Delaware Comes From Behind To Top Football 33-17
ALBANY, N.Y. – While the University at Albany football team held a 17-7 lead in the second the quarter, the University of Delaware came back to score 26 unanswered points, stealing a 33-17 win away from the Great Danes Saturday afternoon at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium. With the loss, UAlbany fell to 5-4 overall and 2-4 in conference play, while the Blue Hens improved to 4-5 on the season and 2-4 in the CAA.
• Sophomore running back Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks led UAlbany’s offense, rushing for 91 yards on 17 carries, including a 33-yard touchdown scamper. With the day’s performance, Ibitokun-Hanks became the 13th UAlbany player in program history to run for over 1,000 yards in a season, now with 1,085 on the year.
• Sophomore quarterback Neven Sussman threw for 148 yards, including a six-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Nic Ketter. Sussman completed 6-of-13 passes, but Delaware’s tough defensive pressure forced two interceptions and three sacks, leading to five UAlbany turnovers in the game.
• Redshirt sophomore Jordan Crockett led the receiving corps with two receptions, totaling 77 receiving yards.
• Defensively, senior linebacker Michael Nicastro matched his career-high with 16 tackles (6 solo), increasing his season total to 102. Meanwhile Malachi Hoskins totaled 11 (1 solo) and Mason Gray had a career-best 10 tackles (6 solo).
• Kicker Ethan Stark put the Great Danes on the board first, recording a 36-yard field goal on UAlbany’s first drive of the game with 11:00 minutes remaining in the opening stanza.
• The Great Danes took a 10-0 lead with 4:03 left in the first quarter, as Ibitokun-Hanks broke free for a 33-yard touchdown run.
• Delaware made it 10-7 at the start of the second quarter on Wes Hills’ 44-yard run to the end zone.
• However, UAlbany answered right back, driving 66 yards on seven plays capped by Sussman’s six-yard pass to a wide open Ketter in the end zone with 10:15 remaining in the second for a 17-7 advantage.
• That would be the Danes’ final score of the game, however. After forcing and recovering a fumble, Delaware drove 46 yards on eight plays to score with 15 seconds left in the first half on Hills’ six-yard touchdown run, cutting the margin to three, 17-14.
• Out of the break, the Blue Hens ate up over eight minutes on the clock and steadily marched down the field, scoring on Thomas Jefferson’s one-yard push across the goal line to take a 21-17 lead.
• Delaware quickly made it 28-17 on Nasir Adderley’s 22-yard touchdown interception with 5:07 remaining in the third.
• Sacking Sussman and recovering the fumble on the UAlbany-19 yard line, the Blue Hens took a 31-17 advantage on Frank Raggo’s 32-yard field goal with 12:35 left in the fourth.
• Delaware tacked on two points with a safety, recording a sack with 4:00 minutes remaining in the contest for a 33-17 lead.
Coach Gattuso on UAlbany’s turnovers: “Turnovers are like this. It’s a fickle friend. We’ve been very, very good at turnovers and we work extremely hard, but there’s always a variant -- something that changes. The first turnover, the pick, really shouldn’t have happened -- we had options on that route. The second one was a shame. Kjaye had made a couple good runs -- we had momentum -- and the third was a touchdown and it was a huge one. All of a sudden the momentum was gone. In football, momentum can swing quickly like that. Turnovers, we live and die by them. Today we died by them because it eliminated our opportunities.”
Nic Ketter on the team’s play: “Ultimately this game is all about execution and we didn’t execute. Coach preaches to us to do your job well and do your job, and as a group, collectively, we didn’t do that today. We didn’t get the job done.”
Coach Gattuso on the team’s effort: “They played hard. I’m proud of my team in the way they play. Their effort level was unbelievable. I stand behind them and we’re going to continue to work and we’re going to do everything we can to go into New Hampshire and try and get a win next week.”
With two weeks remaining in the regular season, UAlbany travels to take on New Hampshire on Nov. 12 at 12 p.m. The Great Danes will then host Stony Brook for Senior Day on Nov. 19 at 1 p.m.