After narrowly missing the FCS playoffs last year, UAlbany has set a level of expectations among its fan base that this could be a defining season for the program which is entering its 5th in the CAA conference. The Great Danes won the final two games in 2016 to finish 7-4, but players will tell you they should have converted the opportunities they had to pick up what would have been a postseason-clinching 8th win.

The disappointment of not making the playoffs aside, UAlbany did pick up the first ever win over an FBS opponent last season and the Danes will look to repeat that little bit of history this Saturday against Old Dominion. That victory over the University of Buffalo proved Greg Gattuso's team is on the rise, but even the head coach of this program will admit ODU is a more formidable opponent than last year's Buffalo Bulls. Old Dominion won a bowl game last year and finished 10-3.

Those two wins to close out 2016 were started by Will Brunson at quarterback and he'll be under center as QB1 behind an inexperienced offensive line. Saturday night at ODU, Brunson and the rest of the Great Danes will be without stud running back Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks, who suffered a setback injury to his surgically repaired left knee. The injury isn't to Ibitokun-Hanks' ACL, which he tore in November, but with hopes he can come back stronger than he currently is, Gattuso is holding him out of the season opener.

104.5 The Team is your home for UAlbany sports and you can listen to Saturday night's game starting with the pregame show at 5:30pm.