The Central Connecticut football team, riding a school-record eight game winning streak, head to Durham, NH, on Saturday, Nov. 25 for the first round of the NCAA FCS Playoffs. The game will kick off at 2 p.m. and will air live on ESPN3. Central earned an automatic bid to the playoffs by virtue of a perfect 6-0 record in Northeast Conference play, the first unbeaten league mark for any team since 2008. The Blue Devils finished the conference season unbeaten for the first time ever. They won their fifth over NEC title and the first since 2010.
GAMEDAY INFORMATION | Wildcat Stadium (Durham, NH)
Northeast Conference Champions • The Blue Devils won their fifth Northeast Conference title with an undefeated 6-0 league record. It's the first unbeaten conference season for an NEC team since 2008. The league title is the fifth for CCSU since the 2004 season, and their first since 2010. With the title came the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Playoffs, the first-ever bid for CCSU.
Today's Game • The Blue Devils will travel to Durham, NH to meet the Wildcats of New Hampshire for their first-ever NCAA Playoff game, but the Wildcats and Blue Devils are not strangers on the football field. This marks the ninth meeting between the two teams, most recently in 2015. CCSU has also played on the road at UNH in 2003, 2010, 2012 and 2015. The other meetings came in 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1978.
Looking for Nine Straight W's • The Blue Devils have won eight straight games in a single season for the first time in school history. Central has never won nine straight games in a single season. The last streak of nine of more straight wins came from 1954-55 when CCSU won nine straight games (all six games of 1954 season and first three of 1955).
Rossomando Coach of the Year and Eddie Robinson Finalist • Fourth-year head coach Pete Rossomando was named the NEC Coach of the Year on Wednesday. On Tuesday he was named an Eddie Robinson Award finalist for the National Coach of the Year Award.
All-Conference Awards • Eleven Blue Devils earned All-Conference honors on Wednesday afternoon. Redshirt freshman Connor Mignone was named the league's Offensive Rookie of the Year, becoming the first lineman to win the award in its 22-year history. He was also named to the All-NEC First Team. Joining him on the First Team were sophomore tight end Arthur Gilmore, sophomore offensive lineman J'Von Brown, senior defensive lineman Seth Manzanares, senior lineback Randall LaGuerre and senior defensive back Jarrod Cann. On the Second Team were senior running back Cam Nash, junior defensive lineman Chris Tinkham, junior linebacker Kenneth Keen, senior defensive back Najae Brown and senior punter Frankie Palmer.
Turnovers • The Blue Devils are seventh in the country in turnover margin this season (+13) having forced 11 fumbles and intercepted 14 passes this season, while losing just five fumbles and throwing seven interceptions in 11 games.
123 Yards • The Blue Devils allowed just 123 total offensive yards to St. Francis on Nov. 4. Since moving to the FCS/I-AA level in 1993, it's the fewest yards the Blue Devils have ever allowed to another Division I opponents, a span of 264 games.
Defensive TD's • The Blue Devils lead the country in defensive touchdowns this season with six. The Blue Devils have returned two fumbles and four interceptions for a touchdown in the 11 games this season. Senior Najae Brown and junior Tymir Hinton each have a pair of those touchdowns.
Interceptions for a Score • The Blue Devils have now returned seven interceptions for a touchdown in their last 21 games, dating back to last season. Junior Tymir Hinton returned an interception 100 yards in the four overtime win over Wagner on Oct. 14, the fourth pick for a score this year for the Blue Devils. Central has intercepted 11 passes during its seven-game winning streak and has a pick-6 in four of the last seven games. CCSU tied an NCAA record by returning an interception in four straight games from Sept. 23 through Oct. 14.
26 or More • The Blue Devils are riding an eight-game winning streak and have scored 26 or more points in each of those eight games. It's the first time in school history that CCSU has 26 or more points in eight consecutive games.
Nash Reaches 1,000 and 2,000 • Senior Cam Nash reached the 1,000 yard mark for the season with 140 yards on the ground last week vs. Robert Morris. The first 1,000 yard season for a Blue Devil since 2014. Nash enters today's game with 1,003 yards and 13 rushing TD this season. Earlier this year he became the sixth player in school history to rush for 2,000 career yards. Nash enters today with 2,311 career rushing yards, fifth all-time in CCSU history.
Overtime, Again • The Blue Devils played one of the most memorable games in school history earlier this year topping Wagner 51-45 in 4OT on Staten Island. The game is the longest in school history and the ninth-ever overtime game for CCSU. The Blue Devils are now 6-3 all-time in overtime. Central had previously played three double overtime games and were 1-2 in those games. They lost 23-17 at Robert Morris in 2006, won 49-48 at Monmouth in 2010 and lost 51-44 at Lehigh in 2013, all in double OT.
Points • The Blue Devils have outscored their opponents 315-152 during their eight-game winning streak.
57 Points • The Blue Devils scored 57 points in the home victory over Walsh earlier this season, the most points in the four seasons under Rossomando, and the most points in a single game since a 62-21 home victory over St. Francis U on Oct. 7, 2006.