UAlbany Begins NEC Play Against Duquesne Sat.

Pittsburgh, Pa. -- UAlbany completes its run of five consecutive road games to begin the 2008 football season in a Northeast Conference matchup against league newcomer Duquesne on Saturday, Oct. 4 at 1:00 p.m. Fans can listen to the game on Fox Sports 980 (WOFX-AM). Rodger Wyland will handle the play-by-play from Rooney Field.

The Dukes, who are in their first season as an NEC member, previously captured nine consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championships. Duquesne (2-1, NEC 1-0) is off to a 2-1 start following a 24-16 come-from-behind victory over Dayton last Saturday. Eleven starters return, including five first-team all-conference performers. Michigan State transfer Connor Dixon has an immediate impact at quarterback. The 6-foot-4 signal-caller has thrown for 870 yards and 11 touchdowns in three starts. Running back Cleodis Williams is the first Duquesne player to rush for 100-plus in back-to-back games in five years. He had 129 yards on the ground in a 21-7 triumph over Saint Francis, Pa. to begin league play on Sept. 20. Linebacker Nathan Totino ranks 10th among the FCS national leaders in tackles at 12.3 per game. Freshman Chidozie Oparanozie has won the NEC rookie of the week award twice this season. Duquesne's string of 14 consecutive winning campaigns is only bettered by Montana and Eastern Kentucky at the Division I FCS level.

UAlbany (1-3, NEC 0-0) has won seven of nine conference openers since joining the league in 1999. The Great Danes, who are playing a school-record eighth straight road game, dating back to last November, went up against three national top-20 opponents in preparation for the NEC schedule. David McCarty, who had his nine-game, 100-yard rushing streak snapped at Delaware last week, is 11th nationally at 120.0 per game. Quarterback Vinny Esposito has connected on 57 of 103 passes for 647 yards and two touchdowns. Justin Gannon set the program's FCS record with 183 kickoff return yards against Delaware and accounted for a career-best 205 all-purpose yards. Linebacker Justin Brancaccio (39) and free safety Dave Casale (32) are the top tacklers on defense.


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