TOWSON, Md. (NEWS10) — The University at Albany football team remains unbeaten in 2023 against FCS competition, staving off Towson on the goal line in the final minute of Saturday’s CAA road tilt to upend the Tigers 24-17.
Key Stat Lines
- Reese Poffenbarger went 18-25 for 225 yards and three total touchdowns
- Griffin Woodell rushed 17 times for 76 yards, and caught four passes for 54 yards and a touchdown
- MarQeese Dietz caught four passes for 58 yards and one touchdown
- Dylan Kelly recorded 23 total tackles and forced and recovered one fumble
- Ori Jean-Charles recorded 17 total tackles and one interception
Head Coach Greg Gattuso: “The resilience of our defense is amazing. I’m not sure I’ve ever coached a defense that plays this well in critical 3rd- and 4th-down situations. We didn’t play our best game but still got the win. I’m very proud of the guys.”
How it Happened
- One week after upsetting #16 Villanova at home by three touchdowns, the University at Albany football team continued CAA play by kicking off a two-game road swing at Towson. The Tigers entered Saturday’s matchup 3-2 overall, and last week had upset #14 New Hampshire in overtime, 54-51.
- UAlbany opened the game with a 15-play, 60-yard drive that took 8:15 off the clock. The Great Danes converted three third downs on their opening drive, and advanced as far as the Towson 18. On 4th down and 6, Reese Poffenbarger took a shot into the Tigers’ endzone for Brevin Easton, but the pass fell incomplete and Towson took over.
- Towson’s first drive lasted the remainder of the first quarter and into the second. The Tigers converted two fourth downs in UAlbany territory before the first quarter ended without a score. On 4th a 6 from the UAlbany 16, Towson kicked a field goal on the first play of the second quarter to take a 3-0 lead.
- After the ensuing kickoff, UAlbany took over on their 21-yard line. After a two-yard rush on first down by Griffin Woodell, Poffenbarger connected with MarQeese Dietz for a 39-yard gain into Towson territory. Five plays later, Poffenbarger hit Woodell for a 12-yard gain into the endzone to put the Great Danes on the board.
- UAlbany defense forced a three-and-out on the Towson’s next drive, punctuated by a pass breakup by Larry Walker on 3rd and 6. UAlbany took over following a 43-yard Towson punt on their 25.
- A nine-yard gain on first down led to another big pass from Poffenbarger, this time 38 yards to Levi Wentz to the Towson 28 yard line. The Great Danes were awarded an additional 14 yards at the end of the play following a roughing the passer penalty against the Tigers. UAlbany capitalized on the opportunity five plays later on a two-yard pass from Poffenbarger to Dietz to go up 14-3 with 7:30 left in the second quarter. By this time, UAlbany had outgained Towson 200-55 in total yardage, including 171-15 in the air.
- Towson took over on their 37 with 7:18 on the clock. The Tigers kicked another field goal to cap off a 14-play drive and cut UAlbany’s lead to eight.
- A turnover on the ensuing kickoff gave Towson the ball at the UAlbany 24. The Great Danes’ defense held the Tigers without a first down, leading to a third Towson field goal, making the score 14-9 UAlbany to end the second half.
- UAlbany outgained Towson 197-106 in the first half, including 171-48 in the passing game. Towson’s offensive line had held the Great Danes without a sack over the first 30 minutes.
- The Great Danes forced a fumble on Towson’s opening drive of the third quarter. Dylan Kelly knocked the ball loose from Tigers’ quarterback Nathan Kent, and recovered the ball himself. The next three series went by without a score, until Towson found the endzone for the first time on a one-yard rush, followed by a two-point conversion, to take a 17-14 lead with 4:02 left in the third.
- After Towson’s defense forced a punt on UAlbany’s next possession, the Ori Jean-Charles picked off Kent to return the ball to the Great Danes on the Tigers’ 10 with 19 seconds remaining in the third. UAlbany kicked a field goal to tie the game at 17 to end the third quarter.
- Towson took over on their own 23, and was forced to punt six plays later. Caden Burti gained 16 yards on the return to spot UAlbany’s drive on their own 44. Towson committed two 15-yard penalties on the drive, leading to a Great Danes’ touchdown, a four-yard rush from Poffenbarger, putting UAlbany up 24-17 with 9:22 remaining.
- UAlbany forced Towson to punt after five plays and took over possession with 6:49 left from their own 31. The Tigers returned the favor after five plays, taking over at their 31 90 seconds of game time later.
- Over the next 13 plays, Towson marched down the field, including completing a 22-yard pass and benefitting from a 15-yard UAlbany defensive penalty. On 4th and goal from the UAlbany 1-yard line, and with one minute remaining, UAlbany’s defense, spearheaded by Kelly and Jean-Charles, stuffed Towson’s Devin Matthews for a loss of two yards. The Great Danes took over with 55 seconds remaining, and kneeled out the clock to secure the win.
- Towson finished the game out-gaining UAlbany 319-299 in total yardage, and the Tigers ran nearly 20 more plays than did the Great Danes, 73-54. UAlbany was held without a sack, but still recorded six tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Next: The Great Danes travel to New Hampshire next weekend to take on their CAA rivals from Wildcat Stadium in Durham. Keep up with all of the latest news, highlights, and insights on UAlbany football by following the team on X , Instagram, and Threads, and by using the hashtags #UAUKNOW and #WinTheDay.