UAlbany football set for home opener against Monmouth
ALBANY, N.Y. – After playing consecutive road games to begin the season, the University at Albany football team opens its home schedule at 7 Saturday night against Monmouth at Casey Stadium.
The Great Danes (1-1) are coming off this past Saturday’s 26-0 win over Morgan State in Baltimore. This will be UAlbany’s last game before the Colonial Athletic Association slate kicks off Sept. 23 against Villanova.
Monmouth, former UAlbany rivals in the Northeast Conference, picked up victories over Lafayette and No. 19 Lehigh to open the season.
FOLLOW THE GAME
LIVE Digital stream: ESPN3
Radio: 105.7 FM
Twitter: @UAlbanySports, @UAlbanyFootball, @UAlbanyGameDay
Wear white: All fans are encouraged to wear white in support of the home team for Saturday’s opener.
Fireworks: A fireworks show will take place at halftime.
THIS WEEKS’ MATCHUP
Familiar foes: UAlbany leads the all-time series 11-4, with the most recent meeting coming Sept. 29, 2012, when UAlbany still was a member of the NEC. The Great Danes won, 55-24, at University Field to secure the program’s 250th win. Led by tailback Drew Smith (109 yards), UAlbany piled up 263 yards on the ground.
Fabulous freshman: Freshman running back Karl Mofor has racked up 197 rushing yards through his first two games. Getting carries in place of starting tailback Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks, who sat out with an injury, Mofor ran for 99 yards and caught two passes for 29 yards, plus scored a touchdown, against Old Dominion. Against Morgan State, he narrowly missed 100 yards again, compiling 98. He also scored a pair of touchdowns.
Hatalsky steps up: Senior linebacker Nate Hatalsky, from Mechanicville, N.Y., about half an hour outside Albany, leads UAlbany by getting in on 21 tackles, which also ties for second in the CAA. Hatalsky was a walk-on with the program when he enrolled in 2013; he was awarded a full scholarship for this season this past summer. Hatalsky was a standout athlete at Mechanicville High, where he earned four football and three basketball letters and was a two-year football captain. He won the starting linebacker job during the preseason.
He’s a kicker, to boot: Junior Neven Sussman is serving as the Great Danes’ No. 2 quarterback and punter this season. At quarterback, he sees regular action in place of starter Will Brunson because of his ability to both run and throw. He’s carried the ball 15 times for 62 yards this season. As a punter, Sussman is currently second in the CAA with an average of 41.5 yards, including a long of 53.
Scouting Monmouth: Monmouth, a member of the Big South conference, is coming off back-to-back home victories over Lafayette (31-12) and Lehigh (46-27). Monmouth ranks 13th in all of FCS in both total offense (486.5 ypg) and rushing offense (263 ypg). The Hawks are led by sophomore running back Pete Guerriero, who’s third nationally with 328 rushing yards through two games. He was the STATS FCS Player of the Week for this past week. Monmouth has been equally strong stopping the run, allowing just 53.5 yards per game on the ground. Picked to finish fourth in the Big South in the preseason poll, Monmouth returns eight starters on offense and six on defense from a team that was 4-7 overall and 0-5 in the Big South.