When things are going wrong, they often seem to keep going wrong.
That’s a truth UAlbany football has learned all too often over the past three seasons, and it once again came back to bite the Great Danes on Saturday.
UAlbany pulled itself out of an early hole to go back-and-forth with Fordham’s high-powered offense and led by 11 late in the fourth quarter, but the Rams roared back with 21 points in the final 15 minutes to pull out a wild 48-45 non-conference win at Jack Coffey Field in the Bronx.
“We’ve got to figure out what our problems are and fix a couple things, I guess,” UAlbany head coach Greg Gattuso said.
UAlbany’s offense kept pace throughout the game with Fordham’s explosive attack, as the Great Danes (0-3 overall) got 412 passing yards and three touchdowns from Reese Poffenbarger and four touchdowns — three rushing, one receiving — from Todd Sibley Jr. However, UAlbany’s defense simply couldn’t find an answer for a Fordham (3-0) offense led by quarterback Tim DeMorat, who passed for 464 yards and five scores.
UAlbany had a 38-27 lead through three quarter after Poffenbarger hit Julian Hicks for a 25-yard score late in the third, but Fordham engineered back-to-back scoring drives to take a 41-38 lead with 9:24 left in the fourth quarter.
The Great Danes had an answer with a six-play, 75-yard march to the end zone, culminating with a 7-yard touchdown pass from Poffenbarger to Brevin Easton to take a 45-41 lead with 6:18 to play, but Fordham needed just 1:28 to take the lead back for good on a Trey Sneed 7-yard run.
“We just kept giving up deep shots,” Gattuso said. “I’ve got no answers for it, to be honest. It shouldn’t be happening. It’s very disappointing. I believe we played well enough, certainly, to win.”
On UAlbany’s ensuing drive, Poffenbarger drove the Great Danes past midfield, but the offense stalled and turned the ball over on downs before Fordham ran out the clock.
It was UAlbany’s ninth consecutive loss in a game decided by seven points or less over the last three seasons.
The loss soured a brilliant offensive performance, with Sibley carrying 17 times for 122 yards and three scores — including a 75-yarder — and hauling in two passes for 46 yards and a touchdown. His 45-yard catch-and-run as time expired in the first half gave the Great Danes a 24-17 lead.
UAlbany had a chance to add to that coming out of halftime, but fumbled on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter, with Fordham scoring on the very next play to tie the game.
The Great Danes will be back at home next Saturday for a 3:30 p.m. non-conference game against Central Connecticut State.
UAlbany 0 24 14 7 — 45
Fordham 10 7 10 21 — 48
F — Buron 11 pass from DeMorat (Peskin kick)
F — Peskin 38 field goal
UA — Sibley 1 run (Opalko kick)
F — Cody 20 pass from DeMoart (Peskin kick)
UA — Sibley 75 run (Opalko kick)
UA — Opalko 32 field goal
UA — Sibley 45 pass from Poffenbarger (Opalko kick)
F — Wright 33 pass from DeMorat (Peskin kick)
UA — Sibley 13 run (Opalko kick)
F — Peskin 22 field goal
UA — Hicks 25 pass from Poffenbarger (Opalko kick)
F — Cody 50 pass from DeMorat (run failed)
F — Alenn 19 pass from DeMorat (Loughridge run)
UA — Easton 7 pass from Poffenbarger (Opalko kick)
F — Sneed 7 run (Peskin kick)