New Hampshire 2013 FCS Football Playoff Capsule

New Hampshire Wildcats


New Hampshire snuck into the playoffs with a nice win over Maine during the last week of the season. The schedule has been tough and their four losses are to Central Michigan, Lehigh, Towson and William & Mary. There really is not a horrible loss in there. When the Wildcats take care of the ball, they have proven that they can beat anybody on any given day.

2013 Record: 7-4, 6-2
Coach: Sean McDonnell

Big Wins: 10/19 Villanova (29-28), 11/23 Maine (24-3)
Bad Losses: 9/28 at Lehigh (27-34), 11/2 at William & Mary (0-17)

The UNH offense may not be the most explosive in the playoffs, but they are extremely efficient and balanced. Coach Sean McDonnell will run a two quarterback system with Andy Vailas and Sean Goldrich. Vailas, a 6-2 junior, threw for 1,392 yards and nine touchdowns, while Goldrich added 1,125 yards and nine more scores. Both are surprisingly mobile for their size and are at least capable of scrambling and punching the ball in the end zone from short yardage. Receivers Justin Mello and R.J. Harris are the favorite targets for both Vailas and Goldrich. Harris has come on strong late in the year and Mello is a tough possession receiver. The ground attack is led by Nico Steriti, a 5-11, 227 pound junior. Chris Setian is another big bruising back who is more than capable of giving Steriti a rest. No one player on this team is going to put up huge numbers, but the unit as a whole ranks 21st in the nation in total offense and there are a lot of different players who are capable of making a big play.

Even with the tough schedule, New Hampshire has had a relatively disappointing defense. The unit ranks ninth in the conference in rushing defense and eighth in passing defense. Linebackers Shane McNeely, Akil Anderson and DeVaughn Chollette have shown flashes. McNeely is the team’s top tackler, Anderson has done a great job getting into the backfield and Chollette is a freshman who is getting better with every game. Defensive tackle Matt Kaplan and end Cody Muller are quality pass rushers and UNH averages about 2.5 sacks per contest. Stopping the run consistently is another story though. So is stopping the pass. Manny Asam, Nick Cefalo, Casey DeAndrade and Hayden Knudson are a relatively young group who are playing well at the right time. If they can keep it up, moving the ball against the Wildcats will not be nearly as easy as their defensive numbers would indicate.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Nico Steriti, RB, 826 yards
Passing: Andy Vailas, QB, 1,392 yards
Receiving: Justin Mello, WR, 797 yards
Tackles: Shane McNeely, LB, 89
Sacks: Matt Kaplan, DT, 6.0
Interceptions: Casey DeAndrade, DB, 2; Shane McNeely, LB, 2; Keith Parkinson, DB, 2

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 194.7 (31st in nation, 3rd in conference)
Passing Offense: 249.9 (30, 3)
Total Offense: 444.6 (21, 3)
Scoring Offense: 31.8 (32, 4)
Rushing Defense: 179.1 (73, 9)
Pass Defense: 243.5 (94, 8)
Total Defense: 422.6 (86, 8)
Scoring Defense: 23.9 (37, 6)
Turnover Margin: 0.2 (44, 4)
Sacks: 2.50 (26, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 2.60 (85, 8)

Recent Playoff Appearances:
2012    Second Round    Lost to Wofford
2011    Second Round    Lost to Montana State
2010    Second Round    Defeated Bethune-Cookman
2010    Quarterfinals    Lost to Delaware
2009    First Round    Defeated McNeese State
2009    Quarterfinals    Lost to Villanova
2008    First Round    Defeated Southern Illinois
2008    Quarterfinals    Lost to Northern Iowa
2007    First Round    Lost to Northern Iowa
2006    First Round    Defeated Hampton
2006    Quarterfinals    Lost to Massachusetts
2005    First Round    Defeated Colgate
2005    Quarterfinals    Lost to Northern Iowa
2004    First Round    Defeated Georgia Southern
2004    Quarterfinals    Lost to Montana
1994    First Round    Lost to Appalachian State
1991    First Round    Lost to Samford

*all team stats through 11/16


Playoff Central