UALBANY Football Week 10 Preview, UAlbany @ New Hampshire

by Ryan McCarthy, BBM Staff Writer

Can Jeff Undercuffler and the UAlbany get their first CAA win of this season this week? (pc: Ryan McCarthy)
UAlbany pushed 13th ranked Delaware to the brink last week, but lost in painful fashion during the last minute. This week, the Great Danes (2-7 overall, 0-6 CAA) will travel to Durham, NH to take on the New Hampshire Wildcats in search of their first conference win. The Wildcats (3-6 overall, 2-4 CAA) are coming off of their biggest win of the season, upsetting previously 3rd ranked James Madison, 35-24.

How do these teams match up?

UAlbany Offense vs. New Hampshire Defense: Last week featured the debut of freshman QB Jeff Undercuffler. The Great Danes used their running attack to take the pressure off of Undercuffler with running backs Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks and Karl Mofor having strong games as a result. Undercuffler also demonstrated his strong arm with some long throws to put together a drive that setup a field goal to end the first half. This week, they’ll need to be wary of a Wildcats defense that forced six turnovers out of James Madison, including two interceptions returned for touchdowns in the first quarter. DBs Rick Ellison and Evan Horn each have three interceptions and each had a Pick Six against the Dukes. One notable player to keep an eye on the Wildcat defense is Quinlen Dean. The 2017 All-CAA second team linebacker leads the Wildcats with 70 total tackles, including 11 tackles for loss. UAlbany’s offensive line will need to keep their sights on DL Brian Carter, who leads the Wildcats with 5.5 sacks. One factor that could help UAlbany is UNH's run defense: the running game can capitalize on a squad that gives up an average of 142 yards on the ground per game.

UAlbany Defense vs. New Hampshire Offense: The Wildcats offense benefited from the performance of their defense and also did their best to keep James Madison’s offense off the field. This included an 8+ minute drive that didn’t produce a score, but did eat an enormous amount of time off the clock. QB Trevor Knight took over the starting job after the Wildcats started the season 0-4 and has led UNH to three wins in five games with 959 yards and seven touchdowns. The Wildcats’ ground game is led by Carlos Washington, Jr., who has 331 yards. The Wildcats’ leading receiver is senior Neil O’Connor, who has 698 yards and three touchdowns. The Great Danes’ defense, meanwhile, bounced back from two rough outings with an impressive game against Delaware. Now that the defense is fully healthy, they’re starting to show their form. The front seven especially will be licking their chops against a UNH offensive line that is tied for last in the conference with 32 sacks surrendered.

Outlook: For the Great Danes to snap their five-game slide, the offense needs to establish the run and the defense will need to put pressure on Knight. But the Wildcats have the home crowd behind them, which could be a deciding factor in a tight matchup.

Game Time: 1 p.m.

Where to Listen: 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio WTMM (UA Feed), UNH feed available on

(Television broadcast in the New England area only on NBC Boston.)

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