After an extremely underwhelming 1-2 start to the season, the UNH football team was able to bounce back with a home opening win again Central Connecticut State University, 57-14. I know I have been tough on the team this year, and that won’t change, but for this week I’ll say this: It seems as if that was a coming-out party for the team.
I understand they played CCSU, a school most people haven’t heard of. Well, the Blue Devils played that same Stony Brook team that thrashed the Wildcats and the outcome of both those games was relatively similar. CCSU lost its game against Stony Brook, 38-9, while the Wildcats got manhandled almost just as badly, 31-6. This game was by no means a guaranteed victory for a Wildcat team that had allowed 1,115 yards and been outscored 82- 45 through three games. With starting quarterback Sean Goldrich out with an ankle injury and a defense that couldn’t seem to stop anyone, I was skeptical. The Wildcats made it clear that they are still a good football program.
We all knew what type of game we were going to get from the running backs. Trevon Bryant and Dalton Crossan have been relatively consistent to begin the year. It was the backup quarterbacks, Adam Riese and Trevor Knight, who were both impressive. Riese completed 14 of his 21 passes for 188 yards and three touchdowns. Then Knight came in and all he did was go a perfect 4-4 for 64 yards and a touchdown, while running for another one. The best stat on the board the entire day was the zero in the turnover column. On the road at Stony Brook the Wildcats turned the ball over three times.
Another impressive statistic was the Wildcats’ red-zone offense. The Wildcats entered the red-zone area five times during the game and all five times they came away with points. The defense finally showed up as well, causing three fumbles and holding the Blue Devils to just 14 points, including zero in the first half. The team added seven sacks, as well. Although it wasn’t perfect—they did allow 346 yards of offense—they seemed to work well as a unit.
The position where there is clearly more to be desired is at wide receiver. You look at the statistics and yes, 252 yards through the air isn’t bad. They did score four touchdowns through the air. Here’s my issue: The leading receiver in the game was Crossan… a running back. The leading receiver all year is Crossan! Behind him there is tight end Jordan Powell, who has played solid all season. After that, the drop off is scary. Amechie Walker surprised us with two touchdowns on Saturday night, but there still isn’t enough production. Jared Allison, who I thought would be the X-factor this season after the Wildcats lost RJ Harris and Harold Spears, doesn’t even have 100 yards receiving yet and we are four games into the season. None of the Wildcat receivers average over 30 yards a game. Hopefully Goldrich coming back brings the passing offense to another level, but for now, the Wildcats are still in need of a go-to receiver.
Although it is too early to say the Wildcats have “figured it out”, they looked better. Next weekend is homecoming so the fans and the players will be excited. They welcome Elon to town, a team coming off its first-ever CAA conference win. Based off of that sentence, you might think this game will be a cakewalk again for the Wildcats. But Elon beat Towson, a team that’s been an FCS powerhouse for many years. If the Wildcats truly want to prove that the early season was just a bump in the road, they need to beat the Phoenix. For now, the team is still a work in progress.

Executive Editor