Football set to open CAA play at Rhode Island
ALBANY, N.Y. – The University at Albany football program begins its sixth season in the Colonial Athletic Association on Saturday when it faces Rhode Island in Kingston. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
Saturday’s game marks the start of a challenging CAA slate for the Great Danes, who will face three league opponents ranked in the current FCS STATS Top 25 poll: No. 20 New Hampshire, No. 22 Maine and No. 24 Stony Brook.
UAlbany also faces three more teams receiving votes in the poll – Delaware, Richmond and Rhode Island, which his coming off a 19-17 road victory over the Blue Hens, then ranked No. 15.
The Great Danes have won four of their first five CAA openers, defeating Rhode Island three times and Villanova once. The lone loss came in UAlbany’s first CAA game, in 2013, when it fell to the Rams 19-13 in overtime.
Overall, UAlbany owns a 3-2 edge in the all-time series and has won its only two trips to Meade Stadium, in 2014 and 2016. But Rhode Island won last season’s meeting 31-14 at Casey Stadium.
UAlbany is coming off this past Saturday’s 33-7 setback to Pittsburgh, of the Atlantic Coast Conference, at Heinz Field. The Great Danes fell behind 13-0 in the first four minutes and 19-0 in the first quarter before bouncing back to hold the Panthers scoreless in the second half.
FOLLOW THE GAME
Broadcast: Satellite and cable subscribers who get FOX College Sports can watch the game on television or for free on the FOX Sports Go app. All other viewers can purchase the feed on CAA.TV for $7.95.
DirecTV: Channel 608
Dish Network: Channel 454
Live stats: StatBroadcast
NEWS AND NOTES
Holmes earns CAA Rookie of the Week honors
Dev Holmes, a freshman wide receiver from Troy, N.Y., had a spectacular collegiate debut, catching nine passes for 148 yards and a touchdown.
Holmes’ 148 yards marked a new program record for single-game receiving yardage by a freshman. It also tied for the seventh-highest single-game receiving total in program history and was the most receiving yards in a game by any UAlbany player since 2001.
Holmes also carried once on an end-around for eight yards. His 156 all-purpose yards were the most by any CAA player in Week 1.
Testaverde shines in debut
Vincent Testaverde threw for 263 yards and a touchdown against Pitt while completing 18-of-29 passes.
A fifth-year senior, Testaverde was seeing game action for the first time since 2014, when as a true freshman at Texas Tech he came off the bench to complete 15-of-26 passes for 116 yards against Texas.
Metheny fits right in at linebacker
Redshirt sophomore Levi Metheny, making his first career start, led the defense with 13 tackles Saturday at middle linebacker.
Metheny totaled 23 tackles last season while playing mostly special teams and serving as a reserve at linebacker.
He’s replacing Nate Hatalsky, who had 122 tackles last season, tying for the 12th most in program history.
Mencer continues to make plays
Eli Mencer recovered a second-half fumble against Pitt, continuing his propensity to make big plays on defense.
The redshirt junior linebacker led UAlbany in forced fumbles with five in 2017 and was tied for second on the team with eight tackles for a loss. He returned a fumble 69 yards for a TD against Rhode Island and another for 80 yards to finish off an overtime victory over Villanova.
Sussman gets INT in debut at linebacker
Neven Sussman got his first career interception Saturday at Pittsburgh in his first career start at outside linebacker.
Last season, Sussman served as both the backup quarterback and punter. In his first season punting, he averaged 37.3 yards per kick, with a long of 59 yards. At quarterback, he completed 12-of-26 passes for 163 yards with one interception; he also carried the ball 43 times for 132 yards.
The Great Danes return home to face Morgan State in a non-conference matchup at 7 p.m.