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Tigers Shred Danes 56-28 on Homecoming Weekend

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Before the game, all the talk was about the quarterback matchup – Testaverde vs Flacco.

After the 56-28 blowout victory by the Towson Tigers (6-1, 4-0 CAA) over the University at Albany Great Danes (2-5, 0-4 CAA), the only conversation was the dominance by the CAA’s top team and what’s next for the Danes after their third straight loss.

Behind four touchdowns by Towson quarterback Tom Flacco (two passing, two rushing), the Tigers compiled 538 total yards of offense versus the Great Danes in front of over 7000 fans at Casey Stadium in Albany on Homecoming Weekend. The 6-foot-1 junior even sat out a majority of the fourth quarter.

“When you put up 56 points, you can’t complain,” Flacco said. “Our defense played great too… you feel good whenever you win.”

Flacco is the younger brother of current Baltimore Ravens QB and Super Bowl XLVII MVP Joe Flacco. Joe played his college ball with the University of Delaware, which joined the CAA conference in 2007, his senior season.

“I grew up a Chuck Noll fan in Pittsburgh,” UAlbany head coach Greg Gattuso said. “After tough losses, he always said – and it’s what I believe – that after tough losses, you go back to basics, work on fundamentals and get better.”

Despite the skid, it won’t get easier for Gattuso’s team, who face FCS Top-25 opponents in three of their next four matchups, starting with No. 16 Maine on the road next week.

Vincent Testaverde, the son of 21-year NFL veteran and Heisman Trophy winner Vinny Testaverde, finished 10 for 22 passes with 210 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.

“Not really,” Testaverde said when describing the team’s ability to finish the drive. “Two touchdowns is not enough.”

Testaverde also had a 1-yard TD rush on the ground with 5:55 left in the first half to pull the deficit to 24-14. On the play before, Testaverde gave the ball to running back Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks, who then flipped it to wide receiver Jerrah Reeves on a reverse. Reeves rolled to his left and found Green 22 yards downfield, setting up the Danes from the 1.

Junior wide receiver Juwan Green continues to impress, racking up his second consecutive 100-yard receiving game. He had two touchdowns on 50 and 60 yard passes from Testaverde.

It was UAlbany’s fifth straight game with a 100-yard receiver and his second straight, finishing with 135 after his 130-yard performance versus Richmond last week.

The Homecoming atmosphere made for one of the Great Danes’ best crowds of the season. Once Flacco scored on a one-yard rushing touchdown to make it 49-21 with 6:53 left in the third, the fans started to head for the exits.

Towson takes sole possession of first place in the CAA after their win and the loss by second-place Maine.

Towson redshirt sophomore wide receiver Caleb Smith had his own homecoming of sorts. The Albany native, who attended the La Salle Institute, enjoyed his trip back to the Capital District.

“It was a great homecoming,” Smith said after the win. “Glad I’m with the right team. The winning team.”

Will Brunson, who started all 11 games for UAlbany in 2017, came in relief for Testaverde in the fourth quarter. He didn’t have much success either, finishing 4-for-8 with 78 passing yards, no touchdowns, and an interception.

Towson put up 38 points in the first half on the Danes, the most allowed by a UAlbany opponent since Old Dominion scored 42 on Sept. 28, 2013. The 56 points they scored is the most the Tigers have scored in a game this season, besting the 52 they racked up versus Stony Brook two weeks ago.

“We could’ve played the Giants. Albany. The Little Giants. It didn’t matter,” Towson head coach Rob Ambrose said. “We were gonna play really hard. That’s who we needed to be. The habits we need if we want to build something great.”

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Rob "Lep" Lepelstat is the sports editor of the Albany Student Press. Along with the ASP, Lep works as Vice President of ATV and sports director for WCDB. During the summer of 2017, he interned at WABC-TV in New York City.

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