No. 9/10 UNH (4-3, 2-2 CAA) at No. 12/12 Massachusetts (4-1, 1-1 CAA)
3:30 p.m. |Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010 | Gillette Stadium | Foxboro, Mass.
Television: Comcast Sports N.E.:
Gary Tanguay (play-by-play), Andy Gresh (analyst), Carolyn Manno (sidelines)
Radio: Wildcat Sports Network: Jim Jeannotte (play-by-play), Loren Foxx (analyst)
UNH: Sean McDonnell
Years as head coach: 12th
Overall Record: 84-56
Record at UNH: 84-56
CAA Record: 50-45
Alma Mater: UNH '78
Massachusetts: Kevin Morris
Years as head coach: 8th (2nd at UMass)
Overall Record: 33-40
Record at UMass: 9-8
CAA Record: 5-6
Alma Mater: Williams '86
LAST TIME OUT: HARRISONBURG, Va. – Matt Evans returned a fumble for a touchdown, forced another and amassed a game-high and career-high-tying 14 tackles as the 15th ranked University of New Hampshire football team upset sixth-ranked James Madison, 28-14, on Saturday afternoon at Bridgeforth Stadium. The Wildcats outscored the Dukes, 18-0, in the second half to record their first win at JMU since Sept. 28, 1996. Dino Vasso added two interceptions for a UNH defense that tallied four sacks, forced three turnovers and held the Dukes to only 11 first downs in the game. R.J. Toman went 22 of 40 for 248 yards and a touchdown; Dontra Peters carried the ball 11 times for 60 yards and a score and Terrance Fox hauled in a team-leading six receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown. The Wildcats' defense, which forced seven turnovers in last weekend's shutout of Richmond, produced the first points of the game at 12:04 of the first quarter. On a 2nd-and-4 play from the JMU 20, Duke quarterback Drew Dudzik (10-of-23, 157 yards, 2 INT) kept the ball up the middle, but Hugo Souza (five tackles, forced fumble) jarred the ball loose and Evans recovered the fumble, returning it 17 yards untouched into the end zone. UNH led 7-0 at 12:04 following the ensuing PAT by Mike MacArthur.James Madison (4-2, 1-2 Colonial Athletic Association) responded on its next possession with an eight-play, 77-yard drive that was capped off with a two-yard touchdown run by Scott Noble (19 carries-100 yards-2 TD) to tie the score, 7-7, with 8:19 remaining in the first quarter. Noble's 44-yard scamper on 3rd-and-2 from the JMU 31 extended the drive and put the Dukes in scoring position. On its first offensive possession of the game, UNH (4-3, 2-2) marched 42 yards in seven plays to regain the lead, 10-7, on MacArthur's 30-yard field goal with 6:05 to go in the opening period. That score was set up by a 22-yard run by Peters that advanced the ball to the JMU 13. Dae'Quon Scott's 53-yard punt return gave JMU excellent field position at the UNH 11 and set up the game's next score. A defensive pass interference on 3rd-and-13 extended the Dukes' drive, and one play later Noble ran outside the left tackle untouched into the end zone from two yards out to give the home team its first lead of the game, 14-10, with 7:32 remaining in the first half. On the opening kickoff of the second half, Peters' 41-yard return gave New Hampshire the ball on the JMU 40. Toman connected with Sean Cullen down the right sideline for a 25-yard gain to the Dukes' 10 to set up MacArthur's 26-yard field goal that pulled the 'Cats within 14-13 at 12:17. Cullen finished the day with four catches for a game-leading 66 yards. JMU marched to the UNH 28 on its next possession, but lost two yards on consecutive running plays and then Brian McNally and Lance Mailloux combined on an eight-yard sack to force the Dukes to punt.UNH regained the lead for good, 21-14, with an eight-play, 64-yard drive that spanned the third and fourth quarters. The drive opened with 59 seconds left in the third and on 2nd-and-14, Fox spun out of a tackle at the 40 and picked up 10 more yards to give the 'Cats first down at midfield. Toman completed a 25-yard pass to Cullen and a 14-yard pass to Peters to advance the ball to the JMU 16. Facing 3rd-and-9 at the 13, Fox went in motion, caught the ball in the left flat and scampered untouched into the end zone behind a lead block by Joey Orlando. UNH converted a 2-point conversion on a shovel-pass from Toman to Sean Jellison. On the Dukes' ensuing possession, Vasso made an athletic play to intercept the ball at the UNH 22. With 10:38 remaining in the game, the 'Cats began an eight-play, 78-yard drive that consumed 4:13 off the clock and extended the advantage to 28-14 at 6:25. After a three-yard loss on first down, Toman's pass attempt to Cullen was jarred out of the tight end's arms but caught in mid-air by senior wide receiver Chris Chandler (Wakefield, Mass.) for a nine-yard gain. The Wildcats proceeded to keep the ground for the final six plays on the drive, with Jellison (nine carries-58 yards; three receptions-30 yards) gaining 33 yards on three carries and Peters finishing off the drive with a 14-yard touchdown sweep around the left end. Vasso added his second interception of the game when he grabbed Dudzik's deep pass that caromed off Souza's shoulder pad at the UNH 24-yard line with 6:04 remaining, allowing the Wildcats to snap a 10-game CAA road losing streak in Virginia.
COLONIAL CLASH: Gillette Stadium, the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and the University of Massachusetts (UMass) announced on Aug. 18 that the annual football rivalry game, which moves to Gillette Stadium in 2010 and 2011, will be dubbed the "Colonial Clash."
"It's a fitting name for a border rivalry between schools who represent two of the original colonies," said Robert Kraft, Chairman and CEO of The Kraft Group. "We're proud to bring it to Gillette Stadium and are determined to make it a truly special event for students, alumni and fans from the two schools. We don't think there is a better atmosphere for football in New England than Gillette Stadium, and we hope the venue heightens interest in the game and in college football in this region."
The contest will be the first-ever college football game at Gillette Stadium, the 68,756-seat home of the New England Patriots that is designed to represent New England heritage with its signature lighthouse and bridge. Kickoff is slated for 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23, and the Wildcats will be the home team for this year's matchup.
UMass will utilize the Patriots sideline and UNH will be on the "visiting" team sidelines.
LAST MEETING: UMASS-23, UNH-17, OCT. 17, 2009: R.J. Toman passed for 284 yards and two touchdowns, and Scott Sicko finished with a season-high 10 receptions for 145 yards and two scores, but the Minutemen scored the game's final 13 points to escape with the win at McGuirk Alumni Stadium. Jonathan Hernandez's 42-yard run with 5:23 remaining in the fourth quarter put UMass in front, 20-17. Armando Cuko's third field goal of the game, a 41-yarder with 1:26 left, sealed the win. Hernandez rushed for a career-high 166 yards in receiving the Bill Knight Trophy, awarded to the MVP of the annual rivalry.
SCOUTING THE MINUTEMEN: Massachusetts suffered a heartbreaking loss on homecoming, dropping an 11-10 decision to Richmond on Oct. 16. Montel White's 15-yard TD pass to Tre Gray with :09 remaining in the game lifted the Spiders to the upset. UMass MLB Mike Mele made a career-high 14 tackles in the loss, which was the Minutemen's first CAA defeat of the season. UMass's only touchdown was a 7-yard pass from quarterback Kyle Havens to tight end Andrew Krevis.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Running backs John Griffin (96.8 ypg) and Jonathan Hernandez (83.3 ypg) rank second and third in the CAA in rushing yards, respectively, leading a unit averaging 198.0 rushing yards per game, second in the conference. Senior QB Kyle Havens (210.8 pass yds/game) trails only UNH's R.J. Toman (231.0) in average passing yardage, and UMass boasts the top total offense in the league (408.8 yds/game). Junior WLB Tyler Holmes ranks second in the CAA in tackles for loss (8.5) and paces UMass with 59 tackles. MLB Mike Mele has notched 27 tackles over the last two games, upping his season total to 52.
UNH-UMASS ALL-TIME SERIES (MINUTEMEN LEAD, 43-26-3): After winning three of the first four meetings since becoming head coach at UNH, Sean McDonnell's charges are looking to end a streak of six losses in the last eight meetings, including an NCAA Tournament second-round game, 24-17, in 2006. Coach Mac is 5-7 all-time vs the Minuteman. Here is the capsule of UNH/UMass games in the Coach Mac era:
Date Home/Away Score W/L
10/17/09 Away 17-23 L
11/15/08 Home 52-21 W
11/10/07 Away 7-27 L
12/2/06 (NCAA)Away 17-24 L
11/4/06 Home 20-28 L
10/29/05 Away 34-28 W
10/16/04 Home 21-38 L
10/4/03 Away 30-44 L
11/9/02 Home 31-14 W
10/13/01 Away 35-24 W
10/28/00 Home 24-16 W
9/11/99 Away 19-34 L
2010 UNH WEEKLY AWARDS
Player Weekly Award Date
Matt Evans Gold Helmet Award 10/20
Matt Evans ECAC Defensive Player 10/19
Matt Evans CAA Co-Defensive Player 10/18
John Greer ECAC Defensive Player 10/12
John Greer College Sporting News All-Star 10/11
John Greer CAA Defensive Player 10/11
R.J. Toman Gold Helmet Award 9/29
R.J. Toman ECAC Offensive Player 9/28
R.J. Toman CAA Offensive Player 9/27
Terrance Fox CAA Spec. Teams Player 9/6
V IS FOR VASSO: Senior cornerback Dino Vasso, following his two interceptions last week at JMU, has reached five interceptions in a season for the third straight year. His total of 17 interceptions is three shy of the school record of 20, held by Bill Pappas (1952-54). He also leads the CAA in picks, is fifth-best in the country and one more interception would move him into a tie for eighth all-time in conference history.
SECOND HALF D-NIAL: UNH's defense has been resolute in its refusal to allow yards and points in the third and fourth quarters to its six FCS opponents. The Wildcats have not yielded a third-quarter point and have shut out the opposition in the second half four times, including each of the last two games against then-sixth-ranked James Madison and then-11th-ranked Richmond. Overall, the six FCS opponents have scored a total of 22 second-half points vs. the 'Cats – that's an average of 3.67 points per game in the last 30 minutes of regulation.New Hampshire has held four of six FCS foes to less than 100 yards of second-half offense. In back-to-back weeks against highly-ranked opponents, the Wildcats limited Richmond to 71 yards (and 11:05 time of possession) and then James Madison to 73 yards (11:06). The lowest total is 48 (Lehigh; Sept. 25) and Maine (Oct. 2) racked up the highest yardage (158).
TURNING OVER AND OVER: Another reason the 'Cats have limited the FCS opposition to just 22 second-half points is turnovers. UNH has forced a total of 14 second-half turnovers in those six games with multiple thefts in all but one game. New Hampshire forced two fourth-quarter turnovers last week at James Madison and four the previous week vs. Richmond.
•The Colonial Clash at Gillette Stadium is UNH's second game in an NFL venue this season (Heinz Field, at Pitt, Sept. 11) and is the schools' first neutral-site game since Dec. 6, 1975. That day the Wildcats lost to Western Kentucky, 14-3, in the NCAA D-II National Semifinals at the Grantland Rice Bowl in Baton Rouge, La.
•R.J. Toman leads the CAA in total offense (247.9 ypg) and passing offense (231.0 ypg), and his 348 passing yards vs Lehigh on Sept. 25 is the league's best performance of the season.
•Terrance Fox leads the CAA in receptions (42) and receptions per game (6.0, tied for first). He owns the CAA's top two single-game performances in 2010: 134 yards vs Lehigh (Sept. 25) and 118 yards at Rhode Island (Sept. 18).
•Dontra Peters' 197 rushing yards vs. Central Connecticut State (Sept. 4) is the single-game high for all CAA running backs this season.
•Peters' fourth-quarter TD run at James Madison was the first by a UNH running back since his 2-yard run at Pittsburgh in the third quarter Sept. 11.
•Senior Kevon Mason is the only Wildcat with at least one reception in every game. He has a streak of 11 straight games with at least one grab and, dating back to the 2009 season opener, has made at least one catch in 17 of the last 18 games.
WILDCATS AMONG CAA LEADERS (alphabetical):
Player Category CAA Rank Total
Alan Buzbee Tackles 6 57
Alan Buzbee Tackles Per Gm. 6 8.1
Alan Buzbee Fumbles Forced T-1 2
Matt Evans Tackles 1 80
Matt Evans Tackles Per Gm. 1 11.4
Matt Evans Fumbles Rec. T-1 2
Kyle Flemings Passes Defended T-2 9
Kyle Flemings Interceptions T-3 3
Terrance Fox Receptions/gm. T-1 6.0
Terrance Fox Receptions 1 42
Terrance Fox Rec. Yards/gm. 4 65.9
Terrance Fox All Purpose Yds. 5 103.9
John Greer Interceptions T-3 3
Mike MacArthur Field Goal % 2 77.8
Mike MacArthur Field Goals Made T-3 7
Brian McNally Sacks 1 4.5
Brian McNally Tackles for Loss 8 6.0
Dontra Peters Rushing Offense 9 59.7
R.J. Toman Total Offfense 1 247.9
R.J. Toman Passing Offense 1 231.0
Dino Vasso Interceptions 1 5
Dino Vasso Passes Defended 1 10
TALE OF THE TAPE:
Totals (CAA Rank) UNH UMASS
Total Yards Gained 2,551 (2) 2,453 (3)
Total Offense 364.4 (4) 408.8 (1)
Rush Offense 124.7 (9) 198.0 (2)
Pass Offense 239.7 (1) 210.8 (3)
Points Per Game 23.3 (5) 26.3 (T-3)
Total Yards Allowed 2,001 (6) 1,870 (4)
Total Defense 285.9 (4) 311.7 (5)
Rush Defense 136.1 (7) 153.2 (9)
Pass Defense 149.7 (2) 158.5 (4)
Points Allowed/Game 15.6 (3) 19.7 (6)
Possession Avg. 30:41 (5) 35:19 (1)
Sacks Allowed/Yards Lost 21/157 (10) 6/48 (1)
Sacks Made/Yards 15/83 (1) 6/40 (9)
Total Touchdowns Scored 20 (T-4) 20 (T-4)
Penalties Against/Yards 44/414 (6) 43/365 (8)
Punts/Avg. 42/37.1 (8) 27/33.1 (10)
Turnover Differential +7 (2) -3 (T-7)
COLONIAL CLASH HONORARY CAPTAINS: In honor of the inaugural Colonial Clash, five former winners of the prestigious Bill Knight Trophy (see below) will be returning to wear the Wildcats' blue as honorary captains. Here is a look at the returning UNH greats:
This native of Newburyport, Massachusetts, was a three-year starter at quarterback for the Wildcats. He graduated in 1989 as the school's all-time leader in almost every passing category, and his 447 passing attempts from 1988 still stand as a single-season school record. ..In UNH's 17-10 victory over UMass in 1987, he completed 29 of 45 passes for 343 yards and a touchdown to win the Bill Knight Trophy.
This Worcester, Massachusetts, native was a member of the Yankee Conference 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. He was the MVP of the Wildcats' 1995 season, a two-time All-Yankee Conference First-Team selection, an American Football Coaches Association All-American in 1994, the recipient of the "Bulger" Lowe award as the top defensive Division I-AA player in New England in 1995 and was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the 1995 NFL Draft.On October 8, 1994, he became the first defensive player to ever win the Bill Knight Trophy when he amassed five tackles, helped force an interception and recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchback in UNH's 14-11 victory over UMass.
A native of Long Beach, California, he was a four-year starter at linebacker for the Wildcats, serving as a tri-captain during his senior season in 2008. He was a second-team All-CAA linebacker in '08 and finished his Wildcat career with 356 tackles, the third highest total in school history. He was a member of playoff teams during each year of his Wildcats career and captured the Bill Knight Trophy in 2008, the year he returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown in UNH's 52-21 victory over UMass.
This Coatesville, Pennsylvania, native was a three-time winner of the prestigious Bill Knight Trophy as the MVP of the UNH/UMass game –in 2000, 2001 and 2002-all Wildcat victories. He was named the Wildcats 2002 MVP, the same year he was named an American Football Coaches Association All-America First Team selection.He ran for over 3,600 yards during his Wildcats career and is ranked third all-time in rushing yardage. He is the only UNH player listed among the top 10 in both receptions and rushing yards, and his 364 all-purpose yards versus UMass on Oct. 13, 2001, remains a school record to this day.
This winner of the 2005 Bill Knight Trophy made eight receptions for 123 yards and a school-record tying four touchdown receptions in UNH's 34-28 victory over UMass. The Orange, Vermont, native holds the school's top three single-season records in receptions and receiving yards and he ended his college career as the Division I-AA football all-time leader with 304 catches for 4,655 yards and an amazing 58 touchdowns.
BILL KNIGHT TROPHY'S 25TH ANNIVERSARY: The Most Outstanding Player in the University of New Hampshire-Massachusetts football game at the Colonial Clash will receive the Bill Knight Trophy. The award is named after Bill Knight, the long-time Sports Information Director at New Hampshire who passed away in November 1985 following a long bout with cancer. In addition to his duties at UNH, Knight was a past President of the New England Sports Information Directors Association, a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee at the 1984 Winter Games and a recipient of the Irving T. Marsh ECAC Service Bureau Award. He also served as the Information Officer of the Yankee Conference. Knight was inducted into the UNH 100 Club Hall of Fame on Oct. 2, 1987. UNH'S Stephan Lewis became the second player to capture the award three years in a row. In his senior season, Lewis ran for 186 yards and two touchdowns and also caught another TD pass. In 2000, Lewis brought the trophy back to Durham for the first time since Jerry Azumah won in 1997. In 1993, UMass fullback John Johnson rushed for 152 yards on 12 carries to break the amazing string of seven consecutive years of quarterbacks winning the award. 1994 was also an historic year for the award, as New Hampshire defensive end Mike Foley became the first defensive player to capture this honor. The pregame banner read the "Battle of the Backs," but two strong and talented defenses proved otherwise. Foley led the way with five tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in the end zone for a touchback as UNH prevailed 14-11. As a true freshman in 1995, Azumah took home the hardware. Then, in 1996, Azumah became the second player to win the award two consecutive times. UNH quarterback Matt Griffin also won the honor twice, in 1990 and 1991. Azumah did it one more time in 1997, becoming the first player ever to win the Bill Knight Trophy three consecutive times. Here are the all-time winners:
1986 Tim Bryant, QB, UMass
1987 Bob Jean, QB, UNH
1988 Dave Palazzi, QB, UMass
1989 Gary Wilkos, QB, UMass
1990 Matt Griffin, QB, UNH
1991 Matt Griffin, QB, UNH
1992 Jim Stayer, QB, UNH
1993 John Johnson, FB, UMass
1994 Mike Foley, DE, UNH
1995 Jerry Azumah, TB, UNH
1996 Jerry Azumah, TB, UNH
1997 Jerry Azumah, TB, UNH
1998 Marcel Shipp, TB, UMass
1999 Adrian Zullo, WR, UMass
2000 Stephan Lewis, TB, UNH
2001 Stephan Lewis, TB, UNH
2002 Stephan Lewis, TB, UNH
2003 Jason Peebler, WR, UMass
2004 Steve Baylark, TB, UMass
2005 David Ball, WR, UNH
2006 Jason Hatchell, DE, UMass
2007 Matt Lawrence, TB, UMass
2008 Matt Parent, LB, UNH
2009 Jonathan Hernandez, TB, UMass