Sunday, September 28, 2014

#24 University of Albany Football Cruises To, 42-7, Victory Over Columbia - UAlbany Sports 2014

Courtesy: UA Sports

ALBANY, N.Y. – Totaling a season-high 490 yards of offense with 373 rushing yards as a team, including redshirt senior Omar Osbourne’s 193-yard performance, the No. 24 University at Albany football team ran away with a 42-7 win over the visiting Columbia University Lions Saturday night at Bob Ford Field. The Great Danes scored 35 unanswered points in the first half en route to the team’s fourth straight victory this season. While UAlbany stayed perfect with a 4-0 record, the Lions of the Ivy League fell to 0-2 overall.

Osbourne carried the ball 15 times and netted a season-high 193 rushing yards, including two touchdown scampers in the second quarter – a 45-yarder and a 57-yarder. Osbourne accrued 213 all-purpose yards in the victory, also connecting with quarterback Will Fiacchi for a 20-yard pass.

“The blocking was great,” said Osbourne. “The line did a phenomenal job and the receivers did a great job blocking down the field. I just did my job.” The performance marked Osbourne’s 10th 100+ rushing-yard game in his career and third straight this season.

While UAlbany weighed heavily on its ground game, Fiacchi matched his career-high with three touchdown tosses, completing 6-of-16 passes for 117 yards. He also added his first rushing touchdown of the year.

Freshman wide receiver Josh Gontarek recorded two receptions for 29-yards, including a 20-yard touchdown catch. He also ran the ball twice including a 65-yard dash – the team’s longest of the season. Redshirt senior wide receiver Cole King also had two receptions and a touchdown grab, totaling 24-receiving yards, while redshirt freshman Brad Harris made his first career reception -- a 44-yard touchdown catch.

Defensively, redshirt senior Christian Dorsey recorded a career-high 15 tackles (3 solo), followed by junior Kyle Sakowski’s career-high 14 tackles (4 solo), a fumble recovery, and three pass breakups. The Great Danes benefited 14 points off five total turnovers in the victory.

Exploding to a 35-0 head start in the first half, UAlbany broke onto the board with 8:38 remaining in the opening quarter. On the second play of the drive, Harris turned his first collegiate reception into a 44-yard touchdown run, breaking free from the Columbia secondary.

Featuring four straight successful scoring drives in the second quarter, the Great Danes matched the program’s Division I record with 28 points in the period.  

“I thought we played a great first half,” said Head Coach Greg Gattuso. “I was worried if they were ready or not to be honest. But they played as good as we could play in the first half.”

UAlbany made it 14-0 with 12:05 on the clock. The Danes worked their way down the gridiron 89-yards on eight plays, ending with Fiacchi’s 13-yard pass to King. Just 36 seconds later, UAlbany created a 21-point margin, as TJ Idowu forced a fumble on the kickoff and Sakowksi recovered at the Columbia-35. After a 10-yard holding penalty, Osbourne broke through the line and made up the difference with a 45-yard touchdown run.

Forcing the Lions to punt, UAlbany used six plays to cover 64-yards, taking a 28-0 advantage on Gontarek’s 20-yard touchdown reception with 6:19 to go in the half. The bludgeoning continued, as the defense turned their pressure into seven more points for the Great Danes. Rayshan Clark tallied a sack and forced a fumble, cleanly stripping the ball from Columbia quarterback Brett Nottingham and Jack Forster recovered. Like deja vu, Osbourne took his first handoff 54-yards up the middle and into the end zone, giving UAlbany a 35-0 lead at the break.

Slowing the pace of the game down, both squads went scoreless in the third quarter. The Lions recorded their first and only points of the contest with 11:55 to go in the fourth, as Cameron Molina capped a six-play, 71-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown push. Molina led Columbia with 95-rushing yards and 137 all-purpose yards.

UAlbany got the points back on its next drive, using five plays to travel 77-yards. After back-to-back 4-yard runs by sophomore Andre Martin, Fiacchi ended the drive with a 1-yard run, marking his first rushing touchdown of the season. Martin contributed 60 rushing yards on 11 carries.

Columbia’s Nottingham totaled 185 passing yards, completing 16-of-32 passes with two interceptions.

“Really, the last three weeks we've easily handled our opponents and we've gotten better,” said Gattuso. “We're going to have a hard time easily handling opponents going forward, but the big thing is to me they're gaining confidence, and I think they believe in each other, which is big."

Up next, UAlbany’s strength of schedule will get tougher as the Danes step back into CAA play, hosting James Madison on Oct. 4th. Kickoff at Bob Ford Field is slated for 6:00 p.m.

No comments:

Web Site Hit Counters
Precision M4300