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Big League Clu’s FCS Roadtrip continues in the great state of New York!

In this week’s installment of the FCS Roadtrip, we continue our local FCS school search (don’t worry we will get to all those non-NY programs soon, I promise!). This time we head out to Albany, NY, where the Albany Great Danes are tearing it up in the Northeast Conference.

Albany Great Danes (5-1, 3-0 Northeast Conference)

Last Week Results: defeated Bryant college 31-14

Next Game: vs. St. Francis (PA) 10/13/12 at 1pm

Talk about a conference power house! These Danes have been rolling against their in-conference foes, outscoring them a total of 121-48. Pretty impressive, if you ask me. With the win last week against Bryant, the Danes cracked the FCS top 25, punching through at #24. But in all respect, this year’s Danes team wouldn’t be where it is today had it not been for the 2011 team, so let’s take a look at them real quick shall we?

Those Year Old Great Danes!

Legendary coach Bob Ford led the Danes to the Conference title in 2011. (UAlbany Athletics)

So yes, way back in the year 2000 and 11, Albany finished the season with a record of 8-3 (7-1 in the conference) after starting the season 0-2. They would go on to be the conference co-champions with Duquesne. They were lucky too! Because of a 38-10 victory against those same Dukes earlier in the year, the Great Danes would earn their first ever trip to the Division I FCS playoffs, where they would face former NEC opponent and Big South champs SUNY Stony Brook (remember those guys?) in the first round. Unfortunately, they would lose 31-28. The leaders of this 2011 squad were QB Dan Di Lella, who led an offense that averaged 34 points per game. Di Lella would also set a school record for most touchdown passes in a single season (25). On defense, they were led by senior captain DE Eddie Delaney who set the single season sacks record. Delaney would also get national attention and recognition for his success on the field despite being a diabetic and having been born without a left hand. just look what I found from sports illustrated! He’s an inspiration to many!

Whats In Store for the Great Danes?

Does anyone else think they’re copying LSU? (Lori Van Buren / Times Union)

So anywho, this year’s Danes team has been just as impressive as last years. So far, they are averaging 35 ppg. They also like to pour it on late in games, as they have outscored their opponents in the fourth quarter 62-23! Talk about getting the job done when it counts! They’re led by QB Will Fiacchi (Fiacchi!!), and his absurd 130.8 QB Rating. He has thrown for 1,221 yards and has 8 total touchdowns (1 rushing, 7 passing) on the year. They also have a three-headed rushing attack that is led by Drew “Him Up” Smith (605 yards, 11 TDs), Omar “Ozzie” Osbourne (268 yards, 2 TDs) and last, but certainly not least, Kevin “drinks it” Chillis (202 yards, 3 TDs rushing, 177 yards receiving and 1 TD). These Danes like to spread the ball around and attack their opponents’ atrocious defenses. They should be able to run away with the conference, but keep your eyes out for the late season rematch with Duquesne. This time, though, the Danes will be at the Dukes!

As I have mentioned before, the Great Danes have many new plans for the next few seasons. In April of 2012 they broke ground on a new state of the art multi-sports complex at University Field (where they play).  The newly renovated complex is set to hold anywhere from 10-15,000 seats, and is a big upgrade from their current field, which only holds 6,000. It will be available for use beginning in Fall 2013. To go along with this big change, they are also going to be changing the name of the complex from University Field to Bob Ford Field, in honor of head coach Bob Ford, who has been coaching at Albany since 1970 and has an overall win/loss record of 246-156. He’s their hero.

The other news is that, starting in the 2013 season, Albany wont be playing in the Northeastern Conference anymore, as they were granted acceptance into the Colonial Athletic Association, along with… you guessed it! Stony Brook! So, it looks like these former in-state rivals will be set to due battle again (for a while at least), which should make for some exciting FCS football!

As a side note, I will not have an FCS road trip for next weekend. Don’t go too far though, because they will be coming back before you know it. This is because I will be heading on a road trip of my own. You see, I am heading up to Syracuse NY, to watch the return of Coach P. That’s right people, Paul Pasqualoni is going to be returning to the Carrier Dome for the first time as the head coach of the Connecticut Huskies to do battle against my home town team, the Syracuse Orange on Friday night October 19th at 8pm. So stay tuned, because I am sure to come back with many photos of the game which may or may not include photos of some of the many Syracuse fanatics! Stay tuned!

Some Video of the Ford Field Ground Breaking:

Featured image courtesy of: UAlbany Sports

Big League Clu

About Big League Clu

Clu Haywood leads the league in most offensive categories, including nose hair. When he sneezes, he looks like a party favor. Also, he's been known to hit the ball "too high" and alleges to have illegitimately fathered Jake Tayor's non-existent children. You can also find him on Twitter @bigleagueclu

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