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Game Day Central
Date & Time: Saturday, September 27, 6 p.m. Dartmouth Stats UNH
Location: Durham, N.H. // Weather 1-0 Record 2-1
Stadium: Cowell Stadium Won 4 Streak Won 2
All-Time Series: UNH leads 18-17-2 35.0 Points/Game 31.3
Tickets: Information 391.0 Total Yards 494.0
Broadcast: 216.0 Passing/Game 335.7
Radio: 99Rock // WFRD 99.3 FM - Dick Lutsk (play-by-play), Wayne Young (analyst) 175.0 Rushing/Game 158.3
Live Stats: 475.0 Yards Allowed 483.0
Logistics: Directions // Parking 25.0 Points Allowed 35.7
Twitter: @DartmouthSports // @DartFootball 100% Red Zone % 75%
Dartmouth Links: Home // Roster // Schedule // Stats // Teevens Teleteaser // Notes // Ivy Notes 22:23 Time of Poss.
UNH Links: Home // Roster // Schedule // Stats // Notes // CAA Notes  Ivy League  Conference  CAA

Highlights from the 35-25 victory over Central Connecticut State

Granite Bowl Returns
After a five-year hiatus, the only Division I schools in the state of New Hampshire — Dartmouth and UNH — renew their rivalry on the gridiron in the first-ever night game at Cowell Stadium, the site of the last meeting. The Wildcats led by just six at halftime, but went on to score 24 unanswered points in the second half to win handily, 44-14.

That UNH win, however, came against a much different Big Green team than the one that will take the field this year. Dartmouth suffered through a 2-8 season in 2009 and was in the midst of a 17-game losing streak. This time around, Robert L. Blackman Head Football Coach Buddy Teevens has guided his squad to four straight victories, one of which came against a nationally ranked team (as is UNH) in Princeton, and the most recent a 35-25 triumph over Central Connecticut State in the Big Green season opener.

Quarterback Dalyn Williams started the 2014 campaign as he did last year — by being named the Ivy League co-Offensive Player of the Week. The junior threw for 216 yards and a trio of touchdowns, plus ran for 75 more yards and another score. For his career, he has thrown 21 TD passes against just five interceptions, the best ratio in Dartmouth history.

The recipient of nearly half of the 14 completions was senior Ryan McManus, one of several veteran receivers at Williams’ disposal. After missing the final eight games in 2013 due to injury, McManus announced his return with a touchdown among six receptions that went for a career-high 117 yards, the second time he has reached the century mark.

Another senior, Bo Patterson, had just one catch after leading the team in receiving last year, but it was a 20-yarder in the end zone, moving him into Dartmouth’s all-time top 10 with 11 TD catches.

Complementing Williams in the backfield was junior Kyle Bramble with a team-high 89 yards on 17 carries. He scored the first two Big Green touchdowns, the first on a 14-yard screen pass, the second on a two-yard plunge through the line.

The defense that led the Ivy League in fewest points and passing yards allowed a year ago was a bit out of sync in the first half before settling in to hold CCSU to 6 points over the final 30 minutes. Senior safety Troy Donahue made 14 stops while junior linebacker Zach Slafsky added 13 of his own.

Dartmouth is expecting the defensive line to be among its greatest strengths, and although no sacks were recorded, the starting trio of A.J. Zuttah, Cody Fulleton and Evan Chrustic had 17 tackles, two for a loss, and even a blocked PAT by Chrustic. But the biggest defensive play may have been Frankie Hernandez’ block of a field goal that would have put the Blue Devils back in the lead in the third quarter.

The special teams units were just about flawless in the game. Sophomore Alex Gakenheimer converted all five of his PATs, classmate Ben Kepley boomed four punts for a net average of 40 yards (fourth in the nation) and senior Kirby Schoenthaler averaged nearly 30 yards on his three kickoff returns.

Dartmouth is searching for its first victory against UNH since this country’s bicentennial, and first in Durham since man first walked on the moon. Granted, a Big Green win won’t be quite as historical, but beating the fourth-ranked FCS team in the country would certainly garner some attention.

Scouting the Wildcats
New Hampshire has been just about the most consistently successful FCS team in the country over the past decade having been ranked in the top 25 for 145 straight weeks, dating back to Sept. 13, 2004. This week, the Wildcats find themselves fourth in the Sports Network poll and seventh by the coaches.

The UNH offense is as potent as they come, averaging nearly 500 yards per game (fifth nationally) in three outings this year, 335 of which come through the air (fourth). But the Wildcats will be without starting quarterback Sean Goldrich, who sprained a knee in a thrilling 29-26 victory at 17th-ranked Richmond.

In his place will be seasoned veteran Andy Vailas, who not only led UNH on its game-winning drive at Richmond, but has thrown for more than 3,000 yards and 27 touchdowns in his career, not to mention running for another 719 yards. Vailas has a Dartmouth connection as well as his uncle, Jim Vailas, was a Big Green captain and played with Buddy Teevens.

The receiving corps boasts a member of the preseason Walter Payton Watch List in R.J. Harris, who has caught 23 passes for 377 yards — an average of 125.7 per game — and three touchdowns. Tight end Harold Spears is another threat with 14 receptions for 266 yards and a score.

On the ground, Goldrich has been the most effective rusher with 145 yards and four TDs on 32 carries. Without him, Vailas has already proven his ability to run, while running back Jimmy Owens (30 rushes, 128 yards) will be another for the defense to keep an eye on.

On the other side of the ball, New Hampshire has not been as effective, surrendering 26.5 points to the two FCS opponents it has played (and 54 to Toledo of the FBS). Safeties Nick Cefalo, Hayden Knudson and Daniel Rowe have been the most active tacklers, as well as linebacker Shane MacNeely.

Placekicking has been a bit shaky with Christian Breda’s lone field goal in three tries coming from 23 yards, and he has missed one of his eight PATs. In contrast, punter Brad Prasky has been terrific, dropping five of 12 boots inside the 20 and averaging 43.3 yards per punt.

Cowell Cower
Dartmouth has one tough assignment in taking on UNH. Not only are the Wildcats ranked fourth in the nation at the FCS level, but they are also 16-2 in non-conference home games since 2005. The last regular season loss at home for New Hampshire came all the way back in 2000. The Big Green haven’t won at the UNH stadium since 1969 with an 0-9-2 record ever since.

Ivy Co-Offensive Player of the Week
For the second straight year, quarterback Dalyn Williams was named the Ivy League’s co-Offensive Player of the Week following the season opener. The junior connected on 14-of-24 passes for 216 yards while matching a career high with three TDs. In addition, he ran for 75 yards on 11 carries, one of which was a 28-yard dash into the end zone to complete the Dartmouth scoring on the afternoon.

McManus Returns with Big Game
Only once had senior Ryan McManus amassed 100 receiving yards in a game in his career, and that came in 2012 against Harvard (103). After missing the last eight games of last season due to injury, the middle of three brothers to play for Coach Teevens at Dartmouth made the most of his return by hauling in six passes for a career-high 117 yards, including a spectacular 19-yard catch just inside the left sideline in the end zone for a touchdown.

Look At You Troy Donahue
Senior safety Troy Donahue came into the season with a single-game career best of six tackles. He more than doubled that total in the season opener against Central Connecticut State with 14 to lead the Big Green defense, although junior linebacker Zach Slafsky had a baker’s dozen for his own personal best to complement Donahue’s performance.

More Defensive Data
Donahue and Slafsky weren’t the only players to record a career high in tackles against CCSU. Junior lineman A.J. Zuttah had eight stops (and batted down a pass on the first play of the game), and senior linebacker Eric Wickham added nine of his own. Both also recorded a tackle for a loss.

Bramble-ing Man
Junior Kyle Bramble did a bit of everything against Central Connecticut State, racking up 165 all-purpose yards (surpassing his career high of 162 against Cornell last year) while scoring the first two Big Green touchdowns on the night. The running back took the handoff 17 times for 89 yards with a two-yard trot into the end zone, hauled in four passes for 56 yards including a 14-yard TD on a screen, and returned a kickoff for 20 more yards.

Hernandez Hoopla
With Dartmouth clinging to a 21-19 lead in the third quarter, visiting CCSU lined up for a 32-yard field goal in hopes of retaking the lead. The Big Green defense had different ideas as several players broke through the line, and junior Frankie Hernandez — all 5-foot-9 of him — was the one to reject the kick. Dartmouth marched to the end zone on its ensuing possession and never looked back.