W&M vs. #19 UNH Recap & Towson Preview

Another week, another loss for your William & Mary Tribe. #19-ranked UNH came into Williamsburg, dominated from the get-go, and walked away with a 35-16 victory. This actually broke a streak that W&M had, which we explain below. The Tribe moves to a paltry 2-7 (0-6 CAA)…officially making this a season to forget. So rather than bore you with multiple articles about football this week, we’re combining this article to include both our recap of last weekend’s game vs. New Hampshire and our preview of this week’s game vs. Towson all in one article — a two for one special! We’ll instead spend our extra time writing a Basketball preview article, which will be published this week. That’s right — W&M men’s basketball starts on Saturday! Roll Damn Tribe.

The Good

  • W&M didn’t play 2 QBs: This may not seem like something that should go under “The Good,” but it is an improvement for the Tribe. This was the first CAA game that W&M did not play more than one QB. The Green and Gold started Tommy McKee from the start, and stuck with him to the end. Tommy showed toughness in this one, taking some big hits, getting back up each time. He also threw for a season and career-high 272 passing yards, while adding 79 yards on the ground with 2 TDs. He also only threw one interception. Tommy played decently, and we like the consistent effort he gives each and every time out there.
  • RB Nate Evans returns: While true freshman running back Nate Evans didn’t make an impact in the ground game, rushing 7 times for a meager 9 yards, he found other ways to make an impact in this game. He had two big kickoff returns for W&M, setting up the Green and Gold near mid-field due to his quickness and shifty moves in the return game. Evans has the ability to be a special talent in Williamsburg, continually flashing signs of brilliance this season. We’re excited to see what the future holds for this young player.
W&M quarterback Tommy McKee came to play on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a strong UNH team that looks poised for a playoff run. [photo via Bob Keroack, tribeathletics.com]

The Bad

  • Kris Hooper missed FG & Extra Point: With the score 10-21 late in the 2nd quarter, W&M got the ball back with a chance to get some points before half. And let’s not forget to mention that W&M would also receive the ball to start the second half. QB Tommy McKee led the team all the way down the field to the UNH 11-yard line. The resulting field goal attempt, in what should have been a chip shot from 28 yards out, missed the mark, and W&M would go into the half down 21-10, instead of 21-13. While that may not seem like a big deal, the field goal would have made it a one possession game, and W&M would have had momentum going into halftime, expecting the ball back to start the 3rd. Instead, the field goal was shanked, and W&M would go into halftime with nothing to show. Additionally, in the fourth quarter, W&M executed a beautiful, 9-play, 80-yard drive for a touchdown. W&M kicker Kris Hooper would miss the ensuing extra point. Truth be told, Hooper is young, only a sophomore; as such, we’re hoping he will work out the kinks and get things back on track moving forward.
  • First loss to UNH at home since 1998: We mentioned a streak was broken, didn’t we? William & Mary’s blowout loss to UNH, 35-16, led to yet another unfortunate statistic for the Tribe. It was the first time since 1998 that UNH came out of Williamsburg with a win. That marks the end of a 19-year streak for the Tribe. Ouch.

The Ugly

  • 400 yards passing: UNH quarterback Trevor Knight looked like Tom Brady on Saturday. Knight, primarily a runner last season, has completely transformed his game, now ranking second in the CAA in passing yards. His stat line against the Tribe was truly insane: 25/35, 404 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs. Knight made W&M’s typically stalwart defense look silly, as the one-two punch of Knight/WR Neil O’Connor (193 yards, 1 TD) proved deadly on Saturday. In a game where we at the Blog noted that W&M would need to get pressure on Knight early and often, he was only sacked once. It was difficult to watch, but it was also the first time this season that the W&M defense was truly exposed by an opponent’s offense.

Around the CAA

JMU did was it has done all year, that is, blowing away FCS opponents (and FBS ones, too). JMU now boasts a 21-game winning streak, dating back to last season, which is the longest in all of D-I college football. Stony Brook picked up up another CAA victory, and now is an impressive 7-2 on the year. Richmond came up with a surprising shutout victory over Villanova. And it somehow took Elon 2 OT’s to beat a lowly Towson Tigers team. Elon remains undefeated in the CAA, setting up quite the showdown of potential undefeated CAA teams in the final week for the CAA crown (JMU and Elon play each other on 11/18).

Screen Shot 2017-11-05 at 8.16.37 PM

Look Ahead

Next week’s contest likely provides W&M its best chance for the team’s first CAA victory of the season (and last?), as the Green and Gold takes on the Towson Tigers. Below is quick snapshot of where the Tigers stand this season.

Pre-Season CAA Rank: #10 of 12

Current Rank: #10 of 12

Record: 3-6 (1-5 CAA)

Lone CAA Victory: 10/28 vs. Delaware, by a score of 18-17.


Statistics To Date

  • Pass Offense: 7th of 12 in the CAA
  • Rush Offense: 11th
  • Total Offense: 9th
  • Pass Defense: 3rd
  • Rush Defense: 12th
  • Total Defense: 9th

Viewing: When and Where
 Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 8.33.39 PM

Time: Saturday, 2:00 PM
Location: Zable Stadium (Williamsburg, VA)
Watch: College Sports Live — find the link here!

 PREDICTION 

Tribe 16 Towson 10

If W&M wants to secure its first CAA victory, we think the best way to do it is to establish the running game. Towson ranks dead last in the CAA in rush defense. Led by running quarterback Tommy McKee and two stud running backs in Nate Evans and Albert Funderburke, W&M shouldn’t have a problem establishing the run game. Towson’s offense is much like the Tribe, and has been anemic all year long. They rank second to last in scoring offense, averaging just 15.2 points per game. The only team worse? Your W&M Tribe, which averages 14.6 points per game. Ugh, why do we torture ourselves so. Expect a low-scoring, affair in this one, but also expect the Tribe to come out on top. LET’S GO TRIBE.

 

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