ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The University at Albany football team, ranked #12 in the nation, shut out the Monmouth Hawks on Saturday afternoon, 41-0, to earn the first-ever Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) regular season championship in school history. With the win, the Great Danes will advance to the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs for the third time in program history (2011, 2019).
Officially CAA Co-Champions, UAlbany shares the regular season crown with #10 Villanova (7-1 CAA) and Richmond (7-1). The league’s automatic bid goes to Villanova, winning the three-way tiebreaker due to point differential. The Great Danes will move on to the FCS Playoffs with the Selection Show scheduled for tomorrow afternoon at 12:30 p.m. streaming live on ESPNU. Season ticket holders are invited to watch the Selection Show with the team from the brand-new Broadview Center, with doors opening tomorrow at 12:00 p.m.
Key Stat Lines
- Quarterback Reese Poffenbarger finished the day with 247 passing yards and four TD passes, the fifth time he has thrown four TDs in a single game this season.
- Linebacker Dylan Kelly finished the game with 11 tackles and one TFL. He entered the game just eight tackles short of the UAlbany single-season tackles record, a mark of 143 set by Ken Schoen in 1974.
- Brian Abraham had a career day, finishing the day with three sacks. Anton Juncaj, Ori Jean-Charles, Joseph Greaney, and Kelly all finished with one sack each.
- Julian Hicks finished the day with five receptions, three of which were for TDs. He ended with 71 yards receiving.
- Brevin Easton led the receiving corps with 100 yards, also nabbing a TD.
- Freshman Brevin Easton rushed for 61 yards, scoring a TD in his third consecutive game.
Head Coach Greg Gattuso: “Great victory. I’m really proud of the coaches and the kids. I think they have really bought in… This team has been fantastic. It was a great win for our players, our team, our fans. Can’t put it into word right now how good it feels.”
How it Happened:
- UAlbany got on the board in its opening drive, getting the ball first on offense. The Great Danes ate up 9:47 of clock to start the game, eventually finding the end zone on a trick play. Reese Poffenbarger lateralled the ball to the right side into the hand of Marqeese Dietz, who threw a nine-yard strike to an open Julian Hicks in the back of the end zone. The drive covered 75 yards to put UAlbany up 7-0.
- UAlbany pushed the lead to 14-0 at the start of the second half. On a 3rd and 14, Poffenbarger found Hicks on a 30-yard strike for the score, Hicks’ second of the afternoon. The drive spanned 51 yards over 4:49.
- The score became 21-0 with just under seven minutes remaining in the first half. After getting the ball in favorable field position, UAlbany drove 39 yards on five plays for the score. Rookie running back Griffin Woodell ran it in, untouched, from six yards out to cap the drive.
- The first turnover of the game came with less than two minutes remaining when Monmouth’s Mike Reid intercepted a pass intended for Brevin Easton at the Monmouth 35-yard line.
- The Great Danes took the 21-0 lead into the locker room at halftime. The defense limited the Hawks to just 41 yards and three first downs in the first half. UAlbany totaled 205 yards, doubling Monmouth’s offensive snap total, 42-21.
- Bill Hackett, a senior, collected his first INT of the season midway through the third, collecting a ball that popped into the air off the hands of the Monmouth receiver. The senior DB returned it 46 yards to put UAlbany immediately into Monmouth territory.
- The Great Danes took advantage of the turnover, scoring after just six plays and 39 yards. Senior TE Ian Renninger brought in a five-yard strike from Poffenbarger, making a move and running into the end zone.
- The score was pushed to 34-0 with 13:19 remaining on a 75-yard strike to Brevin Easton.
- The final score of the game came with just under six minutes remaining when Julian Hicks recorded his third TD of the afternoon, pulling in an 18-yard reception to make it 41-0.
Next: The NCAA FCS Playoff Selection Show is scheduled for tomorrow, Nov. 19, at 12:30 p.m. The Great Danes will see who they will be matched up with in the postseason.