Great Danes Score Six Touchdowns in Home Opener
ALBANY, N.Y.- The University at Albany Great Danes were triumphant in their battle with the University of Bryant Bulldogs on Saturday night. Bob and Mary Casey stadium held 5,014 spectators that were treated to a 45-3 victory as the Danes won their sixth straight home opener.
“We weren’t sharp. We dropped some balls, had some silly penalties, and some of those things reared their ugly heads,” said coach Greg Gattuso. “But we fought through them, which we did a really good job of. We teach our kids to persevere.”
UAlbany running backs, junior Karl Mofor and redshirt junior Alex James, were a two-headed monster in the backfield, rushing for a combined 354 yard and a touchdown. Redshirt freshman Jeff Undercuffler lead the Danes’ passing attack, throwing for 95 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, the Danes were anchored by linebacker Levi Metheny who recorded 12 tackles.
“My offensive line played phenomenal. Every yard I ran for is accredited to them,” James said. “[Mofor] and I, our style of running goes together well. If one day I’m off, he’s on. If he’s off, I’m on. We have the best back in the CAA [Mofor] sitting right next to me”.
Bryant was lead by Dan Adeboboye, who rushed for 81 yard and quarterback Chris Hindle who threw for 107 yards and two interceptions.
UAlbany forced the first turnover of the game when Hindle’s pass was intercepted by redshirt senior Josh Wynn at the UAlbany 11-yard line with nine minutes left in the first quarter.
Both offenses started the night slow until James dashed up the sideline for an 80-yard touchdown. James’ run is tied for the seventh longest rushing touchdown in program history.
The Danes made the score 14-0 in the second quarter, as Undercuffler capped off a nine play, 66-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Jerah Reeves.
Hindle continued his ice-cold first half, throwing another interception to Jerran Williams that would be returned for a Great Dane touchdown. The Danes led 21-0.
On the following kickoff, the Danes forced and recovered a Bryant fumble on the 28-yard line. Undercuffler would capitalize on the mistake, tossing a touchdown to tight end L.J. Wesneski, capping a 28-point first half..
The Bryant coaching staff decided to make a switch at quarterback following their offensive struggles in the first half. Hindle was replaced by junior Kory Curtis, who failed to complete a pass the entire third quarter.
Undercuffler struck again with 3:28 left in the third quarter, stumbling into the endzone for nine yard touchdown. The Danes increased their lead to 35-0.
With 9:38 left in the game, a 14 play, 73-yard Great Dane drive was capped off with a field goal by redshirt junior Dylan Burns.
Curtis began to come out of his slump, and drove the Bulldogs down the field with a 37 yard completion to Kareen Gibson. The Bulldogs would fall short of a touchdown on the drive, and settle for a field goal from Luke Samperi that made the score 38-3. The Danes defense lost their shutout.
Late in the fourth, with the Danes up against their own endzone, James once again broke through the ailing Bryant defense, bolting up the field for an 83-yard run. The play was originally called a touchdown, but was overturned because James stepped out of bounds at the two yard line. Jah Dabney finished the job as he plowed into the endzone for the final score of the game.
UAlbany will look to carry the momentum and continue their quest to turn the program around after two straight losing seasons in a road match-up at Monmouth University on Sept. 14.