UAlbany Battles Maine in Football's Home Opener at University Field on SEFCU Fireworks Night
Albany, N.Y. - UAlbany begins its home schedule against Maine on Saturday, Sept. 17 at University Field. Kickoff is 6:00 p.m. on SEFCU Fireworks Night. The game will be televised on Time Warner Cable Sports, with Rodger Wyland, Zach Bye and Rodney Smith providing the coverage. Fans can listen to the game on Fox Sports 980, WOFX-AM.
The Black Bears, who compete in the Colonial Athletic Association, are receiving votes in The Sports Network national poll. Maine started its 120th season of football with a 28-13 win over Bryant and a 35-29 loss to Division I FBS opponent Pittsburgh. Head coach Jack Cosgrove has 18 returning starters, including eight other players with starting experience.
Warren Smith, the sixth Black Bear to pass for more than 5,000 career yards, operates a spread attack. The senior quarterback completed 27 of 45 passes for 334 yards and three touchdowns at Pittsburgh. RB Pushaun Brown ran 26 times for 146 yards and two scores in the opener vs. Bryant. HB Derek Session was a second-team All-CAA selection last year. TE Derek Buttles, who caught seven passes and scored a touchdown last week, was also a member of the all-conference second team last year. Chris Howley is a key figure at offensive guard and earned preseason FCS All-America recognition.
Maine's multiple-scheme defense is seventh nationally in turnover margin (+2.0 per game) and ninth in sacks (4.0 pg). Jerron McMillian, a second team All-CAA defensive back, has recorded double-figure tackles in each game this season. DB Trevor Coston was the Sports Network national special teams player of the week after scoring on a 74-yard punt return and picking off two passes in the opener. DE Michael Cole, who is among four returning starters on the defensive line, registered eight tackles and 2.5 sacks against Pittsburgh.
UAlbany was idle last week after suffering a 37-34 overtime loss at Colgate on Sept. 3 to begin the season. The Great Danes, who return 14 starters, were chosen third in the Northeast Conference preseason poll. Quarterbacks Dan Di DiLella and Buddy Leathley each played in the first game. Di Lella threw for a career-high 239 yards and a touchdown, while Leathey added a 75-yard scoring pass.
The Great Danes began their 13th FCS campaign on the road for the 11th time. Eddie Delaney, a two-time all-conference defensive end, recorded a career-high 10 tackles and added a sack at Colgate. PK Herb Glass was named the NEC special teams player of the week after making a pair of 40-plus yard field goals.
Paw Prints: UAlbany and Maine are meeting for the third consecutive season ... UAlbany has won five of seven games played following a bye week as a FCS program ... PK Herb Glass needs one field goal to break Jason Fralicker's career standard (28) ... S Jake Ciccarello (98), ILB Jon Morgan (98) and ILB Dave Plungas (97) are about to reach the 100-career tackle plateau ... the Great Danes are playing a Colonial Athletic Association opponent for the ninth year in a row ... Bob Ford is first among active FCS head coaches with 247 career victories.