Thursday, September 2, 2010

University of Albany FCS Football Begins Season With 1st Shutout in 31 Years in 3-0 Opening Win Against Maine - UAlbany Sports 2010

Orono, Maine - Herb Glass booted a first-quarter field goal and the defense recorded its first shutout in an opener since 1979, as UAlbany started the season with a 3-0 victory over Maine before 7,610 fans on Thursday, Sept. 2 at hot and humid Alfond Stadium.

UAlbany held off a serious threat in the fourth quarter to record its first season-opening win since 2006. The Black Bears marched from their own 20-yard line behind the passing of reserve quarterback Chris Treister and fullback Jared Turcotte. But the Great Danes rose to the occasion at their own 30-yard line when cornerback Kareem Cooper stuffed a third-down run a and safety Jake Ciccarello pressured Treister into a incomplete pass on fourth down.

After the Great Danes were forced to punt, Treister threw two incomplete passes and then was forced from the pocket on fourth down where linebacker Dave Plungas wrapped him up. UAlbany's offense ran out the final three minutes and 12 seconds. Andrew Smith, a sophomore who plays both tailback and quarterback, ran four consecutive times. He finished with 129 yards on 27 attempts.

"It was hot for both teams and we played a lot of kids," said UAlbany coach Bob Ford, as the temperature hovered in the mid-80s at kickoff. "The defense was superb. They pressured the quarterback, knocked down passes and rose to every challenge. It was a great win."

In the first half, the Great Danes controlled the flow with their stingy defense and an offense that held on to the football for nearly 19 minutes. Following Ciccarello's interception on Maine's first possesion, UAlbany used 11 plays to set up Glass' 21 yard field goal. Dan Di Lella, who was making his first collegiate start at quarterback and completed 16 of 33 passes for 117 yards, kept the scoring sequence alive when he avoided two defenders to hook up with Ryan Kirchner on a fourth-down pass for 11 yards. Smith then lugged the ball four straight times deep into Maine territory.

Both teams had turnovers in a scoreless second quarter. Maine tailback Derek Session fumbled after catching a Smith slant pass and UAlbany safety Rob Cervini came up with the recovery. However, the Black Bears' defense stiffened and Glass' 49-yard field goal attempt was short. The Great Danes were on the move later in the period, but linebacker Donte Dennis sacked Di Lella near midfield on a blitz up the middle. After UAlbany's Smith fumbled with 1:17 left before the break, Maine went four-and-out on a drive that started at the visitors' 35-yard line.

"We had eleven guys flying to the ball on every play," stated defensive end Eddie Delaney, whose unit also stopped a fourth-down quarterback sneak at the UAlbany 34 with 1:53 remaining in the third quarter. "Everyone did their job. We rotated and kept people fresh due to the weather. They were a pretty physical team and we matched up to them."

UAlbany recorded its first shutout since the 2008 Gridiron Classic against Jacksonville by holding Maine to 246 total yards and forcing three turnovers. The Great Danes had an opportunity to take firm control in the third quarter, but tailback Tramaine Wilson fumbled on first-and-goal at the 6-yard line and Dennis made the recovery.

"Defense, defense, defense is all I can say," Smith explained. "We just need to do a better job of protecting the ball. Our offensive line did a good job and we able to get first downs and move the chains. Our defense was able to get rest."

Treister, who took over at quarterback to begin the second half for starter Warren Smith, threw for 63 on 7-of-17 pass attempts. Smith was just 5-of-13 through the air for 49 yards. Turcotte, who missed all of last season with an injury, added 80 yards on the ground for the Black Bears, who were receiving votes in both Division I FCS national polls.

Paw Prints: UAlbany posted its first shutout in a season opener since a 10-0 victory over Hobart in 1979 ... the Great Danes last won their opener in 2006, a 17-16 decision at Lehigh in the rain and mud ... UAlbany upped its record to 7-11 in Division I FCS games decided by three points or less ... the Great Danes started with a Colonial Athletic Association opponent for the seventh time in 12 FCS seasons ... Herb Glass moved into fourth place all-time with his 19th career field goal ... WR Ryan Kirchner posted career-highs in receptions (7) and receiving yardage (610) ... the Great Danes played in the lowest scoring game in the 38-year history of UAlbany football ... Springfield previously won a 6-0 contest against UAlbany on Oct. 3, 1986.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

No comments:

Web Site Hit Counters
Precision M4300