New Hampshire Football Report

UNH will bring momentum to Delaware

STONY BROOK, N.Y. – The pressure was on the University of New Hampshire football team’s offense.

The Wildcats trailed Stony Brook by four points early in the fourth quarter and were on the Stony Brook 20-yard line, facing a third down with 14 yards to go for a first down. The UNH coaches called time out and assessed the situation.

“We decided if we got man coverage, we’d throw it up and give Brian a chance to go up and play above the rim and play big,” said UNH interim head coach Ricky Santos.

The offense got the look the coaches wanted from the Stony Brook defense. True freshman quarterback Max Brosmer tossed the ball into the end zone and Brian Espanet, a 6-foot-3 sophomore wide receiver, went and got it and pulled the ball down for a huge 20-yard TD pass and the lead.

It was the second Brosmer-Espanet TD pass of the day and played a major role in nailing down a fourth straight Wildcat win, a 20-14 road triumph over the Seawolves, ranked No. 22 in the FCS.

UNH, after starting the year 0-2 with a pair of close losses on the road, has rebounded for four straight victories, the team’s longest winning streak since the 2014 season.

The Wildcats are 4-2 overall and at 3-0 join James Madison, also 3-0, as the only unbeaten teams in Colonial Athletic Association play. The road trip for UNH continues with a game at No. 15 Delaware on Saturday at 1 p.m.

The game marked the third time this season Brosmer has thrown a pair of touchdown passes and what happened just before the winning toss served to showcase both his and the team’s resiliency.

On its previous possession, UNH was facing a third-and-6 situation near midfield, but Brosmer was sacked and fumbled the ball away.

Stony Brook took over in good field position in UNH territory, looking to add to its 14-10 lead and perhaps put the game out of reach.

The Seawolves drove inside the UNH 30-yard line and the defense tightened and stifled a fourth-down play.

“We had some huge stops in critical moments,” Santos said. “Stony Brook was 0-3 on fourth downs. Those are the types of game-defining moments you need to have.”

Brosmer and the offense promptly marched the other way to the eventual winning TD.

“I was proud of Max,” Santos said. “He made good decisions all day. He did a great job of letting go of that sack. The next snap is our mantra, whether something good or bad happened. He truly believes in that, he embodies it. He shows a lot of savviness for a young player. We’re really encouraged by that.”

Brosmer completed 16 of his 26 passes for the day for 196 yards and the two scores. For the season, he’s completed 86 of his 159 passes (54.7 percent) for 1,047 yards and seven touchdowns with six interceptions.

Offense, defense and special teams came together to notch this win, the team’s first on the road, Santos said.

“I thought the kids battled the entire game against a very, very good opponent that threw everything they had at us,” Santos said. “They have a real physical offensive line and I thought our defense did a good bending and not breaking. They got their yards on the ground, but the defense did a tremendous job keeping them out of the end zone and the defense got a turnover and did a good job picking us up. The offense got a couple of scores. It was an overall good team win.”

Junior Jason Hughes made both of his second half field goals to give him 11 on the season and senior Drew Sanborn had a nice day punting, too.

Redshirt freshman Max Oxendine, making his first start in place of senior Pop Lacey who injured his foot in practice Thursday, led the team with 11 tackles. Junior safety Evan Horn picked off his second pass in as many games for the defense’s lone turnover. Horn and Prince Smith Jr. each had eight tackles.

“Evan did a real good job,” Santos said. “His interception was incredible. He went up high and tipped it with one hand and spun and caught it. Prince had a real good game on the perimeter and had eight tackles and had his guy locked down all day. Gunner Gibson did a good job getting pressure off the defensive line.”

UNH rides the four-game win streak into Delaware. The Blue Hens fell to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the CAA with a 42-7 loss at Elon on Saturday.

The Wildcats received votes in the FCS Stats Top 25 poll last week and could be ranked for the first time this season when this week’s poll is released Monday afternoon. Doesn’t matter, Santos said.

“We want to keep this momentum going,” he said. “All of a sudden you beat a Top 25 team and people start talking about rankings. We don’t want to get into that with our players. We want them to continue to focus on the process of getting better. You start thinking about the external stuff that you can’t control and you start losing focus and hungriness. We need to think about what we need to do to get better. We’ve got a very, very tough challenge ahead. We’re going into Delaware, one of the toughest places to play in the country.”


  • No. 15 Delaware lost at Elon, 42-7, on Saturday.
  • Sophomore starting quarterback Nolan Henderson left the game with an injury midway through the first quarter. Senior Pat Kehoe replaced him.
  • The Blue Hens are 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the CAA.
  • Delaware’s league win was a 44-36 three-overtime decision over Rhode Island.
  • The Blue Hens have won the last two games in the series in 2018 and 2015.
  • UNH last beat Delaware at home in 2014, 43-14.                             


  • Senior linebacker and captain Michael Balsamo returned to the lineup after missing for games with an injury. He had five tackles.
  • Espanet had four catches for 59 yards in the game. He has 15 catches for 205 yards, and four of his receptions have been for touchdowns.
  • Gray carried 15 times for 54 yards. He’s carried 60 times for 464 yards this season and is third in the CAA at 77.3 yards per game. He’s averaging 7.7 yards per carry.
  • Carlos Washington Jr. is seventh in the league at 60.8 yards per game.
  • Horn’s interception was his second in as many games and second of the season.
  • He has nine picks in his career, which ties him with senior cornerback Prince Smith Jr. for most on the team.
  • Hughes has nine field goals in the last four games and is 11-for-14 in field goals for the season. Hughes is tied for third in the CAA in scoring at 7.5 points per game. The 11 field goals are the most for the Wildcats in a season since they also had 11 in 2015.
  • UNH is second in the CAA in total defense at 345 yards allowed per game.
  • Delaware is 11th at 445.8 a game.
  • Junior punter Drew Sanborn averaged 46.2 yards on his four punts and put three inside the 20-yard line. Sanborn is averaging 41.2 yards per punt for the season.

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