Danes Lose Playing Chicken
NEWARK, D.E. — The UAlbany men’s football team dropped their sixth game in a row after suffering a 22-3 drumming at the hands of the University of Delaware Blue Hens on the road Saturday.
The Great Danes could only muster 120 yards of total offense as Will Brunson threw three interceptions in the blow-out loss and for the fourth game this season, UAlbany could not find the end zone.
UAlbany head coach Greg Gattuso was not pleased with his offensive unit, but he did show praise the way his defense fought hard the whole game and never gave up.
“Our defense, it was one of the best performances and efforts I’ve ever seen,” said Gattuso. “They were unbelievable. They were resilient; they played their tails off. We can hang our hats on our effort.”
The defense only surrendered 3 points at the half and kept the Danes in the game most of the way until late in the contest. The only problem is the fact that they were on the field for 36:55.
Eli Mencer forced his third fumble of the season and Nate Hatalsky finished the game with 19 tackles — a game high. Hatalsky leads the Colonial Athletic Association in tackles this season and he and Mencer have been anchors on this Great Dane defense.
“They’ve been good. That’s where older guys, who’ve been around, they have a dedication that younger guys don’t always get,” said Gattuso. “They play like there’s no tomorrow, because their tomorrow is fast approaching. Hats off to Nate Hatalsky.”
Hatalsky is a fifth year senior and has one game left in his college career.
As far as the rest of the team, they have some serious soul-searching to do. In the same year it seemed like the program was taking a step in the right direction, the team regressed and looks like they have a lot of holes that need to be filled.
Last year the team was averaging over 170 rushing yards per game. This year the team has averaged under 100 and every game they play they look worse and worse.
“I think the offensive line has regressed,” said Gattuso.
There’s four new starters on the line this year, but they were holding their own at the start of the season. Through the first four games they were not a problem and the Danes touted a 3-1 record.
Since then the team has lost six games in a row and can’t establish a run or passing game due to defensive linemen getting in the backfield on a good number of plays. This mixed with the fact that the All-American running back Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks is out for the season was a recipe for disaster.
The Danes have one last game on their schedule for the 2017 season. That is a chance for them to go out and take the field with some pride. This Saturday the Danes play host to the 18th ranked New Hampshire Wildcats, who are currently 6-3. The game itself may not matter it terms of the season for the Danes, but it gives them an opportunity to play spoiler and knock off a good team.