ALBANY — Frustration from back-to-back close defeats turned to disappointment for University at Albany football head coach Greg Gattuso after his team’s latest loss, which came Saturday in lopsided fashion against Towson.
“We go back to the drawing board and work,” Gattuso said. “That’s what we’ve been trying to do.”
Answers and quick fixes, though, are not readily apparent for the Great Danes. Against nationally-ranked Towson and star quarterback Tom Flacco, UAlbany offered little resistance in a 56-28 loss that kept the Great Danes winless in CAA play this season.
Towson, ranked No. 13 in the media poll and No. 14 in the coaches poll, led 38-21 after a first half in which the Tigers gained 380 yards of total offense. Flacco — the younger brother of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco — was 19 of 29 passing for 235 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, plus rushed nine times for 79 yards and a score.
For the game, Tom Flacco — who sat out the majority of the fourth quarter — finished 23 of 36 passing for 306 yards and with 80 yards rushing on 14 attempts. Flacco added a rushing touchdown in the third quarter, giving him two rushing scores and two passing scores on the day.
“He was outstanding,” Gattuso said.
The Great Danes’ latest loss came in their homecoming game at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium in front of a crowd of 7,029. This season, an average crowd of 5,357.8 fans have watched the Great Danes’ four home games at Casey Stadium.
The Great Danes weren’t in any mood to celebrate after their defeat, but Towson redshirt sophomore wide receiver Caleb Smith — an Albany native who played at La Salle Institute — enjoyed his return to the Capital Region.
“It was a great homecoming,” Smith said. “Glad I’m with the right team. The winning team.”
Towson, already up 17 points at halftime, scored 18 unanswered points to start the second half.
The loss against Towson (4-0, 6-1) was the third in a row for UAlbany (0-4, 2-5). The Great Danes had evened their record at 2-2 heading into their bye week, but have since lost a pair of three-point decisions before Saturday’s lopsided loss.
“It’s a struggle right now,” Gattuso said.
A bright spot for UAlbany was the play of junior wide receiver Juwan Green. The junior had four receptions for 135 yards and two touchdowns, with his scores coming on 50- and 60-yard passes from redshirt senior quarterback Vincent Testaverde.
For the game, Testaverde finished 10 of 22 passing for 210 yards.
With its win and a loss Saturday for Maine — UAlbany’s opponent next week — Towson gained sole possession of first place in the CAA.
“We have to keep getting better,” said Towson head coach Rob Ambrose, whose team was picked 10th in the CAA preseason coaches poll.
Towson 10 28 11 7 — 56
Albany 7 14 0 7 — 28
T — Simpson 3 run (O’Neill kick)
T — O’Neill 27 field goal
A — Green 60 pass from Testaverde (Stark kick)
T — Flacco 5 run (O’Neill kick)
T — Thaenrat 42 run (O’Neill kick)
A — Testaverde 1 run (Stark kick)
T — Allen 17 pass from Flacco (O’Neill kick)
T — Leatherbury 41 pass from Flacco (O’Neill kick)
A — Green 50 pass from Testaverde (Stark kick)
T — O’Neill 45 field goal
T — Flacco 1 run (Heron conversion)
T — Young 1 pass from Stover (O’Neill kick)
A — Mofor 6 run (Stark kick)