From Gary Jones to David McCarty, UAlbany’s NEC history has been lined with all-time great running backs. Bob Ford’s teams have almost always had the ability to push opponents around and establish the run game. The Danes have had plenty of adequate quarterbacks in their history but have never been much of a passing team. Only once in program history has a UA passer reached the 2,000-yard mark in a season (Joe Savino threw for 2,377 yards in 1997). This season, however, Dan Di Lella is putting on an air show. Albany’s senior signal caller leads the NEC in passing (222.4 ypg) and has thrown for 1,557 yards with four regular season game remaining. The 6-foot-5 quarterback was at it again this past Saturday in a 63-35 win over Central Connecticut, tossing a program-record five TD passes to go along with a career-high 283 yards through the air. Oh, and the Danes can still run it well, too. They rank second in the league in rushing offense, averaging over 200 yards per contest.
You can watch UAlbany in the NEC-TV Football Game of the Week on Oct. 29 live from Wagner. Broadcast begins at 12:00 pm and can be seen on Fox College Sports-Pacific, TimeWarner3 (Albany), and ESPN3.
These guys are still underclassmen! Monmouth head coach Kevin Callahan has to be thrilled he’ll have the Dan Sullivan and Eric Macik together on the defensive front for another two seasons after this one. The two defensive linemen have both earned the NEC Defensive Player of the Week award and are key reasons why the Hawks have rebounded from last year’s uncharacteristic 3-win season by jumping smack in the middle of the 2011 NEC title hunt. Macik, who is a true freshman, logged a pair of second-half sacks during Monmouth’s Week 8 win at Sacred Heart. Meanwhile, Sullivan, a sophomore, had a breakout game, making 4.0 tackles for a loss, in Monmouth’s Week 3 road victory over Villanova. Needless to say, the Hawks have the most sacks (17) in the NEC.
Here are some highlights from Monmouth’s latest win…
Duquesne has won six games this season, and has had a 100-yard rusher in all six of the victories. Preseason all-NEC running back Larry McCoy reach the century mark for the 16th time in his career when he racked up 149 yards and three touchdowns in a Week 8 win over Wagner. Having already accounted for back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, McCoy has rushed for over 3,000 yards in what has been an illustrious career. McCoy managed only 97 yards in a Week 7 win over Central Connecticut, but quarterback Sean Patterson picked up the slack and ran for 111 yards and two scores. With performances like those of McCoy and Patterson, it should come as no surprise that the Dukes lead the NEC in rushing offense.
Almost as uncharacteristic as Central Connecticut’s five-game slide is the Blue Devils current standing on the NEC’s rushing leader board. CCSU led the league in rushing offense in each of head coach Jeff McInerney’s first five years at the helm, averaging in excess of 210.0 yards per game in every one of the five. The Blue Devils were also amongst the top-10 national leaders for much of that five-year period as well. Central currently sits fifth out of nine NEC teams in terms of rushing offense, averaging 164.9 yards per contest. The Blue Devils’ struggles in the win-loss columns may also have something to do with CCSU’s inability to protect the football this season. Central has turned it over a league-high 20 times.