ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Part of what’s made the University at Albany football team really intriguing this year is that the Danes are a force on both sides of the ball. Let’s look at some numbers…
Starting with the offense – which looked so explosive at times last year – not much has changed this season. The Danes are averaging just shy of 30 points per game in their three FCS contests. Sophomore quarterback Reese Poffenbarger, coming off a Coastal Athletic Association Rookie of the Year campaign, is still slinging the ball around the yard with 10 touchdown passes to just two interceptions.
There’s also some exciting skill position guys emerging, namely Glens Falls native running back Griffin Woodell, who just took home CAA Rookie of the Week on Monday.
Then, you’ve got the second-ranked scoring defense in the league, which already has more games allowing 21, or fewer points this year (3) than all of last season (2). Senior defensive ends Anton Juncaj and AJ Simon rank first and second, respectively, in the FCS in sacks.
Bottom line is: UAlbany is playing good, complimentary football right now.
“It’s different; you always gotta be ready on the sideline, ’cause you don’t know when they’re gonna force a turnover,” said Poffenbarger. “You gotta be locked in at all times. The goal is to score every single time you touch the ball, but last year, there were times where you might’ve felt like if you didn’t score, you’re letting the team down in that way. Because that’s what we needed to do to win, unfortunately, in some games. It’s obviously a good feeling knowing that you can get more freedom, and you don’t have to press about trying to make a big play every time you have the ball.”
“Last year, I preached a lot to the team that there’s moments where the other side is gonna have to pull their weight,” added head coach Greg Gattuso. “And I think last year we saw that. It’s a give-and-take, and I think they know that now. And I think there’s no panic if someone’s struggling. I do think they’re in a really good place. They trust each other, and we got a good thing going with the kids.”
And the Danes better be prepared to bring that two-pronged attack to Maryland on Saturday when they square off with a Towson team that just hung 54 points last weekend on New Hampshire.