Saturday, October 16, 2010

UAlbany Football Preview

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University at Albany coach Bob Ford doesn’t believe in living in the past. This week in practice, he didn’t need to bring up last year’s game against Robert Morris because his players have it fresh in their minds. “They came to our place last year and beat us on our own turf,” junior defensive lineman Zach Gallo said after Thursday’s practice.

“We want revenge. We’re going to their place and we want to get this big win.” The Colonials defeated the Great Danes 13-10 last season, ending UAlbany’s 12-game home winning streak.

Today, at Joe Walton Stadium, UAlbany (1-1, 3-2) gets that chance to extract a little revenge against Robert Morris (4-0, 5-1). Kickoff is at noon. The Colonials have a five-game home winning streak and are one of two unbeatens remaining in the Northeast Conference.

While the Great Danes have played two conference games, the Colonials are halfway through their conference schedule. The UAlbany players don’t want to get to far ahead of themselves, but they realize this game could go a long way in determining which team wins the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs. “This game could make or break our season,” Gallo said.

“We take each week seriously, but this week, we really hyped it up.” The game takes on even more importance for the Great Danes because they’ve previously traveled to Pittsburgh and lost a conference game at Duquesne. “The team that wins (the league) is probably going to have a loss,” Ford said.

“I don’t know whether the team that wins it will have two losses, so that would really dig a hole for us.” UAlbany is coming off of their best game of the season, a 48-0 victory over St. Francis (Pa.). “Everything we did was phenomenal,” Ford said. The Great Danes haven’t turned the ball over in their past two games, both victories.

In the two games before that, both losses, UAlbany had five turnovers. “If you don’t turn it over and you’re playing pretty good defense, you got a shot in a lot of games,” Ford said.

The Great Danes defense will be challenged this week. Robert Morris’ quarterback, Jeff Sinclair, is averaging more than 200 yards passing per game and their top tailback, Myles Russ, is averaging more than 100 yards rushing per game. “It’s going to be a challenge for our defense,” Gallo said. “We pride ourselves on stopping the run, so this is our test.” UAlbany is hoping this is a test they can pass. By Andrew Santillo The Record ALBANY —

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