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Nova's record to date:

Date Time At Opponent Location TV Radio Result Links
September 2, 2023 (Saturday) 12:00 PM Away Lehigh Bethlehem, Pa. ESPN+ Villanova Sports Radio Network W, 38-10
September 9, 2023 (Saturday) 6:00 PM Home Colgate Villanova, Pa. / Villanova Stadium FloFootball-ignite_black.png   W, 42-19
September 16, 2023 (Saturday) 6:30 PM Away UCF Orlando, Fla. ESPN3   L, 14-48
September 23, 2023 (Saturday) 2:00 PM Home Rhode Island Villanova, Pa. / Villanova Stadium FloFootball-ignite_black.png   W, 35-9
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By the ratings systems this should be a near tossup:

Massey predicts Villanova by 3, 41% chance for Albany win

RealtimeRPI predicts Villanova by 2, 46.6%

Sagarin predicts Albany by 1 1/2 points

I heard yesterday the game's a near-sellout, though it doesn't look it from the ticket website

TU story today on "the old man" LB Ori Jean-Charles, 24 years old and in his seventh season in college:

2017 RS QB at Louisville, 2018 Louisville, 2019-21 moved to LB at Maine, torn ACL vs Albany, 2022-23 at Albany


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Danes’ Jean-Charles has staying power

Graduate student coming off his best game with UAlbany


By Mark Singelais

ALBANY — University at Albany football coach Greg Gattuso likes to call graduate linebacker Ori Jean-Charles “old man.”

It’s for good reason. Jean-Charles is 24 years old and first entered college football in 2017. He’s been around so long, he was a teammate of quarterback and future NFL MVP Lamar Jackson.


Jean-Charles redshirted as a freshman quarterback at Louisville during Jackson’s final season with the Cardinals after winning the Heisman Trophy in 2016.

“I got to share a (quarterback) room with him, so that was awesome,” Jean-Charles said. “The best player in the country, Heisman Trophy winner, but he was humble, just another guy. He prided himself on getting better every day, so that’s something I picked up from him early. I’ve tried to apply it to my game.”

While Jackson is starring in his sixth season with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, Jean-Charles is in his final year with the Great Danes in a college career marked by twists and turns. He has switched from offense to defense, tore an ACL for the second time and transferred schools twice.

In his second season at UAlbany, Jean-Charles is coming off his finest game as a Great Dane. He had 11 tackles, including eight solo, in last Saturday’s 23-17 double-overtime victory over Morgan State in Baltimore.

The Great Danes (2-2) return to action Saturday with their Coastal Athletic Association opener against Villanova (3-1), ranked 16th in the Stats Perform FCS poll, at Casey Stadium. Kickoff is 3:30 p.m.

“He’s really played well for us,” Gattuso said. “He was great Saturday night. He was all over the field. I love Ori Jean. I think he’s a great kid and I’m so happy for him.”

Jean-Charles has a history with UAlbany that preceded his arrival on Western Avenue. In 2019, he transferred from Louisville (which moved him to safety) to Maine, which used him as a tight end and linebacker. That season, Jean-Charles scored touchdowns on a 47-yard interception return and a 2-yard reception in a 47-31 victory over the Great Danes at Casey Stadium.

He had a much less pleasant memory against UAlbany in the spring 2021 season during the pandemic. In a 38-34 win over the Great Danes in Orono, Jean-Charles tore the ACL in his left knee. He tore the right ACL in his senior year of high school in Spring Valley in Rockland County.

“My relationship with Albany is intertwined, but I’m glad that now we’re on the positive side of things,” Jean-Charles said.

Maine had a coaching change and Jean-Charles wanted to be closer to home, so he transferred to UAlbany last season.

“Everything came together and Albany was just the right place,” said Jean-Charles, who studies public administration. “I liked being closer to home and I liked the defense. And last year, that Baylor game, it was a big opportunity to show what I could do on a higher level against a top-tier team.”

Jean-Charles, who is 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds, made his UAlbany debut with two tackles in that 69-10 loss at Baylor. He didn’t play much last season as he rounded back into form after the knee injury. He finished the year with six tackles.

This season, Jean-Charles has at least seven tackles in every game, including a fourth-down stop with 1:05 left in regulation against Morgan State.

Gattuso still has some fun with Jean-Charles’ age. While Jean-Charles did an on-field interview after Tuesday’s practice, Gattuso pulled up in his golf cart and offered him a ride in the “old-guy cart.”

“I feel healthy,” Jean-Charles said. “I feel like myself again. I’m just glad I’m out there proving and doing what I do best. It’s a blessing. I’m very excited for the season upcoming and what I’m going to continue to do.”


When: 3:30 p.m Saturday

Where: Casey Stadium, Albany

Radio: WPBZ 103.9 FM

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The weather for Casey Stadium on Saturday: A chance of showers before 8am. Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 68. North wind 3 to 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 50. Light north wind.

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The skies remain ugly this morning in southern Saratoga County, glad game is at 3:30 PM.



Danes set for league opener


By Mark Singelais

Jim Franco/Times Union archive

UAlbany defensive end Anton Juncaj, right, shown at a practice earlier this season, said containing Villanova quarterback Connor Watkins will be key.

ALBANY — The first month of UAlbany football’s schedule featured the opener against a Football Championship Subdivision playoff team, trips to West Virginia and Hawaii to face Football Bowl Subdivision foes, and a game played in the remnants of tropical storm Ophelia.

Tested heavily in nonconference play, the Great Danes (2-2) will find out Saturday if the experience pays off in the Coastal Athletic Association opener against traditional league power Villanova (3-1). Kickoff is 3:30 p.m. at Casey Stadium.


“Just playing tough, gritty, close games, all that travel, it strengthens you, hardens you,” UAlbany graduate linebacker Ori Jean-Charles said. “So I feel like we’re ready for a game like this. Fourth quarter, late in games, we’ve been through that, so we should be ready for that.”

UAlbany is coming off a 23-17 double-overtime victory last Saturday at Morgan State in a game played in heavy rain and high winds from Ophelia. The Great Danes survived four turnovers to prevail, a change from their recent trend of losing close games.

“It shows that as a group how we’re playing right now,” senior defensive end Anton Juncaj said. “We have some confidence and we’re all together. Last year, maybe we would have lost that game. But this year, it shows that we’re going to win.”

The Great Danes lost12 straight games decided by seven points or fewer, a streak they broke by beating Maine on the final play of the game last November. This year, they narrowly missed an upset at Marshall, losing 21-17, before giving Hawaii a scare in a 31-20 defeat.

UAlbany rebounded to beat Morgan State. To force overtime, the Great Danes stopped the Bears twice at the 1-yard line in the final minute of regulation after the Great Danes lost a fumble with the game seemingly wrapped up.

“We needed to get a road win,” UAlbany coach Greg Gattuso said. “We needed to get some confidence in how we play and it was just great to win a close game like that and battle, especially when things went so wrong at the end. I think that says a lot about the kids and that’s what gives me so much confidence.”

Now the Great Danes take on Villanova, ranked 16th in the country in the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 poll and 23rd in the FCS coaches’ poll.

Last year’s meeting was one of UAlbany’s more frustrating losses, a 31-29 setback at Villanova. The Great Danes rallied from down 21-0 in the first half and 28-16 with two minutes left to take a 29-28 lead with 53 seconds remaining.

But the Wildcats answered with a drive aided by two Great Danes’ penalties to kick a game-winning field goal as time expired.

“There’s no carryover,” Gattuso said. “We’re a different team this year and we’re a different defense and offense. I don’t know how that game’s going to play out, but I know we’re going to play really hard and it’s going to be a physical game and hopefully this time we have the win at the end and it’ll give us a big jump going into conference play.”

Villanova graduate quarterback Connor Watkins, a player UAlbany once recruited, had 292 yards passing and three touchdowns in last year’s game. He’s a dual threat who ran for 113 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s 35-9 victory over Rhode Island.

“He’s a good quarterback and he can move in the pocket, so we’ve just got to contain our rushing lanes and make sure we get him on the ground when we have a chance,” Juncaj said.

This will be UAlbany’s first home game since a 34-13 victory over Fordham in the season opener Aug. 26 before a sellout crowd of 8,500. Saturday is UAlbany’s annual Hometown Heroes game to honor the military and first responders.

“We’re hoping to get a big crowd,” Gattuso said. “That home opener was electric and we need to have that type of atmosphere. We need our fans. Come out, guys, we need you out there to beat Villa-nova. They’re ranked and they’re a good football team.”


When: 3:30 p.m Saturday

Where: Casey Stadium, Albany

Radio: WPBZ 103.9 FM

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lol, UAlbany production is such garbage. Roger has had a hot mic at virtually every break (and man is he hard to listen too, yikes). The down and distance on screen is usually delayed.

Someone is asleep at the wheel.

Edited by Eli
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