Friday, August 29, 2008

UAlbany Football Begins 2008 Schedule Against Fifth-Ranked Massachusetts on Saturday

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

UAlbany vs. No. 5 Massachusetts

Saturday, August 30, 2008

McGuirk Alumni Stadium (17,000/FieldTurf)

Amherst, Mass., 6:00 p.m. Eastern

Radio: WOFX-980 AM (

Amherst, Mass. – UAlbany begins its 2008 football schedule against Massachusetts, ranked No. 5 nationally in both the Sports Network and FCS Coaches’ preseason polls, on Saturday, Aug. 30. Kickoff is 6:00 p.m. The Minutemen, who play in the Colonial Athletic Association, have won back-to-back conference championships and own a 14-game home winning streak at McGuirk Alumni Stadium.

UMass reached the NCAA quarterfinals last year and returns Walter Payton Award candidate Liam Coen. The senior quarterback passed for 3,091 yards and 30 touchdowns in 2007. The Minutemen feature a suffocating defense led All-American and NFL prospect Sean Smalls. A first-team All-CAA cornerback, Smalls had 49 tackles and defended 12 passes one year ago.

“I think the end product of this is you develop tougher kids because they’re playing tougher people,” said UAlbany coach Bob Ford, whose team faces its most challenging schedule since upgrading to the NCAA Division I FCS level in 1999. The Great Danes will also face non-league opponents Hofstra, New Hampshire and Delaware.

The defending Northeast Conference champions are playing a season opener in the month August for the first time. David McCarty, a junior tailback, is among eleven returning starters. He finished 10th among the FCS rushing leaders last year at 125.3 yards per game. Tom Pandolf, a first-team All-NEC defensive tackle, and safety Dave West (60 tackles) lead the defensive unit. West is one of six players on the current UAlbany roster who played against UMass in 2005.

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