ALBANY – The Central Connecticut State Blue Devils head back on the road this Saturday to UAlbany where they’ll face off against a Great Danes team who’s seen similar adversity to the Devils so far in 2022.
Both sides are still in search of their first notch in the win column this season, and both have sustained big losses along the way. UAlbany’s came by way of a 69-10 decision at Baylor in Week 1, while the Devils were a 70-6 route at Southeastern Louisiana a week ago.
To this point, the Blue Devils have consistently shifted their focus to slowing the oppositions rushing attack, and they’ll have to do the same this week. Danes’ fifth-year running back Todd Sibley has rushed for over 100 yards in each of the last two contests against New Hampshire and Fordham. Freshman quarterback Reese Poffenbarger is also known to be effective with his feet through his first few starts, adding an extra element to UAlbany’s ground game.
The Blue Devils’ defensive backfield will likely have their hands full on Saturday as well, as Poffenbarger has proved himself a worthy passer in his freshman campaign. A week ago against Fordham, Poffenbarger completed 25-of-40 passes for 412 yards and three touchdowns.
Conversely, all eyes could be on Central’s lead back, Nas Smith. UAlbany has allowed the second-most rushing yards in the CAA as well as the most rushing touchdowns with 11. Smith only ran for 51 yards on 11 carries last week against Southeastern Louisiana but paced the Devils’ offense the week prior at home against Sacred Heart.
Central’s defense has been opportunistic so far this season despite their offensive woes. That unit leads the NEC in fumbles recovered with four. They have also been able to block three extra points which slots them in at second most in the FCS.
CCSU has ties to UAlbany by way of their head coach, Ryan McCarthy. McCarthy served as quarterbacks coach, pass game coordinator and offensive coordinator at different points throughout his 13-year stint with the Danes.
CCSU at UAlbany
When: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
Where: Tom & Mary Casey Stadium
Records: CCSU 0-3, UAlbany 0-3
Last Meeting: UAlbany 19, CCSU 0 (9/6/2014)
Neither side has been able to steal a win through three weeks, but the UAlbany Great Danes have shown a clear advantage in terms of individual statistics to this point. The Danes have lost by five and three points over the last two weeks despite putting up a lot of numbers. CCSU has shown bursts of positive play against UConn and Sacred Heart but are yet to put together a full game. Prior to last week’s 70-6 route, the defense had held strong, and the offense looked to be trending in the right direction. UAlbany has been knocking on the door of a win as of late, and this could be a prime spot for the Great Danes to finally break through at home.
Cameron Beall’s Prediction
UAlbany 31, CCSU 17