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From the UA Athletics site:


UAlbany Football Favored to Win Conference Title; Four Players on Preseason All-NEC Team

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Release: 08/14/2007




Courtesy: UAlbany Athletics


Somerset, N.J. – According to a preseason poll of Northeast Conference head coaches, UAlbany has been established as the favorite to capture the 2007 NEC Football Championship. The Great Danes, who tied for second place in last year’s standings, received three first-place votes. Monmouth, the defending NEC champion, also earned three first-place votes and was picked second in the poll.


This year’s NEC champion will meet the winner of the Pioneer Football League in the second annual Gridiron Classic, an exempted postseason football game that takes place on Saturday, Dec. 1. The PFL champion will host the 2007 event.


“The voting represents a respect for the program, our defensive unit, and a pair of proven kicking specialists,” said UAlbany coach Bob Ford, who has 217 career victories on the collegiate level. “It’s the same story each year, but we need to stay relatively injury-free, reduce penalties, and improve our takeaway margin.”


The Great Danes, who posted a 7-4 record one year ago, are coming off their best defensive campaign since moving to the Division I FCS level. UAlbany ranked among the top-five nationally in three categories, including points allowed (13.0 pg) and total defense at 240.8 yards per game. All-America linebacker Colin Disch and All-NEC defensive tackle Michael Dungey are among eleven returning starters. Sophomore Frank Blasinsky has been installed as the No. 1 quarterback, while offensive guard Sam Pagano earned All-NEC honors. Placekicker Jason Fralicker booted a school-record 13 field goals and all-league specialist Chris Lynch averaged nearly 39 yards per punt.




2007 Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches Poll


1. UAlbany (3), 2. Monmouth (3), T3. Central Connecticut State, T3. Robert Morris (1), 5. Wagner, T6. Sacred Heart, T6. Saint Francis, Pa. ( ) – first-place votes




Somerset, N.J. – The Northeast Conference announced its 2007 preseason all-conference football team on Tuesday, Aug. 14. UAlbany had four players voted to the squad by the league’s head coaches.


Colin Disch, the 2005 and 2006 NEC Defensive Player of the Year, was named to last year’s American Football Coaches Association Division I FCS All-America squad. Disch, a senior inside linebacker who was also chosen as the Football Gazette FCS Mid-Major Linebacker of the Year, totaled 103 tackles, including 11 for a loss. He is currently third on school’s all-time tackles list with 346 and made double-figure hits in 21 career games.


Michael Dungey, a 6-foot-2, 275-pound defensive tackle, earned all-conference recognition for the second straight season. He had 34 tackles, eight hits for a loss and two sacks as a junior. A mid-major All-American and All-Northeast Region standout, Dungey led a defensive unit that ranked fifth nationally in rushing yards allowed at 90.2 per game.


Sam Pagano, a two-time All-NEC left guard, has appeared in 29 career games on UAlbany’s offensive line. He paved the way for an offense that averaged 296.0 total yards and 193.7 rushing yards against conference opponents. Lynch, a first-team mid-major All-American, averaged 38.8 yards per punt in 2006. He was selected to the all-conference first team. Lynch had five punts of 50-plus yards and placed 16 kicks inside the 20-yard line with five for touchbacks.

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