October 2, 2013

No. 19/18 Football Visits No. 3/2 Towson in Saturday's CAA Opener (CSN-NE, 12 p.m.)

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No. 19/18 New Hampshire (1-2, 0-0 CAA) at No. 3/2 Towson (5-0, 1-0 CAA)
Oct. 5, 2013 • 12 p.m. • Unitas Stadium • Towson, Md.

TV:
CSN-NE • CSN-MA Plus • CSN-P
(SNY Tape Delay Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 7pm & Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 2pm)

Scott Graham (play-by-play) • Andy Gresh (analyst)

Radio:
 Wildcat Sports Radio Network
Bob Lipman (play-by-play) • Chris Chandler (analyst)
Live Stats:http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=27636

•Towson, which has won nine straight games overall, had scored a grand total of 114 points in the first seven all-time meetings with the Wildcats -all UNH victories- between 1980-2010. In the last two years, though, the Tigers have erupted for 120 points in handing the 'Cats back-to-back losses, including last year's home finale for UNH that snapped a 10-game home winning streak. The Wildcats lead the all-time series, 7-2.  

•Junior WR R.J. Harris moved into the UNH career Top-10 in receiving yards (1,915) after collecting seven receptions for 53 yards in the loss at Lehigh on Sept. 28.  Harris is 108 receiving yards behind former All-America TE Scott Sicko, who is No. 9 all-time.
With 140 catches, Harris is seven receptions away from joining the University's career Top-10 in that department.

• UNH boasts the CAA's top rushing offense (236.7 yards/game) and total offense (459.0 yards/game). The 'Cats accumulated a season-high 289 rushing yards at Lehigh last week.
•The Wildcats defense has yielded a grand total of 442 rushing yards (147.3/game) in three games. Towson junior RB Terrance West has totaled 497 rushing yards and six TDs in two career matchups against UNH. West leads the CAA in rushing (129.6 yards/game) and scoring (14.4 points/game) through five games this season.

•With 39 career field goals, senior kicker Mike MacArthur is two field goals shy of the CAA's career Top 10; he would be the first Wildcat to reach that milestone.

•Junior punter Brad Prasky leads all of FCS football with an average punt of 49.1 yards. Prasky was named the CAA Special Teams Player of the Week and the Beyond Sports Network Special Teams Player of the Week last Monday after punting five times for 255 yards (51.0 yards/punt), including a career-long 62-yarder, in the loss at then-No. 17 Lehigh.

•The Wildcats have outscored opponents 72-19 in the first half through three games in 2013.

131 WEEKS IN A ROW:  UNH owns the nation’s longest streak of Top-25 appearances with 131 in a row, a stretch that dates back to Sept. 13, 2004, and is an amazing 83 weeks longer than Montana State, which has the country’s second-longest ranked streak. Towson, with 30 weeks, has the CAA’s second-longest streak:

WEEK THE SPORTS NETWORK FCS COACHES
Preseason 10 8
Sept. 2 11 8
Sept. 9 12 9
Sept. 16 11 9
Sept. 23 10 7
Sept. 30 19 18

SCOUTING THE TIGERS: Towson University, ranked No. 3/2 in this week polls, enters Saturday’s game with a 5-0 overall record and a nine-game winning streak after coming back from a 21-10 halftime deficit to stun Stony Brook on the road on September 28. The Tigers were trailing, 21-20, until a 96-yard touchdown drive, capped by a two-point conversion, put them ahead 28-21.  
    A late fumble recovery returned for 43 yards gave Towson their final score, as they defeated the Sea Wolves, 35-21.  This season, the Tigers lead the CAA in scoring offense, averaging 40.2 points per game, and are second in scoring defense, only allowing 14 points per game.  Towson also ranks first in the league in sacks (21) while giving up the fewest (3).

PLAYERS TO WATCH:  Junior RB Terrance West, who has gashed the UNH defense for 261 rushing yards (2011) and 236 rushing yards (2012), including six touchdowns in two career meetings, is victimizing the CAA once again in 2013. West leads the conference with 648 rushing yards on 126 attempts (129.6 yards/game), and he paces the league with 12 rushing TDs.
    Senior linebacker Telvion Clark leads the Tigers with 44 tackles, which is tied for fifth in the CAA. Junior DE Ryan Delaire tops the league rankings with 6.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss.
    Senior kicker Drew Evangelista is a perfect 24-for-24 in PATs.

LAST MEETING: DURHAM, N.H.- Nov. 17, 2012Andy Vailas scored a 77-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage and accounted for three TDs, but No. 19/16 Towson stormed past the No. 7/7 University of New Hampshire football team, 64-35, in Saturday’s CAA regular-season finale at Cowell Stadium.  
    Terrance West rushed 19 times for 236 yards and two touchdowns for Towson (7-4, 6-2 CAA), which claims a share of the CAA championship with UNH (8-3, 6-2), Richmond (8-3, 6-2) and Villanova (8-3, 6-2).
    Vailas was the Wildcats’ leading rusher with a career-high 110 yards on eight carries, two of which went for TDs, and the signal caller went 3-for-9 through the air for 33 yards and a TD.
    Vailas scored on a nine-yard rush late in the first quarter and completed an 18-yard TD strike to Brian Ciccone with just under four minutes remaining in the second quarter. It was Ciccone’s first career TD reception.
    Steven Thames (four tackles) scored on a 65-yard blocked field-goal return with no time left in the first half to draw the Wildcats within 30-28 at the intermission, but the Tigers outscored the ‘Cats 34-7 in the second half en route to their fourth consecutive victory.
    Jared Smith (four tackles) blocked the aforementioned field goal and added a blocked PAT.
    R.J. Harris (two catches-20 yards, TD) scored UNH’s final TD on a 16-yard reception from Sean Goldrich late in the fourth. Goldrich went 9 of 18 for 108 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
    West, who set a career high with 261 rushing yards in last year’s game against New Hampshire, scored on a four-yard run in the first quarter that staked Towson to a 7-6 lead and added a five-yard scamper early in the fourth that ballooned the Tigers’ advantage to 50-28.
    Towson quarterback Grant Enders went 20 of 28 for 245 yards and two TDs, and he added 11 carries for 39 yards and two rushing scores.  
    Dominique Booker rushed 13 times for 89 yards and two touchdowns as Towson racked up 415 rushing yards and 660 total yards of offense.
    The Tigers held the Wildcats to 141 passing yards and forced three turnovers, highlighted by a 26-yard fumble recovery TD from Brian Boateng that capped a 27-point Tigers’ run for a 57-28 bulge with 8:08 left in the contest.
    Matt Evans tallied a team-leading 12 tackles for New Hampshire, which saw its 10-game home winning streak snapped.
    The Wildcats surrendered 64 points at Cowell Stadium for the first time since a 64-42 loss to Massachusetts on Nov. 19, 1988.

CATS VS THE TOP 10: UNH is seeking to knock off the No. 2 team in the country for the first time since the Wildcats’ 2009 Homecoming triumph over No. 2 Villanova, 28-24. The last time the Wildcats won a road game against a team ranked this high was Sept. 2, 2004, when redshirt freshman Ricky Santos replaced injured starter Mike Granieri and guided the ‘Cats to a 24-21 win over No. 1 Delaware at Delaware Stadium. Here is a snapshot of UNH victories over Top-10 opponents during its nine-year run of playoff appearances.

Date Opponent Rank Final
Sept. 29, 2012 vs Delaware #8 W, 34-14
Sept. 24, 2011 at Richmond #5 W, 45-43
Nov. 13, 2010 at Villanova #9 W, 31-24
Oct. 16, 2010 at Richmond #6 W, 28-14
Nov. 28, 2009 at McNeese State #8 W, 49-13*
Oct. 17, 2009 vs Villanova #2 W, 28-24
Oct. 20, 2007 at Hofstra #10 W, 40-3
Nov. 25, 2006 at  Hampton #8 W, 41-38*
Oct. 7, 2006 vs Richmond #7 W, 27-17
Nov. 27, 2004 at Georgia Southern #4 W, 27-23*
Sept. 2, 2004 at Delaware #1 W, 24-21

HARRIS AMONG BEST IN SCHOOL HISTORY: Junior WR R.J. Harris moved into the UNH career Top-10 in receiving yards after collecting seven receptions for 53 yards in the loss at Lehigh on Sept. 28. Harris, who has not missed action despite suffering a broken left hand in the Central Michigan game Sept. 7, moved past Calvin Jones (1,913/1993-96) into 10th place all-time with 1,915 receiving yards. Harris is 108 receiving yards behind former All-America TE Scott Sicko (2,023/2006-09), who is No. 9 all-time, and within 216 yards of former teammate Joey Orlando (2,131/2009-12).
    Harris is seven receptions away from joining the University’s career Top-10 in that department. With 148 career catches, the Odenton, Md., native is chasing down Chris Braune (155/1986-89). Harris is within 10 grabs of No. 9 all-time (Jones/158) and just 20 catches away from No. 6 (Orlando/168).

PRASKY POWER: Junior punter Brad Prasky was tabbed the CAA Special Teams Player of the Week on Sept. 30.
    Prasky, who leads the nation with a 49.1 yards/punt average, bettered those numbers by punting five times for 255 yards (51.0 yards/punt), including a career-long 62-yarder, in UNH’s 34-27 loss at No. 21/17 Lehigh on Sept. 28.
For the season, Prasky has punted 11 times for 540 yards with six punts of 50-plus yards and four kicks inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.
    This marks Prasky’s first career CAA weekly award. In addition, he garnered Beyond Sports Network Special Teams Player of the Week and the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) National Punter of the Week Honorable Mention.

MONEY MIKE CLO$E TO CAA TOP 10: With 39 field goals, senior place kicker Mike MacArthur is one away from UNH's current all-time leader, Connor McCormick (40/2002-05), and two field goals away from becoming the first Wildcat to reach the CAA career Top 10 in FGs:

Rank FG Name School Years
1 59 Greg Kuehn W&M 2002-05
2 55 Andrew Howard Richmond 2006-09
3 50 Chris Onorato Hofstra 2000-04
4 49 Rob Zarrilli  Hofstra 2005-07
T-5. 48 Miro Kesic Northeastern 2002-05
T-5. 48 Brian Shallcross W&M 1994-97
7 46 Brett Sterba W&M 1997-2000
8 45 Brian Pate W&M 2006-09
9 44 Brandon Hanes Northeastern 1994-97
T-10. 41 Jon Striefsky Delaware 2005-09
T-10. 41 Rob Courter Richmond 1987-90
-- 40 Connor McCormick UNH all-time leader 2002-05
-- 39 Mike MacArthur UNH 2010-13
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