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Probably the last chance to impress any pollsters who haven't noticed us yet, wins over Monmouth and Stony Brook won't help. We won't be getting a seed and its first-round bye, and once you get an at-large I don't know how much  rankings influence who gets a home game, or if it's just how much money you bid.

In the computer rankings Sagarin has us 21 in FCS, Massey 20, and RealtimeRPI 29. Mary & Bill is ranked 33, 28  and 19. All three predict an Albany win by from three to five points.

Very early weather forecasts are for partly cloudy skies and game-time temperatures in the upper 50s, about as good as you can expect in November.


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4 hours ago, UAalum72 said:

In the Any Given Saturday poll, Albany is now 18th, W&M 29th in Others Receiving Votes (Villanova is 14th)

In the STATS poll, Albany in 23rd, W&M 24th (Villanova 17th)

In the FCS Coaches' poll, Villanova is 22nd, W&M is 24th. Albany is 29th in ORV, still behind Fordham

Saw that, How can Villanova be ranked ahead of us??????   I don't think rankings actually mean much.  We have to continue to win.  I think Monmouth will be a tougher game than many think.  Gotta take care of business this weekend.

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1 hour ago, HOF2013 said:

Saw that, How can Villanova be ranked ahead of us??????   I don't think rankings actually mean much.  We have to continue to win.  I think Monmouth will be a tougher game than many think.  Gotta take care of business this weekend.

They mean a lot.  The rankings are used as guidance by the playoff committee.  Our ranking is a pre-disposed bias to the early season expectations.  It's ludicrous.  In my mind, we are a 14-18 team. 

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Hard to copy Danes’ QB Poffenbarger

Redshirt sophomore is second in FCS with 22 TD passes, including several long ones


By Mark Singelais

Jim Franco/Times Union

Reese Poffenbarger hasn’t been shy about throwing deep, with five TDs of 50 yards or more in the past three weeks.

ALBANY — University at Albany quarterback Reese Poffenbarger met his twin at practice this week.

Well, not exactly.


UAlbany coach Greg Gattuso dressed up as Poffenbarger for Halloween at Tuesday’s practice. Gattuso donned a makeshift No. 7 jersey and a baseball cap he borrowed from Poffenbarger. He slipped his left leg into a white sleeve, just like Poffenbarger.

Gattuso, a former defensive lineman at Penn State, isn’t exactly the same body type as the 6-foot, 208-pound Poffenbarger, a redshirt sophomore.

“That was hysterical,” Poffenbarger said after Thursday’s practice. “That was one of the funnier things I’ve seen a coach do throughout my college experience. He keeps it lighthearted and everything.”

While Gattuso could try to imitate Poffenbarger, he can’t play like him. Then again, few quarterbacks in the Football Championship Subdivision can.

On a dazzling streak of big plays, Poffenbarger ranks second in FCS with 22 touchdown passes as 23rd-ranked UAlbany (6-3 overall, 4-1 league) takes on No. 24 William & Mary on Saturday in a Coastal Athletic Association game at Casey Stadium.

In the past three games, he has thrown five touchdowns passes of 50 yards or more. Poffenbarger has surpassed 300 yards in all three games.

The deep shots have sprung from a combination of Poffenbarger’s ability to make throws on the run, the dangerous speed of receivers Julian Hicks, Brevin Easton and Mar-Qeese Dietz, and the threat of a running game that has sprung Griffin Woodell and Faysal Aden for 100-yard performances.

“Just athletes,” Poffenbarger said. “Brevin, Ju, obviously those are the two guys who have been taking the tops off defenses. And it’s really just game prep. Coach (Jared) Ambrose (offensive coordinator) is in my opinion, the best in the business. We’re studying the opponent every week and we know we can get certain looks where we can get their safeties in tough positions, might be on their heels.”

Poffenbarger pointed out he hasn’t been sacked the past two weeks behind a solid offensive line that starts two freshmen (center Sean Dugery and right tackle Nolan Latulippe) and a junior (left guard Tyson Foster) who’s an injury replacement.

UAlbany’s offense scuffled at times earlier in the season. The Great Danes ran into Football Bowl Subdivision opponents Marshall and Hawaii and then were confronted by heavy rain and winds in a victory over Morgan State.

UAlbany averaged 20 points over those three games, compared with 34.3 over the past three weeks.

“It’s one of those things when you see it not click exactly how you want three weeks in a row, you start to get a little, maybe nervous,” Poffenbarger said. “But we just didn’t attack it that way. We attacked it as, we’ve got to do more work. We’ve got to put more time into the game. We’ve got to find more ways to get different people open.”

Or even when they’re not. Gattuso recalled Poffenbarger moving to his right against Maine and throwing a 55-yard completion to Dietz, who made a one-handed grab to the Maine 4.

Gattuso said Poffenbarger is playing smart, making good decisions and giving his receivers a chance.


When: 1 p.m Saturday

Where: Casey Stadium, Albany

Radio: WTMM 104.5 TM

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A question for today: Will Buffalo Bills legend Jim Kelly make another appearance at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium?



Iconic uncle roots on Danes’ Kelly


By Mark Singelais

Courtesy of Dylan Kelly

Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, who led Buffalo to four straight Super Bowls, saw his nephew Dylan Kelly play linebacker for the University at Albany at Casey Stadium last week against Rhode Island.

Uncle Jim came to watch University at Albany senior linebacker Dylan Kelly play last Saturday at Casey Stadium.

After the Great Danes dominated Rhode Island, Uncle Jim stopped by his nephew’s off-campus housing. He was as impressed by what he heard as he was with what he saw from Dylan on the field.


“The thing I like about Dylan is, he listens to classic rock and roll,” Jim said Wednesday in a phone interview. “You’ve got to love that in a kid nowadays. When we went to his house after the game was over, I’m listening to him and I’m like, ‘Wow, he even knows the words to these old songs.’ Listening to the Doobie Brothers and all the ones that Uncle Jim listened to growing up.”

Uncle Jim is Jim Kelly, the Hall of Fame quarterback who led the Buffalo Bills to four straight Super Bowl appearances during his 11 seasons with the franchise.

Dylan never bragged about their relationship. The local media and even UAlbany’s athletic communications department were unaware of it until Flo-Football and WTMM (104.5 FM) sideline reporter Madison Jones revealed that tidbit during last Saturday’s broadcast.

“He’s my uncle,” Dylan said. “He’s taught me a lot about the sport. But if I don’t get asked about it, I don’t talk about it.”

“He’s very low-key,” UAlbany coach Greg Gattuso added. “I’m trying to remember if I knew (Jim is his uncle).”

Dylan, raised in the Buffalo suburb of Amherst, is doing Jim and the rest of his family proud. Playing middle linebacker, he’s second in the Football Championship Subdivision with 100 tackles as UAlbany (5-3 overall, 3-1 Coastal Athletic Association) enters Saturday’s game at Maine (2-6, 1-4).

Jim, 63, watched with his brother Dan, Dylan’s father, and other family in the Casey Stadium stands while Dylan made nine tackles, including six solo, and had an interception.

“His smartness, his ability to get to the play quick,” Jim Kelly said. “In school, I was recruited to play linebacker also. Plus, pretty much all the Kellys played linebacker, whether it was inside or outside or whatever. Just his instinct, knowing to get to the ball and knowing how to play that position. He’s not a typical middle linebacker. He’s more of an outside, to me personally, because of his size (6-foot-2, 224 pounds). I mean, his size is good, but his quickness is very good. As I said before, his alertness to get where he needs to be is really unbelievable.”

The Kellys tailgated and Jim enjoyed the “U-A, you know!” chant. He now owns a UAlbany hoodie.

“It was the first Albany game he’s been to, so it’s a good thing we got the win,” said Dylan, who added he put on the classic rock afterward to please his father and uncle.

Though the Kelly family is from Pittsburgh, Jim’s younger twin brothers, Dan and Kevin, followed him to his stops at the University of Miami, the Houston Gamblers of the USFL and Buffalo. They all still live in Buffalo.

Dan worked as Jim’s agent later in his NFL career and handled his business during Jim’s battles with oral cancer.

“My brother Dan has been there from start to finish and it’s been pretty cool,” Jim said.

Dylan reaped the benefits of having a Bills icon as his uncle. He attended as many Bills games as he could and occasionally was allowed on the sideline before games.

“When I was young, I didn’t really understand what was going on,” Dylan said. “Then when I get to middle school, teachers start coming up to you, ‘You don’t understand what it was like during the heyday.’ Yeah, it was a shocker in middle school, when I really started to understand what he did for our community. Now he’s just Uncle Jim.”

Jim Kelly, whose son Hunter died at 8 years old of Krabbe Disease in 2005, has followed several nephews’ football careers. Casey is a junior tight end at Oregon and Mitchell is a freshman safety at Mount Union.

Jim said he might return to Casey Stadium for UAlbany’s Nov. 4 game against William & Mary.

“I love watching my nephews and Dylan’s the one up now and I’m watching and enjoying it,” he said. “We’re football players, we’re football uncles, we’re football dads. So we love it.”

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Danes set for showdown

Two Top 25 teams meet in game with playoff ramifications


By Mark Singelais


When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Casey Stadium, Albany

Radio: WTMM 104.5 FM

Jim Franco/Times Union archive

UAlbany coach Greg Gattuso said preseason polls are “idiotic,” but understood why William & Mary was the CAA favorite.

ALBANY — When the Coastal Athletic Association football season dawned in August, the University at Albany was an afterthought and William & Mary was the near-unanimous favorite.

The landscape has changed as the 23rd-ranked Great Danes take on the No. 24 Tribe at 1 p.m. Saturday at Casey Stadium in a game with Football Championship Subdivision playoff ramifications.


UAlbany, chosen 11th in the preseason coaches’ poll, is 6-3 overall, 4-1 in the CAA. Tied for third, the Great Danes are in contention for the CAA regular-season title and would take a major step toward a postseason berth with a victory on Saturday.

“We both need this game because it’s a win against a ranked opponent, so it’s a big one,” UAlbany coach Greg Gattuso said.

While still a good team, William & Mary (5-3, 3-2) is alone in sixth place after getting 13 of 14 possible first-place votes in the preseason poll. The Tribe would greatly help their playoff resume with a win over the Great Danes.

“It definitely means something to us because we feel we’re one of the best teams in the country, if not the best team in the country, period,” UAlbany graduate linebacker Ori Jean-Charles said. “When we get an opportunity to play good opponents like this, it means a lot.”

William & Mary edged Monmouth 31-28 last week to snap a three-game losing streak that included a 27-13 defeat at Virginia of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Tribe coach Mike London, who led his team to the FCS quarterfinals last season, also guided Richmond to the national championship in 2008.

While understanding why William & Mary was the preseason choice, Gattuso said he’s never put any stock in preseason polls.

“It just doesn’t mean anything because I think preseason polls are idiotic,” Gattuso said. “That said, they’re a good football team. They’re very good. They played UVA tough. He (London) is a really good football coach and I think he does a good job. I think they warranted being preseason (favorite). That would have been my favorite, one of those guys, but at the end of the day, the next three weeks is going to be gigantic for the whole conference because there’s a lot of games late here that are going to (determine) what happens in the playoffs and conference championships and all that stuff.”

UAlbany will try to stay undefeated at home in a game that’s also dedicated to breast cancer awareness.

The Great Danes, averaging 34.3 points and 475.6 yards of offense over their past three games, run into a William & Mary defense that allows 17.9 points and 282.1 yards per contest, both best in the CAA.

Tribe junior linebacker John Pius, who has 7 1 /2sacks, finished second in the voting last year for the Buck Buchanan Award, which goes to the top defensive player in FCS. Defensive lineman Nate Lynn, a third-team all-American last season, has eight sacks.

“They’ve got two studs on the D-line,” UAlbany quarterback Reese Poffenbarger said. “But you know, we’ve played big-time opponents this year. We’ve seen guys that are of their caliber. But obviously, major respect to them. Those two guys, 99 (Lynn) and 8 (Pius) are great players and we’ve got to find a way to contain them and I think we will. They’re pretty sound everywhere else, but we’ve just got to play our game and do what we’ve been doing and I think good things are going to happen.”

William & Mary junior running back Malachi Imoh is second in the CAA with 714 rushing yards. But the Tribe, led by junior quarterback Darius Wilson, are second-to-last in the league with 144.4 yards passing per game and eight TD passes. Wilson did throw for 283 yards and two touchdowns last week.

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The game is chippy, from both sides, as expected with so much on the line.  I absolutely expect W&M to come out firing in the second half.  That last offensive PI that nullified the TD was nonsense.  Some of the penalties should have been offsetting (W&M with equal unsportsmenlike) but the reality is, our guys should be keeping there cool.  Defensively, we've been insane. Offensively, maybe 50% of what we could be.  

Right now, we are miles ahead of W&M...however, I'd expect that gap to close.  We need to keep doing what we are doing defensively and on offense, don't play conservatively but play on the border of aggressive offensive, within our skillset.  I will not feel comfortable until we are up 20 or so (not saying that is possible).  

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