, though backup Chris Treister shined with 303 yards passing and two touchdowns. Three Maine receivers are in double-digit catches, led by tailback Derek Session, who has compiled 220 yards on 20 catches (11.0 yards per catch). Tight end Derek Buttles has hauled in 15 catches for 132 yards and wide receiver Desmond Randall checks in with 13 catches and 87 yards, including a touchdown. Maine has only recorded two touchdowns through the air in 2010. On the other side of the football, junior MLB Donte Dennis leads the squad with 27 tackles (15 solo) while junior SS Jerron McMillian has a team-best 18 solo tackles and 25 overall.

 

UNH-MAINE ALL-TIME SERIES (WILDCATS LEAD, 47-42-8):  In the Sean McDonnell era, UNH is 7-4 against Maine.  The Black Bears won the first four meetings from 1999-2002, but the Wildcats have responded with a seven-game winning streak in the series, the longest win streak UNH has ever amassed against Maine.  Today, UNH attempts to win an 8th straight against Maine, matching the longest winning streak in the history of the rivalry. Maine set the mark by capturing the first eight games against the Wildcats between 1903-11. Here are the results of the Battle of the Brice-Cowell Musket since Coach Mac took the reins in Durham:

 

Date        Home/Away Score W/L

11/21/09  Home                27-24 W

11/22/08  Away                28-24 W

11/17/07 Home                39-14 W

11/18/06 Away                19-13, OT W

11/19/05 Home                59-47 W

11/20/04 Away                50-36 W

11/22/03 Home               47-27 W

11/23/02 Away               14-31 L

11/17/01 Home              24-57 L

11/18/00 Away              10-55 L

11/20/99 Home             20-31 L

 

HISTORY OF THE BRICE-COWELL MUSKET: The Brice-Cowell Musket has resided in the UNH football locker room for seven consecutive years. The musket is named after two former coaches, Fred Brice (Maine) and William Cowell (UNH), and it goes to the winner of the annual Maine-UNH game. The tradition began in the late 1940s. The musket is a flintlock rifle made by Ebenezer Nutting of Falmouth, Maine, sometime between 1722-45. The George I period flintlock rifle has a 43-inch barrel and is rifled to a .65 caliber.

 

TOMAN NAMED CAA OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF WEEK:  UNH quarterback R.J. Toman was named the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Offensive Player of the Week on the heels of his career-high 348 passing yards and four touchdown passes in the Wildcats' 31-10 victory over Lehigh on Saturday afternoon at Cowell Stadium. Toman was 26-for-37 through the air, distributing passes to seven different receivers.  Through four games, Toman has completed 81 of 125 passes (64.8%) for 899 yards and seven touchdowns.  He ranks second in the CAA in passing yards per game (224.8) and total offense (246.8) and has now thrown for 6,500 career yards, fourth in UNH history, and 54 overall touchdowns.

 

POST-LEHIGH TIDBITS:

Terrance Fox has compiled 252 receiving yards on 20 receptions in the last two weeks, an average of 10 catches and 126 yards per game. Fox has three  TD receptions in the last two games -all have gone for 21 yards.

 

•The 129 yards of total offense allowed by the Wildcats was the lowest total since Ball State only mustered 127 vs UNH on Sept. 12, 2009.

 

•Not only did R.J. Toman reach a career best with 348 passing yards, but five different receivers also set career highs in yards: Fox (134); Joey Orlando (81); Kevon Mason (77); Chris Chandler (27) and Dontra Peters (14).

 

•UNH played last week's game missing five starters from their opening day lineup: Chris Jeannot (TE), Seamus O'Neill (RG), Mickey DiLima (RT), John Murray (DT) and Devon Jackson (MLB).

 

•UNH converted 12 of 20 (60%) on third downs and held Lehigh to 3 of 14 (21%).

TALE OF THE TAPE:

Totals                    UNH  MAINE

Total Yards Gained 1,570  1,239

Total Offense          392.5  309.8

Rush Offense         152.5  136.8

Pass Offense          240.0  173.0

Points Per Game     26.2    16.5

Total Yards Allowed 1,098 1,202

Total Defense          274.5 300.5

Rush Defense         132.8 93.2

Pass Defense          141.8 207.2

Points Allowed/Game 19.8 22.0

Possession Avg.      30:17 31:59

Sacks Allowed/Yards Lost 17/115 5/34

Sacks Made/Yards 8/42 10/42

Total Touchdowns Scored 14 9

Penalties Against/Yards 30-306 37-361

Punts/Avg. 22/37.5 29/37.9

Turnover Differential even -2

 

LONGEST HOME WINNING STREAK IN SCHOOL HISTORY: UNH's 31-10 win over Lehigh on Sept. 25 stretched the Wildcats' home-winning streak to a school record-tying 11 games, dating back to Oct. 25, 2008.  The 11 consecutive home victories match the all-time mark orginally set from Oct. 5, 1929-Nov. 14, 1931. That 11-game home winning streak was acutally a 13-game unbeaten string, sandwiched by a pair of ties. The 'Cats last loss at home came Oct. 11, 2008, to Wiliam & Mary, 38-34. 

 
 
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