UAlbany Football Wraps Up Week Two



ALBANY, N.Y. –
It was an eventful and productive week for the University at Albany football program, including Head Coach Bob Ford’s major announcement, a championship celebration, and improvements all across the gridiron. The Great Danes are officially two weeks into training camp and exactly two weeks away from the 2013 season-opening game.

The squad started off the week with its first double session of the season. The Great Danes donned full pads and picked up the practice pace.

After an early morning rain shower moved Tuesday’s practice inside of SEFCU Arena, the squad met with local television and newspaper reporters at the annual media luncheon. There, Coach Ford announced that he will coach his 44th and last season at UAlbany this fall. Ford is the longest active tenured coach in all of college football and is first among NCAA Division I active coaches with 264 career victories.

The weather cooperated the rest of the week, allowing the Danes to effectively prepare for Saturday’s second intra-squad scrimmage, following double sessions on Wednesday and Friday. With fans lining the practice field, the Great Danes displayed drastic improvements from a week ago, starting with play one.

Junior Clay Harris took the opening kickoff and dodged and duped his way 30-yards up the field. Sophomore quarterback Ryan Smith connected with fullback Nic Ketter with a sharp pass up the middle for a first down. Smith then found senior wide receiver Jameel Gay open down the right sideline, setting up freshman Ian Maltz’s successful 30-yard field goal.

Rotating a mixture of veteran and rookie players on and off the field throughout the friendly, freshman quarterback Kyle Downer executed a flawless fake handoff to redshirt sophomore Karl Allison, and scampered 65 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown.

After the gold-jersey offense made a statement early on, the defense turned up their intensity as the game went on. Freshman Marcel Ngachie and redshirt freshman Michael Nicastro made back-to-back hard-hitting tackles on a pair of short passes, forcing the offense to punt.

Junior cornerback Dorian Polk made a strong play, breaking up a long pass intended for Cole King, and senior Prosper Mbongue-Muna laid out for an interception, marking his second in scrimmage play this season.

The team’s kicking game saw drastic improvements from week one, as redshirt freshman Jonathan Martin had a number of long and well-placed punts throughout.

Following the scrimmage, the team held a small ceremony in which the Danes received their 2012 Northeast Conference championship rings.

The Great Danes have one more week of camp before heading into preparation week for Duquesne. UAlbany opens the 2013 season on the road against the Dukes on Saturday, August 31st.

WEEK THREE SCHEDULE
Mon., Aug. 19th - 9-11 a.m. & 3-5 p.m.
Tues., Aug. 20th – 9-11 a.m.
Wed., Aug. 21st – 9-11 a.m. & 3-5 p.m.
Thurs., Aug. 22nd – 9-11 a.m.
Fri., Aug. 23rd – Scrimmage 6:00 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 24th – 3-4:30 p.m.
 
IN THE NEWS
“Mbongue-Muna seizes chance”  -- Mark Singelais, Times Union
“Former UAlbany star chases NFL dream”  -- Pete Dougherty, Times Union
Leaving a legacy and his name” – Pete Dougherty, Times Union
Forever a great Dane” – Pete Iorizzo, Times Union
The business legacy of UAlbany's retiring football coach” – Adam Sichko, The Business Review
“Tweets on UAlbany's Bob Ford” – Andrew Santillo, The Record Blogs: On the Sidelines
University at Albany football coach Bob Ford a class act as he heads into final season” – Chris Sciria, The Auburn Citizen

QUOTES

“I’ve enjoyed it tremendously. I’ve been fortunate to have never gone to work a day in my life.” – Coach Ford announcing his retirement.

"In all honesty, this will not come as a shock, we're going to lose some football games this year. I hope to hell we can keep them close going into the fourth quarter, but we're probably going to lose some games. I didn't want to turn that job over to brand new coaches and let them take the hit on it." – Coach Ford on the timing of his retirement.

"I really liked how I was treated on my visit and the standard he held all his players to and how there really was a sense of family. You can lean on any guy around you and not feel like you're an outcast. I really liked that." – junior running back Omar Osbourne on his experience with Ford as his coach.

"The first thing we try to do is sell family, and it can't be a family if it's all about one person.” – Coach Ford on his recruiting philosophy.