“Even though we have been in this conference for eight years, theres a growth that goes into it and I think we accomplished alot of that, I think the challenge now is to be consistently good from week to week and thats the hardest part we have to go in and play some tough games in those first few weeks, I mean three of the first four games are on the road, two against ranked top five teams, an ACC team and a Rhode Island team that will be ranked, we will have to ready to play on a big stage and our kids understand that, we have to be confident and I like to think that we are alot more like 2019 team then the team in the spring and what I saw on the field is that we are at, I like our team, I think they are dedicated and committed and have really strong leadership, which can really get you through those tough times, we knew this schedule was a way to test ourselves” – UALBANY Head Coach
Going into the 2021 season, the Great Danes were looking to pick up where they left off at from their 2019 season 8-4, in second place, with a win/victory over Central Connecticut State. They were looking to pick it up in 2020, but due to covid and a compressed but short spring season, which was basically a few practice games, before they officailly had to cut the season short, due to injuries. Now entering the 2021 season, the Great Danes are officially back at full strength , but since they last took the field, some things have changed. Even though they still have Undercuffer under the helm, running the offense and running back Karl Mofo and tight end LJ Wesneski as their top weapons, a major concern is their depth at receiver. Before UAlbany had the option of methodically moving down the field or getting down the field with quick strikes from their receivers (Joah Reeves, Juwaun Green, Donovan Mcdonald). Now it seems, based on their first six games, it seems like other then rookie Roy Alexander, they do not pose a deep threat. Teams are showing that they are not scared of their receivers, blitzing Undercuffer and taking chances either stacking the box or blitzing.
Defensive wise as coach Gattuso stated that he was happy about the defense and even though they had two big losses to North Dakota St and Syracuse, he is excited about the weapons he has. Like linebacker Jackson Ambush and Paul Theobald, also safeties like Larry Walker and Tyler Carswell have the coach feeling great about his defense. Gattuso also stated that he had so much depth at cornerback, that he did not know who to start out.
So far coach Gattuso has hit the nail on the head, maybe not in record, but he like he stated on media day, the schedule is tough and challenging. As expected they lost to top teams North Dakota St and Syracuse, but what was really a concern from their 0-6 record, are the losses to the undefeated Rhode Island Rams, which they gave that game away. The same with 4-1 William and Mary, they went into the fourth quarter with a 10 point lead (21-10), but ended the game with a loss 24-21. Deleware they struggled offensively, until the fourth quarter, but still could not come out the victor, another team they were expected to beat. Villanova, which was their first game back home in three weeks,was one of those tough opponets added to the schedule and as expected they fought until the end, but still lost. At 0-6, the road does not get any easier, for their first win of the season, as they play Maine, New Hampshire and and Towson. All these teams are in the middle of the pack and have nothing to lose and they also have one more non conference game against Morgan St which is in the same boat. It is safe to say it is going to be a dog fight for the remaining games on the schedule, with the playoffs out of reach, the great Danes are playing for respect, one game at a time, stay tuned!