Bill Ziskin

Football hosts New Hampshire in key CAA matchup

UAlbany Sports Information   11-14-2019

ALBANY, N.Y. –  The University at Albany football and New Hampshire, two teams currently tied for second place in the CAA, meet Saturday in a pivotal conference game at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

 

Game Info

Saturday, Nov. 16 vs. New Hampshire (1 p.m.)

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Leading the Pack

  • UAlbany quarterback Jeff Undercuffler needs just 52 yards to set the program’s new single-season record. He also has thrown 31 touchdown passes this season, more than any QB in all of FCS.
  • Wide receiver Juwan Green has 1,306 receiving yards this season, also a program record. His 13 touchdown passes are second-most nationally.
  • Defensive end Eli Mencer leads the CAA in TFLs (18.5) and is second in the league in sacks (10.5). His five forced fumbles lead the nation.
  • UAlbany will honor 16 seniors in a ceremony prior to kickoff.
  • The winner of Saturday’s game will be alone in second place in the CAA if James Madison defeats Richmond.

 

Scouting New Hampshire

  • The Wildcats are coming off a 54-16 setback this past Saturday at No. 2-ranked James Madison. That marked New Hampshire’s fourth straight game against a ranked opponent.
  • The Wildcats are one of the CAA’s top defensive teams, allowing just 20.8 points per game, the second-fewest in the league.
  • New Hampshire is coached by Ricky Santos, who takes over on an interim basis for 21-year coach Sean McDonnell, who took a leave of absence before the season for health reasons.

 

Broken records

UAlbany has set a number of individual single-season program records this season.

  • Eli Mencer has 10.5 sacks. That breaks the previous mark of 9.0 sacks, set by Eddie Delaney (2011).
  • Jeff Undercuffler has 31 TD passes, surpassing the previous record of 25 set by Dan DiLella (2011). 
  • Juwan Green has 13 TD catches, eclipsing the previous record of 11 shared by Dan Gmelin (1997) and Ryan Kirchner (2011).
  • Green also has 1,306 yards, more than the record of 1,070 set by Dan Gmelin in 1997.

 

And records to be broken

  • Jeff Undercuffler has thrown for 2,584 yards. The program single-season record is 2,636, held by Will Fiacchi, now the Great Danes’ WRs coach, in 2014.
  • Juwan Green needs just five catches to match the single-season record of 67 set by Tim Bush in 2008.

 

Senior sendoff

UAlbany will be honoring 16 seniors prior to kickoff Saturday: OL Griffin Clancy, S Kaija Collette, LB Julian Conover, C Niko Culnan, DT Nick Dillon, CB Kareem Gibson, WR Juwan Green, DL Nick Griffin, OL Sean Kennedy, LB Prince Klutsey, DE Eli Mencer, CB Dante Mount, WR Jerah Reeves, WR Tim Voorhis, CB Jarren Williams, S Josh Wynn.

 

Watch list

Jeff Undercuffler has been named to the watch list for the STATS Jerry Rice Award, which is given annually to the top freshman in all of FCS. The award will be voted upon after the season by a panel of more than 150 sports information directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries.

 

On the offensive

UAlbany averages 32.1 points per game, the third most in the CAA. The Great Danes have scored more than 30 points in seven of 10 games this season. They’re 5-2 in those games.

 

TE power

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 (62), Jerah Reeves (59), Karl Mofor (23), Donovan McDonald (15), and LJ Wesneski (12). Also, Jeff Undercuffler has thrown touchdown passes to seven different players: Green (13), Wesneski (six), Reeves (six), Murad Hussain (two), Thomas Greaney (two), Mofor (one) and McDonald (one).

 

Dynamic defense

UAlbany’s defense has forced 22 turnovers (15 fumble recoveries, seven 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.

 

Receiving votes

For the third time this season, UAlbany received votes in the STATS FCS Top 25 poll. 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 90-31 in the fourth quarter.

 

Next

UAlbany wraps up its regular season on the road against Stony Brook on Saturday, Nov. 23. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.

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