Well with game day being moved up a day, need to get our Nerd Stats info out to everyone a day earlier, so here’s what you need to know about the University of New Hampshire and what they’re bringing to Fargo on Friday.
Sean Goldrich leads the UNH offense into Fargo on Friday.
New Hampshire enters Friday’s game winners of six straight and nine of its last ten games, the Wildcats started the year 1-3, with losses to Central Michigan, Lehigh and Towson, who plays in the other semifinal on Saturday. During this winning streak, the Wildcats haven’t scored less than 24 points.
UNH’s offense is humming as addressed in the last point, they are averaging 32 points per game on the season, but the defense has been vulnerable, allowing 20 points per game. For point of reference, Towson racked up 731, yes 731 total yards against New Hampshire, Terrance West, who last we saw, was running all over Eastern Illinois, ran for 238 yards and 3 touchdowns. Now since then, UNH has dramatically improved, their only other loss was to William and Mary, who for a time had the best scoring defense in the country.
A closer look at UNH’s quarterback situation is interesting, sophomore Sean Goldrich has been the starter for the majority of the year, but he started the year on the bench behind junior Andy Vailas, each rotated snaps last season. Goldrich was devastating with his legs last week against Southeastern Louisiana, rushing for 99 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Wildcats to an impressive win.
UNH has perhaps the most impressive playoff pedigree in the FCS, they have made the playoffs 10 consecutive years, the longest streak going, but this is their first trip to the semifinals. Consider also the league that UNH plays in, the CAA, traditionally the top in the country, this is the 4th time in the last 6 years that the league has two teams in the semifinals.
Lastly, this is a stat that everyone knows, UNH’s most famous football alum is clearly Chip Kelly, the current head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Kelly is a UNH grad, he coached there for years, rising to offensive coordinator from 1999-2006, he left Durham to take the OC job at Oregon and the rest is history.
Monday certainly didn’t calm down in the land of NDSU as the Bison are well into game prep for New Hampshire on Friday night, but also it appears the coaching change hasn’t affected recruiting in a negative fashion as the Bison received a verbal commitment from Lance Dunn, a 5’9 running back from Waterloo, Iowa, it should be noted that’s the new head coach’s backyard.
Lance Dunn from Waterloo, Iowa (#3) verbally committed to NDSU Monday night.
The NDSU men’s basketball team has seen its RPI continue to soar after last week’s win over Notre Dame, they responded on Monday night with an impressive 85-66 win over Delaware, Taylor Braun was terrific, going for 33 points, Bison are now 8-4 thru the teeth of their schedule with a good Towson team to come on Saturday.
Couple other items for people that care; stories about two diverging football programs, first not a good story from Portland, where Portland State has been on notice that they need to be self-sustaining or risk the program being shut down, you can read that here. Also from last week that got under my radar, was the news that Eastern Kentucky is exploring the possibility of moving up to FBS. EKU made the playoffs in 2011, they’re looking for either a spot in the Sun Belt or the MAC, read what you will into it here.
Join The Forum’s Jeff Kolpack and WDAY sports director Dom Izzo for the latest episode of the Bison Video Blog! The University of New Hampshire Wildcats are the only thing standing between the Bison and a thrid trip to Frisco, TX.
Another ridiculous Sunday covering the top team in FCS, as NDSU has selected a new head coach on top of the fact of preparing for the FCS Semifinals on Friday night. Join Jeff, Big E and me at 10 and let’s chat!
Well it certainly seemed like NDSU handled things well on Saturday as the Bison raced out to a 17-0 lead on Coastal Carolina and never looked back from there. The Bison offense was terrific, racking up 623 yards the most by an NDSU team since 2007. NDSU reached the semifinals for the third straight year and will host New Hampshire Friday night at 7. Jeff, E and I break down the game and offer some thoughts as NDSU moves into the final four.
Four great games that if you want you can watch all in its entirety starting tonight at 7pm on ESPN with Eastern Illinois and Towson, I encourage everyone to watch the game to see two of the best in FCS, Jimmy Garoppolo and Terrance West. Here are the picks!
Here is the daily Bison Media Blog Football Coach Watch List, an unofficial top 10 ranking of the favorites culled from gut feeling, sources, rumors, experience or no valid reason whatsoever to take the head football coaching position at NDSU:
1. Chris Klieman, NDSU defensive coordinator. The fact we haven’t heard “national search” yet from an NDSU administrator leads us to believe Klieman would be a slam dunk for the job considering his resume. He’s been at four Valley schools and has been a head coach at a small college in Iowa.
2. Chris Klieman’s shadow.
3. Chris Klieman’s clothes closet.
4. Brent Vigen, NDSU offensive coordinator. Now appears internal candidates will get legitimate shot.
5. Brad Salem, QB/Recruiting Coordinator, Michigan State. UPDATED (12/13) FootballScoop.com says that Salem may be a candidate besides Kleiman and Vigen, we had on list since Wednesday.
At NDSU, haven’t spoken w guys there but hear that Vigen & Klieman being considered. Also hear Brad Salem (Michigan State) is candidate
He’s the former head coach at Augustana from 2005-09, has ties to the Midwest, he played at Augustana and his dad Joe, used to coach at USD. He’s been in East Lansing for four years, but if you’re looking for an out of the box idea, he may be the guy.
.5. Scottie Hazelton, Nevada defensive coordinator. Former NDSU defensive coordinator and architect of first national title from the defensive side. USC experience helps. Took himself out of the running through a Nevada spokesperson today.
6. Pat Perles, offensive line coach, Syracuse. Former Bison offensive coordinator who went to the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs before that staff was fired.
7. Brian Ward, defensive coordinator, Western Illinois. This guy just has CEO leadership written all over him.
8. Rob Ambrose, head coach, Towson. He’s brought that program to FCS success.
9. Glenn Caruso, head coach, University of St. Thomas. Great recruiter who knows how to run a program, no matter what level.
10. Brent Pease. A Montana guy, former NFL quarterback who was recently fired as Florida’s offensive coordinator.
Coastal Carolina has one of the best stories going in college football, a program that’s been around for just 11 years, with a millionaire-turned-coach, and just went to one of the most hostile environments and won. CCU has some terrific athletes and after last week’s win will come to Fargo full of confidence and belief that they can knock off the the two-time defending champs.
Alex Ross leads the Coastal Carolina offense into Fargo tomorrow.
The biggest reason why they believe is sophomore quarterback Alex Ross, a 47-4 record at quarterback since his freshman year of high school, he’s combined for over 3,000 total yards and 31 touchdowns.
Coastal’s offense has been near the top of the FCS all season long; they average 43 points a game, and they go on runs, in five of the last six games the Chanticleers have gone on at least a 20-0 scoring binge, including 28 straight points last week at Montana.
The Chants can run the football as well, watch Lorenzo Taliaferro, he’s averaging 6 yards per carry racking up 26 touchdowns on the season, the last two losses for NDSU have occurred when the Bison allowed big time rushing numbers, that’s a number to watch more than anything.
Defensively is where CCU can be had it appears, allowing nearly 30 points a game and 446 yards per game.
CCU scores points, the least amount they scored against an FCS team was 26, to Charleston Southern, the only game they lost to a FCS team this, ironically 26 was the most points NDSU has allowed this season.
We have a terrific day of coverage tomorrow; calling it Breakfast with the Bison, PreGame show launches at 9 am here, our live blog at 9:30, followed by the game at 11 and back here for the PostGame show, should be a great day!