UAlbany Football – Spring Season Preview

Photo: Quarterback Will Fiacchi

ALBANY, N.Y. – In preparation of the University at Albany football program’s first season in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), the Great Danes open their spring practice season April 1st. The season will consist of 15 practices, including two full scrimmages and a Spring Game to be played April 27th at 3:00 p.m.

All Great Dane football practices will be open to the public. Full gear scrimmages will take place on April 13th and April 20th in addition to the Spring Game. Fans are reminded that dates and times are subject to change due to weather.

“The number one goal in spring football is get through healthy,” said head coach Bob Ford. “Number two will be to establish a depth chart. The number three goal will be to develop younger kids so they are ready to play, and the fourth thing will be to answer some starting position questions.”

After wrapping up a 14-year tenure in the Northeast Conference with six championships, including a share of the title in 2012, Coach Ford (264-180-1) will lead the Great Danes into both his and UAlbany’s 41st varsity season in 2013.

While UAlbany loses eight all-conference players, there are plenty of strong pieces returning, including a solid offensive contingent. Quarterback Will Fiacchi returns after an impressive redshirt sophomore campaign in 2012, starting all 11 games and accumulating 2,156 passing yards. The Great Danes will have added depth at the quarterback position this spring with redshirt freshmen Ryan Smith and Ryan Spelman. The Great Danes will also have a number of experienced linemen protecting the pocket in Kadeem Williams, Eric LaPorta, and Adam Pasnik, as well as a deep selection of outstanding receivers down field -- Cole King, Kevin Chillis, and Jameel Gay.

“We showed the ability to move the football against some pretty decent opponents last year,” said Ford. “We have a great scoring punch. The vast majority of people on the shell are back, and we will still have the capability of moving the football. The question will be if we can handle defenses that will be bigger, stronger, and faster. Time will tell.”

Defensively, UAlbany will have the task of replacing four solid linebackers. In 2012, UAlbany’s rushing defense ranked first in the NEC and 14th in the nation (117.91 yrds/game), second in the league in scoring defense (22.73 pts/game), and third in total defense (340.45 yrds/game). Defensive end Andrew Smith and defensive tackle Tim Kologrivov will serve as the group’s veterans, while the squad’s young players and newcomers will battle for many of the starting roles in the spring.

“The thing that will set this spring football season apart from any other that we ever had is our desire and ability to improve second and third string kids, because we are going to need them,” added Ford. “We’re playing 12 tough games, so we’ve got to have a lot of kids ready to play.”

2013 SPRING FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Date

Day

Practice Time

Dress

Activity

4/1

Monday

3pm - 5pm

Helmets

 

4/3

Wednesday

3pm - 5pm

Helmets

 

4/5

Friday

3pm - 5pm

Uppers

 

4/6

Saturday

10am - 12pm

Full Gear

 

4/8

Monday

3pm - 5pm

Full Gear

 

4/10

Wednesday

3pm - 5pm

Full Gear

 

4/12

Friday

3pm - 5pm

Uppers

 

4/13

Saturday

10am - 12pm

Full Gear

Scrimmage

4/15

Monday

3pm - 5pm

Full Gear

 

4/17

Wednesday

3pm - 5pm

Full Gear

 

4/19

Friday

3pm - 5pm

Uppers

 

4/20

Saturday

10am - 12pm

Full Gear

Scrimmage

4/24

Wednesday

3pm - 5pm

Full Gear

 

4/26

Friday

3pm - 5pm

Helmets

 

4/27

Saturday

3pm - 5pm

Full Gear

Spring Game