New Hampshire Football Report

UNH seeking forward progress

DURHAM – The early returns have been impressive for the University of New Hampshire football team: Two Colonial Athletic Association games, two league wins.

The Wildcats have done it with a defense that has played as tough as advertised and with an offense that needed some punching up and has produced in wins at Stony Brook, 27-21, and at home over Towson, 26-14, last Saturday.

UNH, which broke into the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 rankings this week at No. 23, finished last in the CAA in scoring average at 20.2 points per game in 2019.

Sophomore Bret Edwards and the offense have tough tests straight ahead with Saturday’s game at Lafayette of the Patriot League, followed by a road game against Pittsburgh, a Football Bowl Subdivision team.

UNH coach Sean McDonnell, while talking about the team’s quarterbacks on Media Day early in preseason camp, went out of his way to mention that not only was starter Max Brosmer playing well, but that Edwards, then the backup, had been impressive as well.

Within days, Brosmer went down with a season-ending knee injury and Edwards became the starting quarterback.

“The ability to get the ball to multiple people in multiple places, I think, is what really makes our offense go,” McDonnell said.

McDonnell praised the work associate head coach and quarterbacks coach Ricky Santos and co-offensive coordinators Michael Ferzoco (passing game) and Brian Scott (running game) have done with Edwards and the offense.

“It’s those guys figuring out what our guys do well, how to get the ball to those guys who do it well, distributing the ball by telling Bret, if it’s dropping it down, if it’s hitting the flat or his rolling out and taking the run,” McDonnell said. “Whatever it is, let’s take what they give us, let’s go to the next snap. Let’s keep the ball in our hands, but let those guys create in open spaces and make some plays.”

Numerous guys have been making the plays.

Edwards has completed 41 of his 57 passes for 494 yards and five touchdowns and has not thrown an interception.

Edwards won the starting job going as a redshirt freshman going into the 2019 season opener at Holy Cross, but when the Wildcats did not do much offensively in the first half of that game, a switch was made to Brosmer and he kept the job through the year and into this season.

Now Edwards is making the most of his second chance.

Junior Brian Espanet was the favorite target of Edwards in the opener against Stony Brook and had five catches for 100 yards and a pair of scores. Junior Sean Coyne was targeted nine times and had nine catches for 113 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown, against Towson.

Junior Carlos Washington Jr. leads the rushers with 66 yards a game. Sophomore running back Dylan Laube scored on a 32-yard run and a 2-yard pass play against Towson, is UNH’s leading kick returner and leads the CAA in all-purpose yards at 143 yards a game.

Laube likes sharing the load.

“To me, it’s really fun,” he said. “All the weight is not on your shoulders. It could be nine or eight with our receiving corps, ’Los, Isaac (Seide), another of the running backs, or Bret running the ball. It’s evenly distributed and the weight is on everyone’s shoulders.”

Laube said he expects a battle from Lafayette’s physical defense Saturday.

The Leopards are 0-2 with losses at Air Force, an FBS school, 35-14, and at William & Mary of the CAA, 24-3. The Lafayette defense allowed William & Mary only a touchdown and a field goal and 173 yards of total offense, 77 rushing and 96 passing. William & Mary returned a pair of interceptions for its other points.

Senior linebacker Major Jordan leads the Leopard defense. He had 15 tackles against Air Force and 10 against William & Mary.

McDonnell and Laube both cited the play of UNH’s offensive line of senior center Matt Mascia, juniors Patrick Flynn and Riley Burns at the tackles and sophomores Osho Omoyeni and David Perry Jr. at the guard spots.

“They’ve been very, very good in protecting Bret and very, very good at giving us enough space to make some holes and make some space for running plays,” McDonnell said. “I thought we got better Game 1 to Game 2 and hopefully we improve Game 2 to Game 3.”

The UNH defense will look to step up its game again as well.

The Wildcats had three takeaways with a couple of interceptions and a fumble recovery against Stony Brook and followed up with four interceptions against Towson, two them by grad student safety Evan Horn.

UNH and CAA rival Villanova lead the nation in interceptions with six each.   


  • Lafayette has played two sophomore quarterbacks this season, Rent Montie and Aaron Angelos. Montie has completed 31 of his 52 passes for 274 yards and one touchdown with three interceptions. Angelos has completed 14 of his 24 passes for 195 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.
  • Lafayette went 2-1 in an abbreviated season last spring with wins over fellow Patriot League teams Colgate and Lehigh.
  • The Leopards were 4-8 overall in 2019, 4-2 in the Patriot League.
  • John Garrett is in his fifth season as Lafayette’s head coach. Among his coaching stops was a stint as an assistant to his brother, Jason, when he was head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.


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