WACO, TX — The University at Albany football team fell to FBS foe No. 10 Baylor to start its 2022 season.
Key Stat Lines
- Reese Poffenbarger – 13-26-0, 150 yards, TD, 45 yards rushing
- Julian Hicks – 4 rec, 53 yards, TD
- Todd Sibley – 9 rushes, 18 yards
- Thomas Greaney – 3 rec, 57 yards
- Dylan Kelly – 12 tackles, 8 solo
- AJ Simon – 2 sacks
- AJ Mistler – 6 tackles, 5 solo, 0.5 TFL
- Jackson Ambush – 6 tackles, 3 solo
- In the first half, UAlbany collected 87 yards through the air and 52 via the run game.
- The UAlbany offense held the ball for 16:33 in the first half compared to Baylor’s offense with just 13:27 time of possession.
- In the second half, UAlbany was limited to just 98 total yards. The Bears offense marched down the field for 316.
Coach Greg Gattuso: “I thought our kids competed hard in the first half. I was tough on myself and the staff for some of the little mistakes we were making. That’s our responsibility to keep ourselves from making those mistakes that hurt us a lot. But overall, the kids played their butts off for two and a half quarters, we were beat up in the second half… There were moments in the game where we competed really well, I’m proud of them.”
How it Happened:
- UAlbany won the opening coin toss and chose to receive the football. The first play of the game was a run from Todd Sibley – his first as a Great Dane.
- Baylor struck first on their opening drive following a 47-yard pass from Blake Shapen to Monaray Baldwin. The Bears used 2:20 of clock on six plays for 76 yards.
- Baylor forced a turnover on the Great Danes’ next possession, stripping the ball from Jackson Parker after what would have been a six-yard completion. The Bears gained control around UAlbany’s 30-yard line. They scored four plays later on a four-yard run from Craig Williams to push the lead to 14-0.
- Baylor pushed the lead to 21-0 on a 72-yard punt return from Gavin Holmes late in the first.
- UAlbany fought to get back into the game at the end of the first quarter. Baylor went for it on a fourth-and-one on their own 30-yard line. The UAlbany defense, led by Elijah Hills, stopped the Bears in their tracks. Soon after, Reese Poffenbarger found Julian Hicks in the back of the end zone off a 17-yard dime to score the first TD of the year for UAlbany. The score was the final play of the first quarter, making it 21-7.
- Baylor pushed the lead to 28-7 at the 11:55 mark of the second quarter. Shapen found Hal Presley on a 38-yard pass for the score.
- With one second left in the half, Baylor elected to go for the score from the UAlbany two-yard line. Shapen rolled to his right and was able to barely stretch the football over the pylon for the TD. The score capped a 2:44 drive that had the Bears marching 80 yards on 11 plays. The TD brought the score to 35-7 heading into the locker room.
- On the first drive of the second half, Baylor marched 80 yards on six plays to push the lead to 42-7. Monaray Baldwin got his second TD of the night on a 50-yard catch and run reception.
- John Opalko hit his first field goal of the year in the third quarter from 25 yards out with 6:19 remining to make the score 42-10.
- Baylor scored once more in the third quarter when backup quarterback Kyron Drones ran it in on fourth-and-two from nine yards out. The play was the final in a nine play, 54-yard drive that spanned 4:25.
- The score became 56-10 with 12 minutes remining in the game. Baylor’s Richard Reese rushed in from a yard out for the score. The drive ran 2:27 and covered 61 yards on seven plays.
- Reese scored again on a seven-yard run with 9:10 remaining to push the score to 62-10.
- Qualan Jones ran it in from 27 yards out to make the score 69-10 in favor of the Bears. The extra point was no good after a bad hold.
Next: The Great Danes return to Tom and Mary Casey Stadium next Saturday for the team’s 2022 home opener. The game will also kick off the CAA season for UAlbany, with a matchup against conference for New Hampshire.