New Hampshire Football Report

UNH’s season ends ugly

BILLINGS, S.D.  – Kieran Presley caught seven passes for a career-high 133 yards and a touchdown, but the No. 21/20 University of New Hampshire football team was ousted from the 2017 NCAA FCS playoffs with Saturday afternoon’s 56-14 loss to No. 6/6 South Dakota State University in a quarterfinal game at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.

The Wildcats, who advanced to the quarters following wins by Central Connecticut State University (14-0) and No. 3 University of Central Arkansas (21-15), ends the year at 9-5. SDSU won its seventh consecutive game, including a sixth straight against a nationally-ranked team, and advanced to the semifinals with an 11-2 record.


  • Presley’s seven catches mached his personal best and his 75-yard touchdown reception marked the longest catch of his career.
  • Evan Gray  carried the ball 16 times for 60 yards and a TD.
  • Trevor Knight completed 18 of 34 passes for 236 yards and the 75-yard touchdown pass to Presley.
  • Jared Kuehl, and Pop Lacey tied for the team lead with seven tackles.
  • SDSU quarterback Taryn Christion completed 13 of 25 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns, both to Jake Wieneke, who finished with nine catches for 140 yards and a 48-yard TD run. Christion also had 13 carries for 48 yards and a 13-yard rushing TD.
  • The Jackrabbits amassed 455 yards of total offense and also had a 99-yard kickoff return. UNH finished with 348.
  • SDSU won the turnover battle, 2-0, with a pair of interceptions. UNH’s defense had recorded four takeaways each of the previous two games.
  • New Hampshire had allowed an average of 17.4 points the past seven games.



  • UNH, which had allowed 29 first-quarter points through 13 games, gave up 21 to South Dakota State.
  • SDSU received the opening kickoff and quickly took a 7-0 lead on a 6-play, 70-yard drive. On the first play from scrimmage, Christion completed a 19-yard pass to Dallas Goedert. He followed that with consecutive 15-yard pass plays to Wieneke. Then on 3rd-and-2 from the UNH 13, Christion broke through the right side of the line and into the end zone to give SDSU a 7-0 lead at 11:41.
  • After holding UNH to a 3-and-out, the Jackrabbits extended the advantage to 14-0 at 8:36 on a 48-yard touchdown run by Wieneke on an end-around down the right sideline.
  • The Wildcats’ next drive stalled at the SDSU 43 and the home team proceeded to march 85 yards in 12 plays, capped by a 13-yard run up the middle by Isaac Wallace, to build a 21-0 lead with 56 seconds remaining in the first quarter.


  • Wieneke scored his third TD of the game on a 32-yard catch from Christion at 5:29. That play capped an 8-play, 55-yard drive that included a fourth-and-1 conversion on a 1-yard run by Christion.
  • UNH began the ensuing drive at its 25 and Knight’s 18-yard run on 3rd-and-11 extended the drive with four minutes on the clock. Completions to O’Connor of 15 and 8 yards advanced the ball to the SDSU 35, and an 18-yard pass to Presley set up first-and-goal at the 4-yard line. Following an incompletion and false start, consecutive runs by Gray made it 4th-and-goal at the 1. On a run to the left side, Gray was stood up by Dalton Cox and Christian Rozeboom for no gain to keep the score 28-0 with 36 seconds on the clock.


  • The teams combined for three touchdowns in a 26-second span.
  • South Dakota State extended the lead to 35-0 on Wallace’s 48-yard run at 4:28.
  • UNH answered immediately. On the next play from scrimmage, Knight found Presley alone down the right sideline for a 75-yard touchdown and the PAT byMorgan Ellman trimmed the deficit to 35-7 at 4:17.
  • Cade Johnson returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a TD to push the margin to 42-7 at 4:02.


  • SDSU extended the lead to 49-7 on a 10-yard TD pass from Christion to Wieneke at 9:20.
  • After a UNH turnover, the Jackrabbits took a 56-7 lead on Mikey Daniel’s 13-yard touchdown run at 8:38.
  • Gray’s one-yard TD run capped a 4-play, 52-yard drive that made the score 56-14 at 6:48.


  • Knight broke the school single-season record for pass attempts with 471; the previous benchmark of 447 was set by Bob Jean in 1988. Knight finished third in single-season completions (291).
  • Knight also finished No. 2 on the single-season passing yards list with 3,433.
  • Neil O’Connor caught four passes for 38 yards. On UNH’s single-season leaderboard, he finished No. 4 in receiving yards (1,396) and second in receptions (97).
  • O’Connor climbed into a tie at No. 8 on the list for career receptions with Stephan Lewis (1999-2002) at 164.
  • This was UNH’s third quarterfinal appearance the past five years. The Wildcats advanced to the semifinals in 2013 and 2014.
  • This was the first meeting between the New Hampshire and South Dakota State football programs.

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