New Hampshire Football Report

UNH looks to reverse course

Strange as it may sound, there’s no place University of New Hampshire safety Pop Lacey would rather have Thanksgiving dinner this year than the UNH dining hall. Lacey’s preference has less to do with the quality of the food served on campus than it does with the length of his team’s season.

When UNH qualifies for the FCS playoffs the team remains on campus through the Thanksgiving holiday to prepare for its upcoming game. The Wildcats reached the postseason for 14 years in a row until the streak ended last season, when they started 0-4 and finished 4-7 overall and 3-5 in the CAA.

“It was very disappointing,” Lacey said. “As a team you’re not used to sitting at home while everybody else is playing, and going home during Thanksgiving. I enjoy spending time with my family, but I’d rather be up here with my football family. It definitely gives us a chip on our shoulder this year because last year we didn’t do what we were supposed to do.”

UNH returns 11 starters from a year ago—six on offense—and was picked seventh in the CAA preseason poll. The Wildcats’ level of success this season will likely be decided by the production they get at three positions: quarterback, wide receiver and linebacker.

“When you’re vacationing in Colorado Springs visiting your son and there’s playoff games on TV, it’s not very tasty,” UNH coach Sean McDonnell said. “But at the same time it’s a check on what we do and how we do it. The kids have talked about leaving a legacy of who they are and what they are, and they want to get back into the playoffs … I don’t think we’re as far away as some people think we are.”


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