No. 20 Football Visits Stony Brook for Inaugural CAA Clash (Oct. 26, 4 p.m.)
No. 20/22 New Hampshire (3-3, 2-1 CAA) at Stony Brook (3-3, 1-2 CAA)
Oct. 26, 2013 • 4:00 p.m. • LaValle Stadium • Stony Brook, N.Y.
Radio: Wildcat Sports Radio Network
Bob Lipman (play-by-play) • Chris Chandler (analyst)
Live Stats: http://www.goseawolves.org/gametracker/
•UNH and Stony Brook meet for the first time as CAA rivals and only the second time in history. The No. 1 Wildcats defeated the Seawolves, 62-7, on Sept. 16, 2006.
•UNH has exceeded 200 yards rushing in four of the last five games, with a high of 333 yards against Rhode Island (Oct. 12). New Hampshire ran the ball a season-high 51 times for 237 yards (4.6 yards/rush) in the win over No. 12 Villanova.
•Sean Goldrich, who leads the CAA in pass efficiency (164.5), matched his career high with 21 completions (in 28 attempts) in guiding the Wildcats past Villanova on Oct. 19. He received the weekly Gold Helmet Award from the N.E. Football Writers on Oct. 23.
•UNH, which was whistled for 25 penalties for 217 yards over the first four games, has committed just one infraction for 10 yards over the last two games, including a penalty-free effort in last week's win against Villanova.
•Redshirt freshman RB Dalton Crossan, who was named the CAA Rookie of the Week on Oct. 21, will be making his homecoming this weekend. The Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y., native and former Sachem North High School standout will be playing just eight miles away from his hometown when the Wildcats meet the Seawolves. Crossan rushed five times for 41 yards and scored UNH's first touchdown on a 17-yard carry last week.
•This week marks the first game the Wildcats will be without center Mike Coccia since Dec. 10, 2010. Coccia started the first 30 games of his collegiate career, but he underwent season-ending shoulder surgery Oct. 21. Redshirt freshman Tad McNeely will get the nod at center with classmate Alexander Morrill remaining at left guard for the third straight week.
•UNH leads the CAA in total offense (480.7 yards/game) and rushing offense (241.5 yards/game
•UNH junior safety Nick Cefalo leads the CAA in fumbles recovered (2 total/0.33 per game), redshirt-freshman CB Casey DeAndrade is the league leader in passes defended (7 total/1.40 per game) and junior P Brad Prasky is the CAA's No. 1 punter (43.2 yards/punt).
SERIES HISTORY- UNH LEADS, 1-0: This is the first time UNH and Stony Brook will meet as CAA rivals. The line encounter between the two programs took place seven seasons ago, a lopsided affair in which the No. 1 Wildcats posted a 62-7 victory Sept. 16, 2006.
The Seawolves were in only their fourth season as a Division I-AA (now FCS) program.
Stony Brook won at least a share of the Big South championship for four straight seasons (2009-12) and is coming off back-to-back NCAA Championship second-round appearances.
Notable highlights of the '06 meeting include a 51-yard punt return for a TD by New Hampshire's Corey Graham, who has gone on to a seven-year NFL career with the Chicago Bears and now the Baltimore Ravens.
Ricky Santos, then a UNH junior who went on to become the greatest QB in school history, went 10 of 16 for 88 yards and two TDs. Santos is now a first-year WR coach at his alma mater.
Chad Kackert carried the ball eight times for 67 yards; Kackert is a standout for the CFL's Toronto Argonauts, and he was the MVP of the 2012 Grey Cup.
Date H/A UNH SB W L Result
Sept. 16, 2006 H 62 7 1 0 W
SCOUTING THE SEAWOLVES: Stony Brook University, which is in its first year as a member of the CAA, enters Saturday's game with a 3-3 overall record after defeating Colgate on the road last week, 27-3. The Seawolves were in control for the entire game, leading 24-0 at halftime and only allowing a field goal in the fourth quarter. The win was Stony Brook's second in a row, after dropping the previous three. This season, the Wolves are 11th in the FCS in total defense, allowing only 307.2 yards per game and fewer than 3 touchdowns per game. They have also given up the fewest first downs in the CAA (102).
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior wide receiver Malcolm Eugene ranks first in the CAA in yards per game (92.7). He also leads the Seawolves in touchdowns (4). Senior defensive back Christian Ricard is fourth in the conference in tackles at his position with 6.7 per game. He also leads Stony Brook in broken-up passes (4). Senior defensive lineman Junior Solice ranks first on the team in sacks (3.5) and fumble recoveries (2). His 4.5 tackles for a loss also lead the squad.
STERITI STEPPING IT UP: Junior RB Nico Steriti has been on a tear in recent weeks. Steriti has eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in two of the past four games; he carried for 15 times for 116 yards at No. 17 Lehigh on Sept. 28, and he rumbled for a season-high 150 yards and two touchdowns on 15 rushes in the win over Rhode Island on Oct. 12.
With 1,809 career rushing yards –including eight career 100-yard games—Steriti is within 118 yards of cracking UNH's all-time Top-10.
GOLDRICH STRIKES GOLD: Sophomore quarterback Sean Goldrich was feted as the Ray Gallant Insurance New England Football Writers' Gridiron Club of Boston Gold Helmet Award recipient for the week of Oct. 21.Wednesday's announcement on the campus of Harvard University followed Goldrich's outstanding performance in the Wildcats' come-from-behind 29-28 upset victory against then-No. 12 Villanova on Oct. 19. The signal caller, who made his second straight start, matched a career high with 21 completions (in 28 attempts), threw for 236 yards and accounted for three touchdowns –two rushing, one passing. He even made his first career catch on a 15-yard pass from Jared Allison.
Goldrich scored on a 6-yard scamper with 8:13 left in the third quarter to draw the 'Cats within 14-12, and he hooked up with Allison for an 8-yard scoring pass that capped a 14-play, 99-yard drive that staked UNH to a 21-14 advantage with 5:03 left in the fourth quarter. He saved his best for last when he orchestrated a 50-yard drive in the final 1:02 of regulation, and he improvised on a broken play to score on a 4-yard keeper with 14 seconds left.
HARRIS AMONG BEST IN SCHOOL HISTORY: Junior WR R.J. Harris climbed into an eighth-place tie for all-time receptions (160) and ninth place on UNH's all-time receiving yards list (2,036) following a four-catch, 44-yard performance in a win against URI on Oct. 12.
Harris is within 95 yards and eight receptions of catching former teammate Joey Orlando for No. 8 and No. 6 all-time, respectively.
MONEY MIKE IS ALL-TIME FG KING: Senior place kicker Mike MacArthur took over UNH's all-time lead in field goals by successfully hitting a 23-yard try in the third quarter of the Wildcats' 29-28 victory over Villanova at Cowell Stadium on Oct. 19, 2013. MacArthur's 41st career FG moved him past Connor McCormick (40, 2010-13) and into a tie for 10th place in CAA history.
RUNNING FOR PLEASURE: UNH has exceeded 200 yards rushing in four of the last five games, with a high of 333 yards against Rhode Island (Oct. 12). New Hampshire ran the ball a season-high 51 times for 237 yards (4.6 yards/rush) in the win over No. 12 Villanova (Oct. 19).
21-GUN SALUTE: Sean Goldrich, who leads the CAA in pass efficiency (164.5), matched his career high with 21 completions (in 28 attempts) in guiding the Wildcats past Villanova on Oct. 19. It marked the third time the sophomore signal caller hit the 21-completion plateau, and the Wildcats are 3-0 in those games. His previous two games came with 21 complete passes were his college debut (Aug. 30, 2012) in a 38-17 win at Holy Cross, and in Coach Mac's first-ever triumph against William & Mary, 28-25 (Nov. 3, 2012).
POSSESSION IS NINE-TENTHS OF THE LAW: But has little bearing on the Wildcats. UNH has seen opponents control the ball 24:18 longer this season and has lost the time of possession "battle" in four of their six games this season. In the only two games (@ CMU, vs Villanova) in which New Hampshire has held the ball longer than the opponent, it has been for a combined total of 2:46. For the record, UNH is 2-2 when losing in time of possession and 1-1 when winning.
NOT PAYING THE PRICE: UNH has bounced back considerably after an early-season abundance of penalties. The Wildcats were whistled for 25 penalties for 217 yards over the first four games. In the last two weeks, UNH has committed just one infraction for 10 yards, including a penalty-free effort in the win against Villanova (Oct. 19).
CROSSAN OVER: When the season began, the UNH rushing attack was loaded for bear with its heralded SOS Express (Steriti, Owens, Setian). Redshirt freshman Dalton Crossan has disrupted that acronym by taking the CAA by storm in his initial season. Crossan, who was named the CAA Rookie of the Week on Oct. 21, has rushed 15 times for 181 yards and leads UNH with 12.1 yards/rush. He has scored a pair of TDs and owns the team's longest rush of the season – a 59-yard burst against Rhode Island on Oct. 12.
CROSSAN NAMED CAA ROOKIE OF WEEK (OCT. 21): UNH redshirt freshman Dalton Crossan (Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) was named the CAA Rookie of the Week, the league announced Oct. 21. Crossan rushed five times for 41 yards and scored UNH's first touchdown on a 17-yard carry as part of the No. 25/23 Wildcats' 29-28 victory against No. 12/11 Villanova at Cowell Stadium. The RB added a 16-yard reception and returned two kickoffs for 46 yards. His 35-yard kick return, coupled with a VU personal-foul penalty, allowed New Hampshire to begin its game-winning drive at the 50 with 1:02 remaining in the fourth quarter. It is the first career CAA weekly award for Crossan, who has totaled 181 rushing yards and two TDs on 15 carries (12.1 yards/rush) in six games. He has collected five catches for 56 yards (11.2 yards/catch) and returned seven kickoffs for 132 yards (18.9 yards/return).
LIFE AFTER COCCIA: This week marks the first game the Wildcats will be without Mike Coccia at center since Dec. 10, 2010. Coccia started the first 30 games of his collegiate career, but he underwent season-ending shoulder surgery Oct. 21. Redshirt freshman Tad McNeely will get the nod at center with classmate Alexander Morrill remaining at left guard for the third straight week.
GETTING OFFENSIVE: UNH leads the CAA in total offense (480.7 yards/game) and rushing offense (241.5 yards/game), and it all starts with the offensive line. Senior co-captain Seamus O'Neill is in the midst of his third straight season locking down the left tackle position; Ricky Archer has been a staple at right guard for two of the last three seasons (academically ineligible in 2012), and Rob Bowman has a streak of 18 straight games started at right tackle.
LEAGUE LEADERS: UNH junior safety Nick Cefalo leads the CAA in fumbles recovered (2 total/0.33 per game), redshirt-freshman CB Casey DeAndrade is the league leader in passes defended (7 total/1.40 per game) and junior P Brad Prasky is the CAA's No. 1 punter (43.2 yards/punt).