UNH football enters FCS ranking at #22


Bret Belden

The #22 ranked UNH Wildcats (4-2, 3-0) kept rolling when they traveled to Stony Brook (4-3, 1-2) looking for their fourth straight win. A balanced offensive attack on Saturday led the team straight into the national rankings.  

UNH got on the board first in their second drive of the night. First-year quarterback Max Brosmer connected with sophomore wide receiver Brian Espanet on a 15-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. 

On the ensuing drive, Stony Brook put together a seven-play, 78-yard drive to tie the game. Graduate wide receiver Jean Constant reeled in a 15-yard touchdown of his own to match Espanet just one minute into the second quarter. 

In the first drive of the second half, Brosmer found redshirt first-year wide receiver Charles Briscoe III twice for a total of 54 yards to help set up a field goal for junior kicker Jason Hughes. Hughes was able to convert the 22-yard try to regain a 10-7 lead. 

Stony Brook wouldn’t go away however, as the Seawolves marched downfield in the third quarter. The team was able to cap off the long drive with a rush from one yard away by redshirt first-year running back Ty Son Lawton to flip the lead Stony Brook’s way once again. 

As the scoreboard changed to the fourth quarter, Brosmer surgically moved his offense into opponent territory. UNH completed five of eight passes on this drive, the last of which was a 20-yard touchdown catch by Espanet, his second of the game. The play went to review but was ultimately upheld; giving UNH the lead back with just over nine minutes to go in the game. Espanet led the day in receiving with four catches for 59 yards and two scores. 

Espanet walked through that play which gave UNH the lead late in the game. 

“Let’s just put them away,” said Espanet. “I told coach I wanted the ball, they trusted me with the big third down play, and Max gave me a great ball.” 

The Wildcats secured the game on their next possession as redshirt first-year running back Dylan Laube and senior running back Evan Gray rushed the ball to the Stony Brook 25-yard-line. From there, Hughes locked up the win with a 42-yard attempt, stretching the UNH lead to 20-14. 

Brosmer finished the day with 196 yards while completing 16 of 26 passes with two touchdowns. The first-year quarterback did a good job of spreading the ball around the offense, completing passes to eight different players. Brosmer’s play this week earned him his second CAA Rookie of the Week award this season. 

While Brosmer kept the aerial attack balanced throughout the night, the running backs shared the wealth as well; Gray accumulated 54 yards, Laube totaled 48, and sophomore Carlos Washington Jr. added 21. 

Interim head coach Ricky Santos acknowledged his team’s unselfishness throughout their winning streak and made note that it will need to continue for the team’s success to grow. 

“We talked to the team last Friday night about being a good team and going from good to great; that starts with being really selfless and being good teammates. I feel like we’re doing that. We have a ton of playmakers that want the ball more, they’re hungry for that opportunity, but at the end of the day we only have one football that we can only spread around to one person on every individual play. If we can continue to have that mentality of putting the team first, our teammates second, and ourselves last, we have a chance to be pretty special.” 

UNH now sits with a record of 4-2 and find themselves in the national top-25 FCS rankings. The Wildcats came in this week at number 22 in the nation and are quickly gaining attention from the school along with the rest of the college football world. 

“The feeling on the team is that there’s just a buzz around campus,” said Espanet. “People are excited for this team; coaches are excited for this team; the biggest thing is just that we all believe.” 

Up next, UNH will continue their road stretch at #24 Delaware (3-3, 1-1) on Saturday, October 19 at 1 p.m. in Delaware Stadium.