The Sports Network
By Sean Shapiro, FCS Assistant
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 26th, 2 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium (8,136) - Stony Brook, New York. Surface: FieldTurf. Television: ESPN3.com. Announcers; Shawn Kenney and Rob Harley. Home record: Albany 4-2, Stony Brook 5-1. Away record: Albany 4-1, Stony Brook 3-2. Conference: Albany - Northeast; Stony Brook - Big South. Nicknames: Albany Great Danes; Stony Brook Seawolves. Series record: Stony Brook (9-4). Last meeting: October 6, 2007 (Albany, 24-23 at Albany 24). Series Streak: Stony Brook has won two of the last three meetings. Head coaches: Albany - Bob Ford (43rd season, 255-177-1 at Albany and overall); Stony Brook - Chuck Priore (sixth season, 36-30 at Stony Brook; 75-39 overall). FCS playoff records: Albany 0-0; Stony Brook 0-0. Previous FCS Playoff Appearances: Albany 0; Stony Brook 0. Sports Network/Fathead.com Rankings: Albany (NR); Stony Brook (22).
GAME NOTES: Stony Brook head coach Chuck Priore will face his alma mater and his mentor, Albany head coach Bob Ford, when both programs make FCS playoff debuts. The two have squared off twice before as head coaches, with the home team winning each time.
A fullback in Ford's wingbone offense and still among the top-10 rushers in Albany history, Priore may not run the option, but with a running back tandem of Miguel Maysonet (135 ypg) and Brock Jackolski (111.7 ypg) the Seawolves attack is a run-oriented unit. With a rotating-back system, Stony Brook always seems to have a fresh pair of legs carrying the ball, a dangerous weapon in an offense that has scored 40-plus points in seven straight games.
Albany's offense has been explosive as well, scoring 40-or-more points in four games, three of which have come on the road. However, a track-meet-style contest would favor Stony Brook, so Albany's game plan will likely consist of controlling the clock with multi-purpose back Andrew Smith (101.1 ypg) and relying on quarterback Dan Di Lella to make smart decisions and limit turnovers.
Since its bye in Week 5, Stony Brook's defense hasn't been tested much and has benefited from playing with the lead. Practicing against the nation's top- ranked scoring offense hasn't hurt, either. Albany's defense may allow close to 350 yards per game, but the unit has buckled down in the red zone and opponents have scored touchdowns just 58 percent of the time (21 of 36).
Both teams have been playing playoff-style football for much of the season coming from one-bid leagues. Albany lost to Bryant in Week 9 and needed to win out to keep Duquesne from claiming the trip to the playoffs. Stony Brook defeated Liberty last weekend, 41-31, becoming the first team in Big South history to finish 6-0 in conference play.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Stony Brook 44, Albany 31.
11/22 16:42:51 ET