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Allen Lessels' UNH Notebook: Gridders looking ahead — in a good way
“The thing that’s significant is that it got us to 3-3,” said University of New Hampshire head football coach Sean McDonnell during his weekly press conference on Wednesday.
That, he said, was mission one against a very good football team.
He might have added it will mean nothing if the Wildcats don’t go play well the next five weeks and do what they’re supposed to do.
But the Wildcats have made getting to the FCS tournament a measuring stick for success over the last decade and when they slipped to 1-3 after the first month of the season, things were not looking good for a 10th straight trip to the playoffs.
The Wildcats, ranked No. 20 in The Sports Network poll this week, must win at least four of the games and may need to win all five to get into the tournament.
Teams with four losses have a shot, but there are a lot of variables involved at that point and it’s far from a sure thing.
The Wildcats play at Stony Brook, 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the CAA, on Saturday and at William & Mary, 4-3 and 1-2, next week.
UNH has lost all three of its road games so far this year and its last four overall. Its last win away from Cowell came a year ago Sunday at Rhode Island.
They have fallen at Central Michigan (24-21), Lehigh (34-27) and Towson (44-28) this season.
“Three things jump out at you in all three games,” McDonnell said.
UNH lost an interception and a fumble against Central Michigan and had four turnovers against Towson with a couple of fumbles and a couple of interceptions.
Goldrich, who won the New England Gold Helmet Award this week for his impressive work against Villanova, will start at quarterback for UNH. Andy Vailas, the junior from Bedford, is not 100 percent as he comes back from arthroscopic surgery on his knee, but will be able to back Goldrich up, McDonnell said.
THE men’s hockey team, ranked No. 14 this week in the USCHO poll, plays its fourth straight game against a ranked opponent when its takes on No. 12 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., on Saturday night.
Minnesota has moved up to No. 1 in the USCHO rankings and Michigan is No. 4.
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