Week 4 of the region’s college football season preview – The Daily Gazette

The fourth week of local college football season action takes place on Saturday.

Before kick-off, here’s a look at this week’s meetings between Union, UAlbany and RPI.

UTICA AT UNION, 1 P.M

After a brilliant start to the season that saw Union (3-0 on aggregate) edge their three opponents 139-40, the Dutch are back on the NCAA Division III national rankings, where they check in at No. 25 in this week’s poll.

Union clinched a 21-6 win in Springfield last week that combined a dominant save with a 124-yard rushing effort from Ike Irabor, who earned the Liberty League Offensive Player of the Week honors. Quarterback Donovan Pacatte has 10 touchdowns this season — seven rushing, three passing — and the Cobleskill native is completing 65% of his passes while averaging more than 18 yards per completion.

Saturday’s game will be Union’s out-of-conference final and the first game played at Frank Bailey Field since the team’s historic 76-7 win over Worcester State two weeks ago.

Utica (3-0 agg) are also unbeaten but have played significantly closer games than the Dutch, with the Pioneers winning their last two games by eight points combined. The Pioneers’ quarterback is Braeden Zenelovic, who joined Utica before this season after starting his career at UAlbany.

CENTRAL CONNECTICUT STATE IN UALBANY, 3:30 p.m

The last time the Blue Devils visited Tom & Mary Casey Stadium was in the first round of the 2019 NCAA FCS Tournament when UAlbany picked up their first national playoff win.

A little less than three years later, and when the two teams meet on Saturday, both teams are hoping for their first win of the season.

UAlbany (0-1 CAA, 0-3 agg) has come close in back-to-back weeks against New Hampshire and Fordham but failed to make key defensive stops to turn the tide. The UAlbany offense had a terrific day in last Saturday’s 48-45 loss to Fordham, when quarterback Reese Poffenbarger threw for a school-record 412 yards — the first 400-yard passing play in program history — while Todd Sibley Jr. ran for back for 123 yards and three touchdowns while adding 46 yards and a score on two receptions.

Central Connecticut State (0-1 NEC, 0-3 agg), coached by former UAlbany assistant Ryan McCarthy, lost 6-70 to Southeastern Louisiana last week and has just 19 points in three games.

RPI AT ST. JOHN FISHER, 4 p.m

RPI’s offense struggled for the first two weeks of the season, but the Engineers (2-1 overall) got things back on track in last week’s 37-0 win over WPI, which saw Dylan Burnett rush for 130 yards and a touchdown , while Matt Petercuskie threw a pair of touchdown passes.

The RPI defense was tough in three games, allowing only 17 total points. Connor Noyes was Liberty League Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against WPI, which included nine tackles, a sack and an interception, and the Engineers released WPI’s quarterbacks eight times.

Now, after three straight home games, the Engineers are embarking on a three-game road trip, beginning with their final non-conference matchup of the season. They will play in Rochester against a St. John Fisher (1-2 agg) team that started the season with a 62-21 win over Buffalo State but has since lost back-to-back games to Framingham State and Hobart.

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Categories: College Sports, Sports, Sports, UAlbany, Union College

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