Great Danes Host CCSU Saturday In FCS Opening Round
ALBANY, N.Y. – It’s playoff time in the Capital Region as the University at Albany football team (8-4) advances to the FCS Playoffs for the second time in program history. The Great Danes host Central Connecticut State (11-1) on Saturday, Nov. 30 at 1 p.m. on Bob Ford Field at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium. CLICK HERE for tickets.
Saturday, Nov. 30 at Casey Stadium (1 p.m.)
- UAlbany has set a number of individual single-season records this season. Among them: QB Jeff Undercuffler (33 passing TDs, 2,966 passing yards), WR Juwan Green (14 receiving TDs, 1,158 receiving yards), Eli Mencer (13.5 sacks).
- The Great Danes finished second in the CAA with a 6-2 mark.
- UAlbany is making its second appearance in the FCS Tournament after earning an at-large bid on Sunday. The Great Danes last made the playoffs in 2011.
- This is the 20th meeting between UAlbany and Central Connecticut State in the sport of football. The Great Danes own a 13-6 advantage in the all-time series. The two squad’s last met in 2014 where UAlbany cruised to a 19-0 victory.
- The Blue Devils enter Saturday with a 11-1 record. CCSU went 7-0 in NEC play this year, earning an automatic bid into the FCS Playoffs.
- CCSU is 6-1 on the road this season. The six road wins are the most of any program in the country.
- The Blue Devils, come into Albany, N.Y. sporting the #2 defensive unit in the country. CCSU's defense is 2nd in total yardage (273.3 ypg), 3rd in rushing defense (71.3 ypg), 1st in interceptions (20), 1st in defensive touchdowns (6) and 10th in scoring defense (18.3 ppg).
- UAlbany has set a number of individual single-season program records this season.
- Eli Mencer has 13.5 sacks. That breaks the previous mark of 9.0 sacks, set by Eddie Delaney (2011).
- Jeff Undercuffler has 33 TD passes, surpassing the previous record of 25 set by Dan DiLella (2011). He also has thrown for 2,966 yards, breaking the old mark of 2,636 that had been held by Will Fiacchi (2014), now the Great Danes’ WR coach.
- Juwan Green has 14 TD catches, eclipsing the previous record of 11 shared by Dan Gmelin (1997) and Ryan Kirchner (2011).
- Green also has 1,158 yards, more than the record of 1,070 set by Dan Gmelin in 1997. His 73 catches breaks the record set by Tim Bush (2008).
Leading the way
- Great Danes are atop the CAA statistical leaderboard in several categories.
- Karl Mofor leads the league with 100.3 rushing yards per game and 1,204 total rushing yards.
- Eli Mencer leads the league with 13.5 sacks. He also is the league leader in fumbles forced with five and second in the with 22.0 tackles for a loss.
- Mencer and Nick Griffin are tied for the conference lead with three fumble recoveries.
- Jeff Undercuffler (QB) is a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award - FCS Freshman Player of the Year.
- Eli Mencer (DL) is a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award - FCS Defensive Player of the Year.
- Head Coach Greg Gattuso is a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award - FCS Coach of the Year.
- UAlbany averages 31.3 points per game, the third most in the CAA. The Great Danes have scored more than 30 points in eight of 12 games this season. They are 6-2 in those games.
- UAlbany’s tight ends have been a big part of the offense in the red zone this season. They have a combined 10 touchdown catches, led by LJ Wesneski’s six. Against Maine, Thomas Greaney caught the first two touchdowns of his career, the first of which came on his first career catch.
Spreading the wealth
- UAlbany has five players with at least 12 catches this season: Juwan Green (73), Jerah Reeves (64), Karl Mofor (26), LJ Wesneski (17) and Donovan McDonald (15).
- Also, Jeff Undercuffler has thrown touchdown passes to eight different players: Green (14), Wesneski (six), Reeves (five), Tyler Oedekoven (two), Murad Hussain (two), Thomas Greaney (two), Mofor (one) and McDonald (one).
- UAlbany’s defense has forced 26 turnovers (16 fumble recoveries, 10 interceptions) and scored four times. In the opener at Central Michigan, Eli Mencer had a strip sack, fumble return for touchdown, and against Bryant, Jarren Williams hauled in a deflected pass and ran 63 yards for a Pick 6. Dante Mount also scored on a 26-yard fumble return at Towson, and Nick Griffin took back a fumble against Rhode Island.
- After receiving votes the last five week, UAlbany cracked the STATS Top-25 rankings. The Great Danes are No. 25, breaking into the rankings for the first time since 2017. UAlbany last was ranked in the Top 25 in September 2017, when it was No. 19 after starting the season 3-1.
When it counts
- UAlbany has been at its best late in games this season, outscoring opponents 104-46 in the fourth quarter.