UAlbany Football Heads West to Take On Syracuse
The UAlbany football team travels west on I-90 this weekend to take on in-state rival Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. Kickoff is set for 12:00 p.m., and will be broadcast on 103.9 FM The Breeze. This weekend’s game will be the first meeting between the FCS UAlbany and FBS Syracuse. The Orange are the second opponent this season that UAlbany has never faced in prior seasons, with the Great Danes playing NDSU back in week number one.
Syracuse has split its first two games of the season, defeating Ohio University on the road 29-9, and falling to Rutgers a week ago in the team’s home opener, 7-17. Saturday’s game will be the second of three consecutive games at the Carrier Dome for the Orange. Syracuse owns a 73-78-11 (.485) overall record against FBS and FCS members located in the state of New York and has won each of its past 11 contests against opponents from the Empire State. The team's last loss against a program from New York came against Army West Point in 1986.
The Great Danes are making it easy for students and fans that can't make the two hour drive. Saturday’s game at Syracuse will be streamed on the big screen of Casey Stadium for UAlbany fans to watch for free. Fans are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets to sit on the field and enjoy the action. Concessions will be made available for everyone who comes. Gates are set to open just before the game at 11:45 a.m.
So far the Great Danes defense has been led by Jackson Ambush, who leads the team in tackles with 18 total, including 11 solo. Tyler Carswell hauled in the defense’s first interception of the year last week after catching the ball off a URI deflection. He ran the INT back 34 yards in what was a momentum-shifting play for UAlbany.
The UAlbany offense is led by quarterback Jeff Undercuffler. Tyler Oedekoven and Roy Alexander lead the team with eight receptions each. Rookie wideout Roy Alexander has made quite the impact during weeks one and two. Against NDSU, Alexander took in four receptions for 113 yards, including a 67-yard touchdown strike. The rookie followed it up in his Casey Stadium debut with four more receptions for 54 yards. He leads the team with 122.5 all-purpose yards per game
Head Coach Greg Gattuso is excited for his UAlbany team. “It’s not a stage that’s too big for us. Do they have a few advantages over us as an FBS program? Absolutely. I think they have all the pressure on them, but we will definitely need to compete at a high level to win.”
The Great Danes have had a tough start to the 2021 season, with no help coming from the schedule. UAlbany faced No. 4 NDSU (now No. 5) on the road to start the season before immediately jumping into conference action against Rhode Island. Syracuse, and FBS school, will be no easy feat in week three. The schedule doesn’t let up either, with the Great Danes traveling to No. 6 Delaware after a week four bye, traveling to William & Mary for another road game in week six, and finally returning home to face No. 12 Villanova in week seven. Big thanks to my buddy Taylor O'Connor at UAlbany Athletics for all of the information! Go Danes!