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Sports Network Prediction

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No. 23 Central Connecticut State (3-0) at Albany (2-1), 4:00


On some level, it’s not a surprise to see that this game means something. After all, Albany and Central Connecticut State shared the first-place nod in the Northeast Conference preseason coaches poll, and most preseason prognosticators expected one of the teams to win the title and represent the league in the Gridiron Classic against the Pioneer Football League champion. While that final game is still a potential destination for both teams, huge road wins have the Blue Devils and Great Danes eyeing the more treasured prize of a berth in the I-AA playoffs. Albany already owns wins at Lehigh and Delaware and has a game remaining at Cornell, while Central Connecticut State has a 3-0 record and the No. 23 ranking in part because of a 17-13 victory at Georgia Southern. The winner here keeps those playoffs prospects alive while the loser can likely go back to focusing on winning the NEC race, though a 3-0 start and two solid non- conference wins show Monmouth could also have something to say about all of that. The Great Danes have played three or four full-scholarship teams a year in recent seasons, and have progressively built confidence in those matchups. They boast a very solid running game with depth in the backfield, and a defense that has held Lehigh and Delaware to a combined 26 points. Linebacker Colin Disch could play for anybody in the country, and the defense will keep Albany in the game against most opponents. Central Connecticut State has undoubtedly gained confidence with wins against Colgate and Georgia Southern in recent years, but has less experience against top teams and did look shaky in a close win against Division II Southern Connecticut last week. Running back Justise Hairston saved the day there with 241 yards and three touchdowns, and I-AA’s top all-purpose runner will have to be at his best against the tough Albany defense unless the passing game picks up significantly. The teams appear closely matched considering this year’s results, but I like the way Albany’s defense matches up against a run-oriented offense. Albany would also love to exact a little payback for last year’s 14-13 loss, and has the home field edge. That, along with Central Connecticut State’s squeaker last week, makes me lean to the Great Danes in a tight defensive battle. Prediction: Albany 17, Central Connecticut State 13

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I like to see that. Very in depth analysis I think. Only thing that would've been cool to read was if they mentioned our 14-13 loss to CCSU was due to poor kicking (I think right?), but that our new kicker made 3 30+ yard field goals at Lehigh.


Either way, I'm excited to see if our STRONG D can neutralize the Blue Devils' running game as this predicition says.



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