September 5, 2000

Football Heads to New Hampshire

Sept. 5, 2000

KINGSTON, R.I. -

Rhode Island at New Hampshire

September 9, 2000, 12:00 p.m., Cowell Stadium, Durham, N.H.

Coach Tim Stowers' debut at Rhode Island started on a bright note. Lance Small returned the opening kickoff 67 yards to the 33-yard line. But by the time the game ended, it had rained on Stowers and his parade.

Rhode Island was unable to turn Small's kickoff return into points and Coach Tubby Raymond's Blue hens took little mercy on the Rams. Rhode Island had just 33 yards total offense in the first half and 92 for the game.

If that wasn't bad enough, a thunderstorm swept into Rhode Island in the fourth quarter of play. The downpour, complete with thunder and lightning, short-circuited the scoreboard and forced the game to be called with 2:08 left in the contest.

The veteran defense limited the high-powered Blue Hens to 281 yards total offense. While the Rams bend-but-don't-break scheme kept Delaware scoreless for the final 23 minutes of the game, Rhode Island's young offense struggled with the new spread offensive set. New starting quarterback Vince Nedimyer held his own in the second half as he became more comfortable with the offense.

Although nothing is quite as electrifying as the first game, you can bet the Stowers and his troops are eagerly awaiting the Sept. 9 match-up with New Hampshire. A year ago, first-year New Hampshire coach Sean McDonnell registered his first victory with a 37-14 victory at Rhode Island. The Rams would like to see Stowers win his first game at Rhode Island against the Wildcats.

For the Record

Rhode Island has played 848 games since fielding its first team in 1895. In 101 seasons, the Rams have an overall record of 340-465-43 (.426).

Next Week

Rhode Island does not play. The Rams return to action on Sept. 23 at 7:00 p.m. when Rhode Island plays at Hofstra. The game will be televised by Fox Sports-New York.

In the last meeting between the two teams, Hofstra won, 28-13, on Sept. 18 in Kingston, R.I.

New Hampshire hosts Northeastern on Sept. 16 in the second of three straight home games to start the season. New Hampshire held on for a 33-31 win over the Huskies in the 1999 meeting between the two teams.

On the Air

WHJJ-AM (920) in East Providence is the flagship station of the Rams-on-Radio Network. The network includes WJJF-AM (1180) in Hope Valley. Airtime is 11:45 a.m. with Steve McDonald and Mark Katic.

WRIU-FM (90.3), the campus radio station, will broadcast the game live throughout South County.

The broadcast can be heard over the internet at www.GoRhody.com by FANSonly/ESPN.

The game can be heard by phone on Teamline (800-846-4700). Rhode Island's code is 2606. Charges apply (approx. $40).

Only three road games will be televised this year due to construction of the new Convocation Center. The television schedule:

Sept. 23 - at Hofstra,Fox-New York, Cox-3
Oct. 21 - at Northeastern, Atlantic 10 TV (Fox-New England) taped delayed (3:30 p.m.)
Nov. 11 - at Connecticut, Cox-3

Tim Stowers Radio Show

The Tim Stowers call-in show airs each Thursday live from 7:00-8:00 p.m. at Dave's Grill (2339 Post Road, Warwick) on WHJJ-AM (920) with host Steve McDonald.

Tim Stowers TV Show

The Tim Stowers TV Show airs each Friday at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday at 10:00 a.m. on Cox-3 with host Steve McDonald and reporter Andy Gresh.

Rhode Island's Last Game

Delaware        29
Rhode Island     7
September 2, 2000. Kingston, R.I.

Delaware (1-0, 1-0) and a heavy thunderstorm short-circuited Coach Tim Stowers' debut as the Blue Hens defeated Rhode Island (0-1, 0-1), 29-7, before 3,016 rain-soaked fans at Meade Stadium.

Stowers, who earned four NCAA championship rings at Georgia Southern, saw the Blue Hens limit Rhode Island's new spread offense to 92 yards. With thunder and lightning flashing through a downpour, the game was called after the scoreboard malfunctioned. There were 65 seconds left in the game according to the scoreboard. In reality, the game was called with 2:08 left.

Lance Small returned the opening kickoff 67 yards to the 33-yard line. But Rhode Island's spread offense was unable to move the ball. The Rams registered just two first-half first downs and totalled 32 yards total offense on 23 plays in the opening half.

Delaware scored first when Craig Cummings capped a 22-yard, four-play drive with a one-yard run with 3:06 left in the first quarter. With :55 left in the first quarter, a block punt resulted in a Delaware safety, give the Blue Hens a 9-0 advantage.

A 12-yard pass from Matt Nagy to Butter Pressey with 11:35 left in the second quarter provided Delaware with a 16-0 halftime lead.

Pressey returned the second half kickoff 90 yards for a score to up the lead to 22-0. Four minutes later, Brett Veach capped a seven-play, 48-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown run. Rhode Island scored when Paul Picciotti returned a fumble 12 yards with 4:50 left.

Delaware        9  7  13   0-	29
Rhode Island    0  0  0    7-   7
UD- Craig Cummings 1 run (Scott Collins kick)
UD- Safety, team
UD- Butter Pressey 12 pass from Matt Nagy (Collins kick)
UD- Pressey 90 kickoff return (run failed)
UD- Brett Veach 11 run (Collins kick)
URI- Paul Picciotti 12 fumble return (Ryan Szczesniak kick)
Attendance: 3,016

Coaches' Cwote Corner ...

"We got a long way to go. We've got to do a better job coaching. I'm encouraged by our attitude. I'm encouraged by our play. It's going to take a little while. Most of the football teams I've been around improve the most from the first game to the second game than any other time. We've got a game under our best and we've learned a lot from that experience. We now have a week to prepare for the next game and get ourselves on track. We've got a lot of youth on the offensive side of the ball" said Coach Tim Stowers.

The Series with New Hampshire

Record: New Hampshire leads the series that began on Sept. 23, 1905 by a 45-25-5 margin. Record at URI: New Hampshire leads 20-17-2. Last game: the Wildcats won 37-14 on Sept. 14, 1999. Record at UNH: New Hampshire leads 25-8-3. Last game: the Wildcats won 9-7 on Nov. 14, 1998. First Meeting: Sept. 23, 1905. New Hampshire won 6-0 in Durham, N.H. Last Meeting: Sept. 4, 1999. New Hampshire won 37-14 at Meade Stadium. Last URI Win: Sept. 13, 1997. Rhode Island won 35-21 its lone home victory in 1997. Last UNH Win: Sept. 4, 1999. New Hampshire won 37-14 at Meade Stadium. URI's Longest Win Streak: Four (1964-67). UNH's Longest Win Streak: Seven (1928, 1942, 1946-50). URI's Largest Margin: 27. Rhode Island won 27-0 on Oct. 6, 1951. UNH's Largest Margin: 52. New Hampshire won 59-7 on Halloween, Oct. 31, 1970. Notes: New Hampshire is Rhode Island's fourth oldest rival (75 meetings) ... the two teams have met every year since Rhode Island resumed football in 1946 following the conclusion of World War II ... New Hampshire has won 11 of the last 14 match-ups ... the Rams are 1-6 in the last seven games in Durham, N.H. since 1984 ... three of the last four meetings between the two teams were in Kingston, R.I. ... the Sept. 4, 1999 meeting was the coaching debut for Sean McDonnell ... the Wildcats won the game 37-14 ... in the last game in Durham, N.H., the Rams lost 9-7 in a defensive struggle ... the Rams were 3-7 versus the Wildcats in the 1990s.

Last Game with New Hampshire

New Hampshire  37
Rhode Island   14
September 4, 1999, Kingston, R.I.

Coach Floyd Keith unveiled a new offense with mixed results as Rhode Island (0-1, 0-1) fell to New Hampshire (1-0, 1-0), 37-14. With the addition of Maryland-transfer Ken Mastrole at quarterback, Keith switched to a three wide receiver offense.

Mastrole completed 20-of-43 passes for 217 yards but it wasn't enough as the Wildcats amassed 504 yards, led by tailback Dan Curran's 173 yards.

New Hampshire scored the first three times it had the ball and led, 20-7, after one quarter. On their first possession, the Wildcats moved 80 yards on eight plays and scored when Jermaine Washington hauled in a 12-yard pass. The Rams evened the score with a 45-yard pass from Mastrole to Karim Gibson. The Wildcats took the ensuing kickoff and marched 76 yards in nine plays with Curran bulling in from one yard out. Imion Powell returned a punt 76 yards to give the Wildcats a 20-7 lead.

A Brian Droney interception set up Rhode Island's other score. Mastrole hit Salim Wellington with a 20-yard scoring pass before halftime.

Curran scored on an 18-yard run in the third quarter and dashed 63 yards for another score in the final stanza as first-year New Hampshire coach Sean McDonnell won his first game.

New Hampshire   20  3  7  7-  37
Rhode Island    7   7  0  0-  14
UNH- Jermaine Washington 12 pass from Ryan Day (Peter Carbonara kick)
URI- Karim Gibson 45 pass from Ken Mastrole (Ryan Szczesniak kick)
UNH- Dan Curran 1 run (Carbonara kick)
UNH- Imion Powell 88 punt return (Carbonara kick)
URI- Salim Wellington 20 pass from Mastrole (Szczesniak kick)
UNH- Carbonara 37 FG
UNH- Curran 18 run (Carbonara kick)
UNH- Curran 63 run (Carbonara kick)
Attendance: 2,419.

This Date in Rhode Island History

Rhode Island has posted a 2-1 (.667) record in games played on Sept. 9. The Rams are 1-0 at Meade Stadium and 1-1 on the road in Sept. 9 contests. The Rams didn't play their first Sept. 9 game until 1978. In that game, Delaware whitewashed the Rams, 37-0, in Newark, Del. in a non-conference tilt. In 1989, Rhode Island pounded Richmond, 45-14 in a non-conference contest. In the last game played on this date, the Rams slipped past Maine, 17-13, in a game played in Kingston. In that contest, the Black Bears moved to the two-yard in the closing minutes of play but the Ram defense toughed and forced Maine to turn the ball over on downs.

Electrifying!

Rhode Island's Sept. 2 season-opener with Delaware was stopped with 2:08 left to play by an electrical storm that soaked Rhode Island and included thunder and lightning. The Blue Hens won the contest, 29-7.

On the Road Again

Rhode Island has struggled on the road, losing 20 of the last 22 games away from Meade Stadium since 1996. The Rams have lost 10 consecutive road games since an 18-17 win at Maine on Oct. 10, 1998. In that game, Matt Walker booted an 18-yard field goal in the final seconds of play to boost the Rams to the win.

A Class Line-Up

Rhode Island's 22-man starting offensive and defensive line-up includes a host of newcomers. The offense boasts five underclassmen among the starters and just one senior. The defensive unit lists nine upperclassmen among the starters. The breakdown: Freshmen: 4 (2 offense, 2 defense), Sophomores: 5 (3 offense, 2 defense), Juniors: 9 (5 offense, 4 defense), Seniors: 6 (1 offense, 5 defense)

Nedimyer Eases in at Quarterback

Junior quarterback Vince Nedimyer, who saw limited action in his first two seasons in a Rhode Island uniform, came of age in the second-half against Delaware on Sept. 2. After completing just 2-of-7 passes for 13 yard while suffering a pair of first half interceptions, Nedimyer felt more comfortable with Rhode Island's new spread offense and completed 5-of-9 passes for 47 yards with no interceptions in the second half against the Blue Hens. He also carried the ball 18 times in the contest.

New Coaching Staff

First-year Rhode Island coach Tim Stowers has revamped the Ram coaching staff. The staff boasts 71 years coaching experience. Tim Stowers (Head Coach),20 years experience, Bryan Durrington (DB),14 years experience, Darrell Funk (LB),13 years experience, Ashley Ingram (OL),4 years experience, Vinny Marino (RB),8 years experience Rob Sarvis (DL),3 years experience, Ray Butler (Offense),7 years experience, Carnelius Cruz (Offense),2 years experience, Mike Wear (Defense),First year, Jeff Weaver (Defense),First year

Yards Per Down

Rhode Island's yardage gained by down breakdown in 2000: 1st down- 33 yards on 19 plays (1.7 average), 2nd down- 61 yards on 17 plays (3.6 average), 3rd down- 7 yards on 13 plays (0.5 average), 4th down- -9 yards on 1 play (-9.0 average)

Happy Birthday!

On Sept. 5, linebacker Bryan Colahan turned 19. On Sept. 9 (game day), wide receiver Mike Guido turns 19. On Sept. 11, quarterback Ray Barker turns 18.

September Mourn

Following a 35-21 win over New Hampshire on Sept. 13, 1997, Rhode Island as lost nine straight Sept. games. The Rams are 1-9 in Sept. over the last three-plus seasons.

Third Down Conversions

In 1999, the Rams were 60-200 (.300) and the opponents were 78-of-181 (.431) on third downs. In the Sept. 2 game with Delaware, the Blue Hens were 10-of-19 (.526) and the Rams were 2-of-13 (.154).

Burial Ground Unearthed

A year ago, plans for the new Convocation Center moved into high gear. But as preliminary work began, the project hit a snag. As engineering consultants began drilling soil test holes, the existence of 36 gravesites was discovered in the southwest corner of the football field's south endzone.

The Providence Journal reported that the graves are of the family of Nathaniel Niles, who owned the property for most of the 18th century. The cemetery was part of the 140-acre Oliver Watson-Tefft farm that was later donated to the state of Rhode Island as the site of the new state university.

The area is one of few in the North in which slave owners and slaves were buried together, making the site more noteworthy.

The site was rediscovered in 1986 when electricians uncovered bones while installing a scoreboard. Local historian Marjorie Schunke said that the bones belonged to her ancestors, the Niles family, and asked that they be left undisturbed. The area had been a gathering place for those waiting to buy hot dogs and soft drinks at a since-removed refreshment stand.

In the Red Zone

In 1999, the Rams have ventured into the red zone (inside the 20 yard line) 54 times, scoring 30 times (.556). The breakdown: Touchdowns:20, Field Goals:10, Missed Field Goals:8, Interceptions:4, Fumbles:5, Turned over on Downs:7

In the 2000 season-opener vs. Delaware, the Rams did not penetrate the red zone. Rhode Island's touchdown was scored on a fumble recovery return.

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