ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It’s been over a month since the University at Albany football team has played a game at Casey Stadium. After wrapping up a three-game road trip last Saturday at Morgan State, the Danes finally return home this weekend, and they’ll be greeted by a familiar foe; and a challenging one at that.

Villanova comes to town for UAlbany’s CAA opener. The Wildcats are the 16th ranked team in the FCS – fresh off a 35-9 beatdown of Rhode Island, which is also in the top-25.

This matchup came down to the wire last year. The Wildcats thwarted a late Danes comeback with a game-winning field goal – one of five, one-score losses UAlbany had in 2022.

But the Danes showed last Saturday they’re capable of closing out close games, holding on for a double-overtime victory against the Bears – a win that gave the team a serious morale boost.

“They were buzzin’; it’s a good feeling…the way they were in the locker room,” said head coach Greg Gattuso. “And heck, they even had me in the middle of a picture. I usually stay away from that stuff. I’m more of a radio guy than a TV guy. I’m glad it didn’t show up on Facebook,” joked Gattuso. “You know, having done this for a long time, when you’re trying to break streaks, sometimes the hardest possible scenario presents itself. And that’s kinda what happened, but I think we needed to get a road win; we needed to get some confidence in…how we play, and it was just great to win a close game like that and battle. Especially when things went so wrong at the end, and I think that says a lot about the kids, and that’s what gives me so much confidence in them.”

Kickoff against Villanova is set for 3:30 p.m. It’ll be UAlbany’s 10th annual Hometown Heroes game on Saturday.