Allen Lessels' College Football: Wildcats' mantra is to stay hungry
No wonder. Added attention comes with a nation’s-best mark of making the FCS playoffs nine consecutive seasons and putting together a streak of 130 straight weeks ranked in the Top 25, a number that also leads the country and is a whopping 83 weeks more than the second-highest number, the 47 of Montana State.
Both teams will be looking for a little payback.
Each made a strong case to be included in the NCAA tournament last year, and each watched the selection show last Nov. 18 and came away bitter.
“We like to take pride in being the hungriest team on the field, no matter who we play,” said UNH senior co-captain and running back Chris Setian. “They’re absolutely going to be hungry, and we just need to remind ourselves that we need to be the hungrier team and that we need to kind of play with the chip on our shoulder that we always have and not forget what got us here in the first place.”
Lehigh won its first nine games last season and was ranked No. 5 in one poll, No. 8 in another when it then lost to Patriot League rival Colgate. Lehigh finished 10-1 overall, but was denied an at-large bid, and Colgate represented the league in the NCAAs.
The Tigers are 4-0 and ranked No. 3 in the country with wins over Connecticut (33-18) of the FBS, Holy Cross (49-7), Delaware State (49-7) and North Carolina Central (35-17) They are next week’s headache.
“They’re a very resilient football team,” McDonnell said. “You keep watching the tape and every game there’s some part of the game where they’re struggling a little bit and they just hang in there, hang in there, hang in there.”
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DARTMOUTH opened the season with a 30-23 win at Butler last week and faces Holy Cross in its home opener on Saturday night at 7.
Holy Cross fell to 1-3 with a 21-14 loss to Monmouth on Saturday. The Crusaders have played three quarterbacks and freshman Peter Pujals is expected to get his first start against Dartmouth. He was 12 for 19 for 129 yards and two scores with one interception in relief action against Monmouth.
ST. ANSELM, 0-3 overall and 0-2 in the Northeast-10, looks for its first win against Southern Connecticut at home tonight at 7. Sophomore quarterback Andrew Murphy has completed 77 of his 126 passes (61.1 percent) for 720 yards with eight touchdowns and five picks. Junior Justin Bernard has 29 catches for 248 yards and five scores. Southern Connecticut is 1-2 and 1-0 and coming off a 40-34 win over Merrimack.