Spring Game Shows Room to Grow
By Troy Farkas
The University at Albany fans got their first look at the future at the annual spring football game Saturday afternoon at Tom and Mary Casey Stadium at Bob Ford Field.
The scrimmage, which featured a mixture of first and second string players in an offense vs. defense format, was not structured like a normal game. The four quarters were accompanied by a running clock and the offense and defense each received points for a certain play. For example, an interception was worth six points for the defense, while a touchdown was worth six points for the offense. The final score was 56-32 in favor of the defense.
Skylor Clinton, a freshman who transferred this semester from University of Wyoming was a new addition to the defense Saturday. Clinton believes their performance is a good step in preparation for the fall. “Our defense really picked things up and played well.”
The defense, wearing the team’s alternate anthracite gray uniforms, forced three fumbles and intercepted four passes from rising sophomore Neven Sussman in the process. Sussman finished the afternoon 7-16 for 72 yards, with three interceptions. DJ Crook, the redshirt junior that started for UAlbany last fall, put up similar numbers, completing seven passes for a total of 55 yards. “I thought the game went well and the team really competed, which as been the main focus this spring,” said Crook, now through his second spring game as a Great Dane. “The offense had some struggles, but the defense really played well creating turnovers. The spring game is just a big learning event for the team as we can fix what went wrong with the last three practices of the spring.”
Crook and head coach Greg Gattuso have similar thoughts about the experience. “We still have some growing to do to get where we need to be,” Gattuso said. “I definitely like where we’re at right now.”