09-12-2013 03:09 PM
Celebrating his 76th birthday Wednesday, Albany head coach Bob Ford ran the program’s first practice at the school's brand-new $19 million multi-sport complex.
The stadium field turf is named in honor of Ford, the only coach the Albany football program has known. Ford, who is in his 44th season, has built the program from the ground up, taking the Great Danes from a club team to an FCS contender. With 265 career victories, Ford ranks second among all active college football coaches and first among NCAA Division I active coaches. Ford, who is set to retire at the end of the year, has won four Northeast Conference Coach of the Year honors and led the Great Danes to six NEC titles.
The state-of-the-art 8,500-seat facility includes a distinct press level with four luxury suites, booths for radio, television, coaching, replay, and print media, as well as 20 high-definition televisions distributed throughout the level.
KEEP YOUR EYES ON THESE FCS GAMES THIS WEEK Colgate at No. 9 New Hampshire No. 11 Richmond at Gardner-Webb No. 21 Coastal Carolina at No. 25 Eastern Kentucky No. 7 Central Arkansas at Tennessee-Martin No. 12 Eastern Illinois at No. 16 Illinois State
The stadium also features a $1.1 million Daktronics scoreboard with a 39 by 22 high-definition video display and point-source sound system behind the south end zone.
The Great Danes will officially unveil the new stadium at 7 p.m. ET Saturday when they play Rhode Island in the program’s inaugural Colonial Athletic Association game.
Jacksonville State four make an FCS first
Four Jacksonville State offensive players combined for 539 rushing yards and five touchdowns to become the first FCS institution to have four players rush for 100 or more yards (only seventh time overall in Division I history) in the Gamecocks' 48-13 win against Jacksonville. Running back Troymaine Pope had 160 yards on 16 carries and three touchdowns and averaged 10.0 yards per carry. Running back Miles Jones had 138 yards on 20 carries, while quarterback Eli Jenkins had 128 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown. Running back DaMarcus James had 105 yards on 12 carries and one touchdown. The quartet helped establish Jacksonville State rushing records for most yards rushing (523) and most carries (70).
Fordham goes for best start since 1988
The last time Fordham started the season 3-0, Ronald Reagan was President of the United States, cell phones were nowhere to be found and college seniors were not even born yet. And the Rams were not even an FCS program, as their last 3-0 open to a year came in their final season in Division III in 1988. Fordham has a chance to change that at 1 p.m. ET Saturday when it shoots for a 3-0 start while visiting FBS member Temple. The Rams opened 2-0 for the first time since 2003 when they upset Villanova 27-24 on Saturday. Fordham also goes for the first win by a Patriot League team over an FBS opponent since Colgate beat Buffalo in 2003.
Southern Utah moved to 2-0 with a 49-0 victory against Division II Fort Lewis in Cedar City, Utah, last Saturday. The Thunderbirds are 2-0 for the first time since 2006. Southern Utah travels to Washington State on Saturday seeking its first 3-0 start since 1980. Saturday's shutout over Fort Lewis was the Thunderbirds' first since a 52-0 win against Dixie State in 2010.
Lighting up the scoreboard
McNeese State improved to 2-0 after a 58-14 victory against Arkansas-Pine Bluff last Saturday in Lake Charles, La. The Cowboys are 2-0 for the second consecutive season. In the FCS, the Cowboys are ranked No. 1 in the nation in scoring (55.5 ppg) and have scored 50 or more points in back-to-back games for the first time since the 2008 season. McNeese will be looking to score 50 or more in three consecutive games for the first time in school history. An amazing and very proficient statistical mark, the McNeese offense has scored in 17 of its 23 possessions this season, including 17 of the past 19.
Big tally for Taliaferro
Coastal Carolina running back Lorenzo Taliaferro is the first player in program history to have more than 200 rushing yards after the first two games of the season. Taliaferro has gained 213 yards on the ground through Coastal Carolina's first two games of 2013, bettering the old mark of 187 rushing yards after two games by Aundres Perkins in 2004.
Liberty senior Kevin Fogg recorded a 29-yard pick-6 last Saturday against Monmouth -- his sixth career touchdown return and first interception return for a TD. He is the first player in Big South history with return touchdowns on an interception (1), fumble (1), punt (1) and kickoff (3). Fogg is tied as the Big South’s all-time leader for most kickoff return touchdowns, and coupled with his one career punt return score, he is second in league history with four kick return TDs. He needs one to tie the all-time mark of five, set by former Liberty wide receiver Dominic Bolden (3 KR, 2 PR) from 2005-08.
Head of the class
Notably, Missouri Valley Football Conference running backs have recorded the top three individual game performances this year, led by Zach Zenner’s 295-yard effort in South Dakota State’s win against North Dakota on Sept. 7.
TOP SINGLE-GAME RUSHING PERFORMANCES, 2013 Rank Player School Opponent Yards 1. Zach Zenner South Dakota State North Dakota 295 2. Adaris Bellamy Youngstown State Dayton 203 3. David Johnson Northern Iowa Iowa State 199 4. Kristaan Ivory Cal Poly San Diego 185 5. Tim Flanders Sam Houston State Texas A&M 170
• Dayton continues one of the more remarkable streaks in college football, entering Week 3 action with a NCAA-record streak of 410 games without suffering a shutout. The last team to blank Dayton was Marshall by a 9-0 score on Oct. 16, 1976.
• Richmond has not suffered a non-conference FCS loss in the regular season since 2005 (17-0 since). The last loss for the Spiders took place Sept. 10, 2005, at the hands of Lafayette, 7-0. Richmond goes for 18 in a roww at Gardner-Webb this Saturday.
• Samford’s Kelsey Pope is poised to crack the Southern Conference’s top-10 list for career pass receptions. Pope has 186 career catches.
• North Dakota State’s Marcus Williams has 19 career interceptions, which ranks third best on the Missouri Valley Football Conference list. Among active players, he currently leads all of FCS in career interceptions per game (0.43) and career interception return yards (409). The record is 24 and held by Adrion Smith of Missouri State (1990-93).
• With four touchdowns against Southern Illinois on Sept. 7, Eastern Illinois senior quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo moved into second place on the Ohio Valley Conference career passing touchdown list (72). The senior is just 13 touchdowns behind the all-time leader, former EIU All-American and current Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Garoppolo currently ranks first nationally among active FCS players in career passing yards/game (269.9) and second nationally in total offense (8,800 yards), total passing yards (8,907), completions/game (22.33) and total touchdowns (76).
• Fellow teammate and senior All-American wide receiver Erik Lora needs just two receptions to tie and three to break the OVC all-time receptions record of 232. That record, which was established 43 years ago in 1970, is currently held by Austin Peay’s Harold Roberts. Lora, who is the FCS active leader in career receptions, will soon move into the top 25 in FCS history.
• Delaware Blue Hen All-American and Walter Payton Award candidate Andrew Pierce will be chasing several big milestones this fall. He has rushed for 3,793 yards for his career and needs just 232 yards to crack the Colonial Athletic Association all-time top 10, 571 yards to move into No. 2 on the all-time Delaware rushing list with Omar Cuff (4,364 yards in 2004-07), and 794 yards to tie for the all-time Blue Hen mark of 4,587 yards by Daryl Brown in 1991-94.