UNH Football: The 2022 Granite Bowl Rundown


Rick Wilson

Dylan Laube-UNH vs. Dartmouth 2021

Spencer Marks, Sports Editor

The University of New Hampshire (UNH) Wildcats (4-2, 4-0) are sitting pretty in the CAA (Colonial American Association) as they look to bump their two-game winning streak up another notch. This will be no cakewalk as the ‘Cats will take the two-hour bus ride to Hanover, New Hampshire to take on the Dartmouth College Big Green (1-3, 0-2) this Saturday at 1:30 p.m. 

After a dominant 24-14 win last weekend in their homecoming game vs. Stony Brook (0-5, 0-4) UNH head coach Rick Santos spoke on the schedule ahead. 

“We have a gauntlet ahead of us with some of the tougher teams in our conference really starting this week,” Santos said, “Dartmouth embarrassed us last year and beat us up so we need to get back to work and focus on the task at hand.”

Dartmouth put a dark cloud over Durham during a sunny family weekend last year when they beat down the Wildcats 38-21. The Big Green offense put up 604 total yards to UNH’s 372 and dominated in time of possession with almost 18 more minutes with the ball than UNH.  

This game means more than just revenge after a bad loss last season. The teams have been rivals since they first met in 1901. Since then they’ve played a total of 40 times and in select games, the teams play for the coveted Granite Bowl trophy. The trophy sits at Dartmouth after the Big Green win last year. 

While the Granite Bowl trophy is the coveted prize, it is worth noting that the series record between the two schools is currently tied at 19-19-2. Both teams had their chunk of years to shine as the Big Green dominated the first 16 meetups but after a few years of back-and-forth play, the Wildcats went on to win 18 straight between 1980-2014. 

Dartmouth has won the past two meetings and although this is the worst record they’ve had coming into a Granite Bowl matchup (1-3) in the past few years coach Santos is not taking it into account.

“Throw that record out, they are extremely talented. They’ve been in every single game and I think they are extremely well coached.”

The Big Green’s offense could be something the Wildcats have yet to see this season as they have been working to run a dual quarterback set with senior quarterback Nick Howard and junior quarterback Dylan Cadwallader. 

Santos emphasizes tackling, saying that when playing this team, it is imperative to get all 11 guys flooding towards the ball in an effort to tackle as that is one thing the ‘Cats struggled with when the teams met last season. He also touts the unpredictability of their offense.

“Kevin Daft, their offensive coordinator, does such a great job with shifts and motions and trick plays. In particular when they get to the 30-yard line and there’s gonna be a new wrinkle and flavor every single week,” Santos says, “Their red zone offense is different every single week so we have to be extremely disciplined on the back end.”

A huge point of emphasis by Santos was that Dartmouth likes to play the time of possession game, so he stressed they need to get a ground game going and control the clock.

The Wildcats understand Big Green’s defense’s strength in coverage, so they hope to convert on a shorter pass game as long as possible and air it out when the time is right. 

As for injuries, sophomore cornerback Johnathan Collins Jr. tweaked his knee last game vs. Stony Brook and is currently still awaiting an MRI, therefore per coach Santos, he “probably won’t be able to go this week.”  

As the Wildcats look to extend their winning streak to three for the first time since September 18th when they brought home a 19-13 win over Lafayette to go 3-0.

You can watch and find out who takes home this year’s Granite Bowl and who will win the series tiebreaker once the game kicks off this Saturday at 1:30 p.m. on ESPN+.