New Hampshire Football Report

UNH feeling the heat

Allen Lessels
UNH Insider

Insider125The University of New Hampshire football team took another step toward the 2016 season – featuring the historic inaugural game in the new Wildcat Stadium – and stepped things up a notch on Friday morning, when the Wildcats practiced in full pads for the first time in fall camp.

More pads meant contact in portions of the practice sessions.

“First day in full pads,” senior defensive end Cam Shorey said. “We could feel the heat from that. Overall I think we brought a lot of juice. Trying to beat the heat and I think we did well today. First live day today. We got back into it. We’re all excited. That’s what gets us going, really, when we start hitting each other.”

The Wildcats are closing in fast on the season and a pair of openers. They open the season with a game at San Diego State, an FBS team, on Sept. 3 at 8:30 p.m.

Wildcat Stadium opens four weeks from Saturday, on Sept. 10, with a 7 p.m. game against Holy Cross. Finishing touches are being added to the stadium daily.

Former UNH head coach Bill Bowes, who has been selected to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame and will be inducted into the prestigious group in December, will be honored on opening night. The opener, which will be televised nationally on the American Sports Network, will also include the first postgame fireworks display in program history.

Friday, the Wildcats continued to work on all aspects of their game, identifying their offensive weapons among them.

Senior Adam Riese and sophomore Trevor Knight are battling it out for the starting quarterback job and head coach Sean McDonnell has said there’s a chance both could play.

“The quarterbacks both have had really good moments and both have had some things they have to improve upon,” McDonnell said.

Riese has an edge in game experience: He started three games last season and completed 54 of 79 passes with six touchdown passes and a pair of interceptions.

Knight completed 10 of his 19 passes with one touchdown and one interception last season. He also ran for 100 yards.

Senior Kyon Taylor is the most productive wide receiver returning. He had 31 catches for 358 yards and a couple of touchdowns in six games last year.

Kyon Taylor has had a good camp so far,” McDonnell said.  “Kieran Presley again has done a good job. We have got to find two or three other guys between Malik Love, between Neil O’Connor, between Rory Donovan, between Garette Craig. Guys who get an opportunity and can help us. It’s huge there.”

The Wildcats started practice on Monday and have five days down.

“It’s hectic because there are some good things that you see in starts and pieces and then there are other things where it’s, ‘We’ve got a lot of work to do,’ McDonnell said.

Besides the Sept. 3 opener, UNH regular season games in Wildcat Stadium this year include a Homecoming contest against William & Mary on Oct. 1 at 3:30 p.m. and games on Oct. 15 against James Madison at noon, on Oct. 29 against Stony Brook at noon and on Nov. 12 against Albany at noon.

Road games after San Diego State on at Dartmouth on Sept. 17 at 7 p.m., at Rhode Island on Sept. 24 at 1 p.m., at Elon on Oct. 8 at 3:30 p.m., at Towson on Oct. 22 at 3:30 p.m. and at Maine on Nov. 19 at a time to be announced.

The Wildcats are coming off a 7-5 season in which they qualified for the FCS tournament for a 12thconsecutive season, which stands as the longest such mark in the country. UNH advanced to the FCS semifinals in 2013 and 2014.


Follow Allen Lessels on Twitter: @UNHInsider

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