Friday, October 23, 2009

UAlbany & Monmouth Match Up in Saturday's Annual Northeast Conference Football Battle

West Long Branch, N.J. - UAlbany squares off with Monmouth in Northeast Conference play on Saturday, Oct. 24 at Kessler Field. The series has annually had an impact on determining the conference champion. Kickoff is 1:00 p.m. Fans can listen to the game on Fox Sports 980, WOFX-AM, with Rodger Wyland and Greg Tobben handling the broadcast.

Monmouth (3-3, NEC 2-1) has won or shared five NEC championships in its history. The Hawks got back on the winning track in last Saturday's 42-20 triumph against Sacred Heart. Redshirt freshman quarterback Kyle Frazier passed for 322 yards and four touchdowns. Frazier, who has made three consecutive starts, has not thrown an interception this season.

David Sinisi, last year's NEC Offensive Player of the Year and a third-team Associated Press All-America running back, is one of the top players in the nation. He ranks third among the Division I FCS leaders in rushing at 130.5 yards per game. He is first on the conference's all-time scoring list with 390 points and is second in rushing yards with 4,395.

The Hawks' defense is led by strong safety Jose Gumbs, the 2008 NEC Defensive Rookie of the Year. Gumbs, a physical player, has 37 tackles on the season. He was named the ECAC and NEC defensive player of the week with 10 total hits and a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown against Wagner.

UAlbany (5-2, NEC 4-0) extended its winning streak to five straight in a tough 20-17 battle with Bryant on Oct. 17. Quarterback Vinny Esposito, the league's co-offensive player of the week, passed for a season-high 280 yards and a pair of second-half scores that put his team ahead. Tim Bush tied the program's FCS receptions mark with 10 catches for 135 yards. Jason Poore had a career day with eight receptions for 73 yards and one TD.

The Great Danes are ranked 21st nationally in rushing defense at 98.1 yards per game. UAlbany defenders held Bryant to 30 net rushing yards, the lowest figure by an opponent since Nov. 4, 2006. Free safety Dave Casale had a team-high eight tackles and two pass break-ups last week. Linebackers Justin Brancaccio (60) and Dave Nicomini (49) are the squad's top tacklers this season.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

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