New Hampshire Football Report

UNH facing must-win game

DURHAM – The math is simple, the task about as straight-forward as can be.

The No. 23 University of New Hampshire football team has two games remaining in the regular season: at the University at Albany on Saturday at 1 p.m. and home against Maine on Nov. 23 at 1 p.m.

If the Wildcats win the UAlbany and Maine games, they will in all likelihood wrap up an at-large berth in the NCAA FCS Division I tournament that begins Thanksgiving weekend. If they don’t pick up a pair of wins, chances are UNH will be on the outside looking in when the 24-team playoff field is announced on  Nov. 24.

The only goal that matters at the moment is to bounce back quickly from Saturday’s 54-16 loss at No. 2 James Madison.

“I think that’s just a glimpse of what it takes to be an elite team in FCS football and compete for a national championship,” UNH interim head coach Ricky Santos said early Sunday afternoon. “That’s a very good football team and they played downhill on us. I told the guys sometimes that happens and football’s a humbling game and, if you allow it, you can learn from your mistakes and you can learn from adverse situations and grow stronger from it and hopefully we don’t make those same mistakes again.”

There’s no time to waste.

“This one really hurt,” Santos said. “But if you can erase it quickly and understand that we still have some really good football ahead of us and we still have an opportunity to get back in the playoffs, that’s ultimately our goal every year in this program. So what we need to do hasn’t changed from last week and that’s the good thing. But I think it shows that we need to have a really focused, determined week of practice.”

The Wildcats had a solid first quarter against James Madison. They marched down the field to open the game with a seven-play, 76-yard drive that featured a halfback option pass from Benyeal Hill Jr. to Malik Love that covered 49 yards and a 1-yard quarterback sneak for the TD by Max Brosmer.

The defense held JMU to a field goal and the offense responded with another drive that ended with a 44-yard field goal by Jason Hughes. It was 10-10 after the first period.

“We had a lot of momentum,” senior running back Evan Gray said. “The trick play. We were running the ball well. You’ve just got to keep it and we lost it. We missed some opportunities. We have to keep executing even better. Hats off to them. They were more physical.”

Building off the first quarter is only one piece of the equation, Santos said.

“We can build a little bit on that,” he said. “I think for us it’s we didn’t practice well enough last week when you look back on it. We had some mishaps Tuesday on defense and Wednesday offensively it wasn’t good enough. You look at the whole and we need to do much better. Coach Mac has always preached that what shows up on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday is ultimately what shows up on game day. That starts from me. I’ve got to make sure these guys are more disciplined and focused and ready to go this week.”

Now come the final two regular season tests. 

The thing is, Albany and Maine are both in the same boat as the Wildcats. Both teams figure that if they can win their last two games, they will make the playoffs.

UNH is 5-4 overall and 4-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association. Albany is 6-4 overall and 4-2 in the league. Maine is 5-5 and 3-3 in the conference. Maine plays at Rhode Island this Saturday. Albany plays at Stony Brook on Nov. 23.

First up, Albany.

“Albany’s a very explosive team on both sides of the ball,” Santos said. “They get after the quarterback, they have a dynamic passing attack. We need to clean up some things on our end and practice really well.”


  • Albany topped Delaware, 21-17, on Saturday.
  • Redshirt freshman quarterback Jeff Undercuffer has thrown for 31 touchdowns with seven interceptions.
  • Junior Karl Mofor leads the league at 92.1 rushing yards per game.
  • Senior Juwan Green has 62 catches for 1,036 yards and 13 touchdowns.
  • Senior linebacker Eli Mencer is second in the CAA with 10.5 sacks.
  • UNH beat Albany, 24-10, last year in Durham. Carlos Washington Jr. busted a 93-yard touchdown run in the third quarter for the Wildcats.
  • Evan Horn had an interception in the Albany end zone for a defensive TD.
  • The Wildcats dropped a 15-0 decision the last time they played in Albany, in 2017.


  • James Madison leads the CAA with a 6-0 record in league play.
  • UNH, Albany and Richmond are at 4-2.
  • Villanova is 4-3 in the league.
  • Redshirt freshman Dylan Laube set a UNH record with eight kickoff returns.
  • He had 180 yards in kickoff returns and a career-best 238 all-purpose yards.
  • The 238 yards were UNH’s best since Dalton Crossan had 240 vs. Lehigh in 2016.
  • Laube is third in the CAA in all-purpose yards at 135.5 per game.
  • UNH is second in the league in scoring defense at 20.8 points allowed per game.
  • Albany is fourth at 25.3 per game.
  • The Great Danes are third in the league in scoring at 32.1 points per game.
  • UNH averages 19.1.
  • The Wildcats are seventh in rushing offense at 148.1 yards a game.
  • Albany is seventh at 141.1.
  • Albany is second in the league in turnover ratio at plus-seven.
  • New Hampshire is eighth at minus-one.
  • The Great Danes have 15 fumble recoveries.
  • UNH has recovered one fumble.
  • The Wildcats have 13 interceptions.
  • Albany’s Eli Mencer has recovered a league-best five fumbles.
  • UNH senior Evan Gray scored on an 18-yard run in the third quarter.
  • Washington led the Wildcats with 11 carries for 58 yards.
  • Seide returned a couple of kicks for 43 yards.
  • Sophomore tackle Niko Kvietkus had a quarterback sack.
  • He shares the team lead of four sacks with freshman Oleh Manzyk.
  • Redshirt freshman Max Oxendine had 12 tackles Saturday.
  • Sophomore Pop Bush and Manzyk had eight each.
  • Senior Malik Love had five catches for 67 yards Saturday.
  • He leads the team with 34 catches for 393 yards.
  • Junior Jason Hughes is second in the league in field goals per game with 1.44.
  • His 13 field goals are the most for a Wildcat since Mike MacArthur was 15-for-20 in 2013. UNH’s record for a season is 18 by Tom Manning in 2009.


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