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Football Looks Forward to New Hampshire

Graduate+quarterback+Connor+Watkins+threw+for+four+touchdowns+against+Stony+Brook.+
Brian Luppy/Villanovan Photography
Graduate quarterback Connor Watkins threw for four touchdowns against Stony Brook.

With its winning streak extended to three games, No. 17 Villanova is flying high coming into Saturday’s matchup at New Hampshire.

Villanova and UNH have clashed eight times since 2003, with the latter beating Villanova in six out of the eight engagements. New Hampshire has won each of the last six matchups between the two teams dating back to 2009. Villanova looks to break that losing streak to make it four wins in a row. Just two games will remain in its season after the ‘Cats clash.

Villanova’s last game was against now 0-8 Stony Brook, and it was over quickly. The ‘Cats’ offense led them to a blowout 48-13 win. The game also marked graduate quarterback Connor Watkins’ best game of the season, as he threw for more than 350 yards and four touchdown passes to earn CAA Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors.

It also was a breakout game for graduate receiver Rayjuon Pringle, who had just shy of 200 yards receiving on just five catches, showing the big play ability of this Villanova offense. Villanova had 556 yards of total offense for the ‘Cats (6-2).

Last week, UNH suffered a heartbreaking loss against Rhode Island in overtime, 34-28, spoiling what could be argued as its best offensive day of the year. Junior quarterback Max Brosmer had the best statistical day of his career, throwing for 430 yards and completing a career-high 41 passes. Top wideout Dylan Laube racked up a career-high 13 catches from Brosmer for 128 yards and a touchdown.

New Hampshire had a chance to escape with the win, but senior kicker Charles Briscoe III’s kick was blocked by the Rams to send the game to overtime. The loss dropped the then-20th ranked UNH to 4-4 on the year and 2-3 record in CAA play. It will look to get back to .500 in conference play this coming Saturday.

For Villanova, the keys to success against UNH will be slowing the big play ability of this UNH offense. The other ‘Cats have averaged 38 points per game, a full touchdown above Villanova’s points average. Villanova will also be looking to take advantage of a weakness of New Hampshire’s defense: stopping the rushing attack of opposing offenses. The ground game has been a pillar of Villanova’s offense all season long.

New Hampshire will need to run the ball, which it has struggled to do. Villanova will need to adjust and prevent Brosmer from having as much success as he’s had throughout the season.

The game is set for a 1 p.m. kickoff at UNH’s Wildcat Stadium. The ‘Cats will then be back at home the following weekend to take on Towson.

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About the Contributor
Finn Courtney, Co-News Editor
Finn Courtney is a freshman Communications and Political Science double major and is entering his first year as one of the Co-News editors for 2024. With a passion for politics and sports, Finn's been a writer for as long as he can remember, was a four-year editor and leader on his high school paper and as a freshman has covered a variety of stories for The Villanovan, City of Basketball Love, and has been reposted in the Philadelphia Inquirer. When he's not typing up a story or filming with Villanova Television, you can surely catch him procrastinating on something, watching a Mets game (it's their year!) or trying to just live life to the fullest.
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