Great Danes battle in season opener


Fargo, N.D. (NEWS10) — The University at Albany football team fell to the No. 4 North Dakota State Bison in the 2021 season opener. The Great Danes battled hard for 60 minutes and led the Bison in total yards at halftime, but couldn’t muster any scoring drives in the second half en route to a 28-6 loss. UAlbany’s Roy Alexander stood out on the offensive side with three receptions for 94 yards, including a 67-yard touchdown reception with four seconds remaining in the first half. On defense, Jared Verse had a stand-out game – eight tackles (six solo), one sack, one tackle for loss and one forced fumble.
Key Stats

Coach Greg Gattuso: “Our kids played a really tough game, they’re a good football team. There’s a reason why they have the facilities and structure they have. Our guys came into a really tough environment and I think we outplayed them in the first half. We just struggled on third downs, and turnovers were critical… At the end of the day, you can’t turn the football over and miss open people like we missed against a great football team.”

How it Happened:

  • NDSU’s Gonnella scored the first touchdown of the game with a three-yard run with under two minutes remaining in the first.
  • UAlbany’s Christian Lewis was ejected from the game in the first quarter after being called for targeting.
  • NDSU increased the lead to 14 on an 18-yard touchdown pass to Babicz with just 20 seconds on the clock before half.
  • The Great Danes were able to shift the moment before the half, with rookie Roy Alexander hauling in a 67-yard pass from Jeff Undercuffler before time expired. UAlbany would not convert on the ensuing two-point conversion, bringing the score to 14-6 Bison at the half.
  • NDSU did not let the momentum shift after the break, with Gonnella taking a rush 75 yards to the house just 13 seconds into the second half. It was the first play from scrimmage after halftime.
  • NDSU scored for the final time in the fourth quarter. Luepke ran the ball in from seven yards out to make the score 28-6, the final of the game.

Next: The Great Danes return to Albany to host CAA foe Rhode Island in the team’s 2021 home opener on Hometown Heroes Night. The program will honor the men and women who serve our country as well as the Capital Region’s first responders and health care workers on the special night, with kickoff scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Tickets for the event can be purchased here. Keep up with all of the latest news, highlights, and insights on UAlbany football by following the team on Twitter and Instagram and by using the hashtags #BeGreat and #WinTheDay.

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