New Hampshire Football Report

UNH notches signature win

DURHAM – Now they rest. They regroup. They reset.

And then the University of New Hampshire football team will restart and – ideally — repeat what got it back into the Stats Perform Top 25 of FCS teams in the nation, charging into the championship month of November.


The Wildcats – No. 25 and rising — put an emphatic exclamation point on the first two months of the season with a decisive 40-22 win over No. 21 Elon in front of a Family Weekend crowd of 14,137 in Wildcat Stadium on Saturday.

“That’s a really good statement game right there,” said sophomore quarterback Max Brosmer, who passed for two more touchdowns and ran for a 42-yard score, his second rushing TD in as many weeks.

Those are last week’s rankings, by the way. New, revised rankings are due out early Monday afternoon and UNH head coach Rick Santos will continue to advise his players to pay them no attention.

UNH upped its overall record to 6-2 with its fourth straight FCS win and kept its perfect record in Colonial Athletic Association play intact at 5-0.

The Wildcats are off next Saturday and open their three-game sprint to the finish of the regular season with a contest at No. 19 Richmond on Nov. 5 at 3:30 p.m.

UNH plays its final regular season home game against No. 22 Rhode Island on Nov. 12 for Senior Day at 1 p.m. and closes out at Maine on Saturday, Nov. 19.

The Wildcats are in the driver’s seat – with plenty of bumps ahead – on the road to getting back to the FCS tournament for the first time since 2017.

First-year head coach Rick Santos embraced the Elon challenge – leading into it he called it probably the club’s biggest game in five years – and raved about how his team handled all phases of the task.

“I think it solidifies all the challenges, all the hard work that the guys are putting in,” Santos said. “But I just think it’s got to be one of however many weeks we stack on top of each other. We’ve got a lot more work to do. You’re not going to win a championship in Week 8 or whatever it is right now.”

But you can put yourself in position to play for one and the Wildcats have done that.

UNH is the only team undefeated in the CAA. Those next two opponents – Richmond and Rhode Island – are each 3-1 in league play, as are Delaware and William & Mary.

The Wildcats have gotten bids into the FCS tournament in the past with a 7-4 record, but that gets iffy and relies on a selection committee. Getting to 8-3 in the CAA is generally considered a safe bet for nailing down a spot in the 24-team field. Seven league teams currently have three or fewer losses.

Elon is now 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the league and was a 9.5-point favorite.

UNH’s league wins had been against teams lower in the CAA standings before Elon. Thus the Wildcats were ranked lower in the Stats Perform Top 25 than five other league teams despite being the lone CAA unbeaten group squad.

Which made Saturday’s win that much sweeter.

“Not that we’re here to prove things to people, but that’s a huge statement game for us,” Brosmer said. “And putting up 40, we haven’t done that since like 2017, that’s a really good feeling for us, a real good boost into the bye week.”

The defense had a couple of miscues that led to broken plays, but for the most part held a dangerous Elon team in check.

“Ryan here flew around and hit everything that moved,” said Santos with junior linebacker Ryan Toscano sitting beside him in the postgame press conference. “We were the physical team. We were the aggressor.”

The defense added a couple of points with a safety in the second period. Disruptive sophomore defensive ends Josiah Sylvia and Dylan Ruiz and grad student defensive tackle Niko Kvietkus busted up quarterback Mike McKay’s protection and forced him into intentional grounding in the end zone, good for two more UNH points.

Junior safety Joe Eichman had his third interception in as many games.

Brosmer directed an offense that can attack from more and more points and did put up 40 for the first time since almost exactly five years ago – a 40-17 win over Towson on Oct. 21, 2017.

The UNH defense forced a three-and-out to start the game and three plays later, Brosmer took off on a 42-yard touchdown run to open the scoring.

Brosmer added touchdown passes of 14 yards to senior Sean Coyne and 25 yards to grad student Heron Maurisseau.

Junior running back Dylan Laube carried 22 times for 147 yards, highlighted by a 77-yard touchdown dash in the fourth quarter that was UNH’s longest play from scrimmage since Evan Gray had an 81-yard run against Rhode Island on Sept. 21, 2019.

Redshirt freshman Nick Mazzie made all five of his conversion kicks and with his 20-yard field goal in the fourth quarter is six-for-seven on the season.

Santos also praised the work of sophomore Sean Lehane, who averaged 44.8 yards on his five punts and had kicks downed on the 1, 4 and 7-yard lines of Elon.

True freshman quarterback Barry Kleinpeter, who like Brosmer is from Georgia, scored on a 24-yard run in the second quarter.

“Two Georgia ’Cats getting touchdowns today,” Brosmer said with a smile. “Going in as a freshman is always a hard thing to do, going into a bigtime game and Top 25 game especially.”

Kleinpeter was appearing in his first game as a Wildcat and was on the field for three plays.

The offensive line did not allow a sack.

“We spread the ball around a little bit today,” Brosmer said. “The O-line really stepped up. Their D-line was hyped up and they’re really good players. Our receivers did a really good job getting open and that’s huge for a quarterback, just having guys get open. They did a really good job today.”

Redshirt freshman Joey Corcoran, the team’s leading receiver, was out with an injury and illness and Santos expects he’ll be ready to go against Richmond.

Santos initially was a bit concerned that his team’s bye week was scheduled for so late in the season: He’s liking how things have played out.

“Our guys kept playing, kept practicing and now it’s a blessing in disguise,” he said. “They need a week off.”

Then it’s go time and on to Richmond.


Those who would like to help New Hampshire Football Report promote football in the Granite State can do so by purchasing a New Hampshire Football Report membership or by making a donation below.  Sponsorship inquiries can be sent to Your support is greatly appreciated.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login