Saturday’s loss to Maine, 38-34, was certainly disappointing for the Great Danes. UAlbany, ranked #13 in the national FCS polls, was coming off of an impressive win over then-ranked #14 New Hampshire. The Black Bears, on the other sideline, were licking their wounds after getting completely blown out by #19 Delaware, 37-0 last Saturday. Logic may have predicted a UAlbany victory in Orono. This is the fall season of 2020 being played in March of 2021. This is CAA (Colonial Athletic Conference) football. Throw in a seven and a half-hour team bus ride and all logic goes out the window.
Did you notice all of the nationally ranked teams mentioned? The CAA is full of them. In fact, the FCS national rankings are topped by CAA powerhouse, James Madison at #1. #6 Villanova comes to Tom & Mary Casey Stadium on April 10th to end this pandemic produced spring season. UAlbany plays a tough Division I college football schedule featuring world-class student-athletes.
Come on FCS football? “If it’s not Notre Dame or Alabama or Clemson, they’re not NFL quality players…” Wrong. 141 NFL players at the start of last season came from FCS institutions with another 66 on practice squads, several were UAlbany alumni. Jarren Williams debuted for the New York Giants in December. In 2019, he was wearing purple and gold for the Great Danes.
One of the top quarterbacks taken in this year’s NFL draft will be Trey Lance. ESPN projects him to go as the 12th pick. He played his college football at North Dakota State, an FCS powerhouse. UAlbany opens their REAL 2021 season on September 4th at North Dakota State. Two weeks later they will face Syracuse. I think you get the picture.
UAlbany football has a bright future. Head Coach Greg Gattuso said on the Levack Show this week, here on 104.5 FM, The Team, that senior running back Karl Mofar is “one of the best all-around football players” that he has ever been around. Gattuso was surrounded by scores of NFL players while coaching at Pitt and Maryland. Redshirt sophomore, Jeff Undercuffler led all of FCS football in touchdowns with 41 and helped UAlbany win their first FCS playoff game. These guys are good, really good.
You may want to remember the names. You might see them on your favorite NFL team someday. The Great Danes will be at home on Saturday to take on Rhode Island. You can listen to every down of UAlbany football right here on 104.5 FM, The Team, or the FREE 1045theteam app.