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Allen Lessels' College Football: And now, a sense of urgency for UNH
Had they been able to hold on and knock off Central Michigan — rather than falling 27-24 on a last-seconds field goal in their season-opening game — the Wildcats would have had a little cushion heading into their next couple of contests.
“We’ve got to be 1-1,” said senior wide receiver Justin Mello. “We can’t be 0-2. It’s never easy to come back. This team is capable of doing it, but you don’t want to put yourself in that position.”
The Wildcats have two weeks to sit on the Colgate result — good or bad. They’re off on Sept. 21 and then play at Lehigh, a perennial power in the Patriot League along with Colgate, on Sept. 28. Lehigh outlasted Central Connecticut, 51-44, in two overtimes, in its opener on Saturday.
First, UNH must contend with Colgate, which is already desperate with losses at Air Force (38-13) and at home to Albany (37-34) last week.
The Wildcat defense was tremendous in the first half against Central Michigan, a Football Bowl Subdivision team, and played well throughout the game but for a few big plays late.
The UNH offense should get a boost from explosive redshirt freshman Dalton Crossan, expected to get his first action behind junior running back Nico Steriti and as a receiver.
Andy Vailas, a junior out of Bedford, will start again at quarterback and sophomore Sean Goldrich will get at least one series in the game, McDonnell said.
ST. ANSELM, coming off a 42-28 loss at home at Bowie State in its opener, is at Stonehill on Saturday night at 6. Stonehill beat the Hawks, 35-20, last season.
Hawk sophomore quarterback Andrew Murphy completed 19 of his 39 passes for 165 yards, three touchdowns and a pair of interceptions against Bowie.
PLYMOUTH STATE fell in its opener, 35-31 to Castleton State, and heads to Newton, Mass., to face Mt. Ida on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Zach Ziemba, a freshman defensive back out of Manchester West, started his Plymouth State career off with four tackles and three pass breakups.
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