WITH THE FIRST month of the season nearly complete, here’s a status check on New Hampshire’s five college football programs:
Plymouth State (Division III)
The Panthers are 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the MASCAC entering Saturday’s game at Framingham State. They are the only MASCAC team still unbeaten overall.
Senior running back Manny Sanchez leads the conference in rushing yards per game (99.7). He’s run for 299 yards on 64 attempts this season, an average of 4.7 yards per carry.
Key NH contributor: Sophomore linebacker Evan Wilson (Derry) leads Plymouth State in tackles with 27, including 12 solo stops and three tackles for loss. Wilson played high school football at Pinkerton Academy. In addition, wide receiver Jake Donahue (Hudson) leads the team in receptions (10) and receiving yards (136.0). Donahue, a graduate student, played at Alvirne High School.
Franklin Pierce (Division II)
The Ravens dropped their first three games, but won their first Northeast-10 game in the program’s history by beating AIC 7-3 last Saturday. That evened the team’s league record at 1-1 entering Saturday’s home contest against Bentley.
Harrison Barjolo, a sophomore defensive back, is third in the NE10 in tackles per game (7.8). He’s recorded 31 tackles (15 solo) in Franklin Pierce’s four games.
Key NH contributor: All four New Hampshire residents on the Franklin Pierce roster are freshmen, and none of them is on the team’s two-deep depth chart.
Saint Anselm (Division II)
The Hawks are off to a 4-0 start (2-0 NE10) for the first time since the 2014 season, and have outscored their four opponents 132-31.
Junior quarterback Drew Willoughby has completed 112 of 169 passes and leads the conference in passing yards per game (300.5) and touchdown passes (14). He’s been intercepted five times. Saint Anselm will be at home against New Haven on Saturday.
Key NH contributor: Junior defensive back Devin Wood (Merrimack) is fourth on the team with 22 tackles (11 solo). He also has two interceptions, including one at the 2-yard line late in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s 21-14 victory against Southern Connecticut State. The Hawks broke a 14-14 tie on the ensuing possession. Wood played at Merrimack High School.
Dartmouth (Division I/FCS)
The Big Green fell to 1-1 with Saturday’s 38-31 overtime loss to Sacred Heart. Dartmouth had won its previous 20 non-conference games, which was the longest winning streak against non-conference opponents at the FCS level.
Few teams have run the ball as effectively as Dartmouth, which has 701 rushing yards in its two games. Sixteen of the 130 FCS teams have one player averaging at least 100 yards rushing per game. Dartmouth has three: quarterback Nick Howard (121.0), fifth-year running back Zack Bair (111.5) and sophomore running back Q Jones (101.0). Junior linebacker Ayers Macklin leads the Ivy League with an average of 11.5 tackles per game.
Next up for Dartmouth is Friday night’s (7) home game against Penn, which can be seen on ESPNU. It will be the Ivy League opener for each team. UNH and Dartmouth will meet Oct. 15 in Hanover.
Key NH contributor: There are no New Hampshire residents on the Dartmouth roster.
UNH (Division I/FCS)
The Wildcats are 3-1 overall, but their loss came in a non-conference game against North Carolina Central. Their 3-0 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association puts them alone at the top of the conference standings.
Running back Dylan Laube is the engine that makes the UNH offense go. He’s run for 423 yards and five touchdowns on 81 carries, and his average of 105.8 yards rushing per game is the fourth-best average in the CAA. He’s also returned seven punts for 152 yards and a TD, and leads the conference in both punt return average (21.7) and scoring (36 points).
UNH, which will play at Western Michigan on Saturday, has also received strong play from defensive ends Dylan Ruiz and Josiah Silver. Ruiz is second in the CAA with (4.5) sacks, and Silver is sixth in that category (3.5).
Key NH contributor: Sophomore linebacker Ryan Toscano (Bedford) is tied with linebacker Bryce Shaw for the team lead in tackles (21.0). Toscano has made 12 solo stops. He played at Bedford High School.