Must-See Game of the Week: Colgate vs. Albany

 

 

Max Yadin

The green field is empty and the scoreboard is blank, but very soon the gridiron at Andy Kerr Stadium will be torn and dug up when the Colgate Raiders open the 2007 football season against the Albany Great Danes Saturday at 1 p.m. Both sides have a lot to prove. Albany needs to show that it can continue last year’s success after finishing last season with a 7-4 record. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Colgate is returning from a 4-7 campaign and must reassert itself as a power to be reckoned with in Division I-FCS Football.

The question remains whether or not Albany can capitalize on last year’s successes to begin the season positively.

“You can never pick up where you left off, and if you try to do that you get into a lot of trouble,” said Albany Head Coach Bob Ford. “Every player is an individual — you can’t miss the building blocks it took to be good. I know it’s a clich?e in this game, but missed alignments and missed assignment will kill you. We had some great wins, but now we’re starting again at the ground floor.”

The notion of a fresh start is especially heartening for the Raiders. It’s also worth remembering that this is a new beginning with returning explosive talent.

“Jordan Scott, our tailback, is one of the best in the nation, and Eric Burke [wide receiver] is dangerous on offense.Defensively, Mike Gallihugh [linebacker] is a strong player. Jordan and Gallihugh were named pre-season all-Americans,” said Biddle.

When asked about Jordan Scott, Albany’s Coach Ford said, “What makes him [Jordan Scott] particularly dangerous is his knack for receiving. You can never shut a talented tailback down. We just want to try and contain him if we can, and that will be a challenge for us.”

The Raiders coaching staff has been meticulously preparing for the opener against the Great Danes.

“They [Albany] are a very good team — their strength is defense,” said Biddle. “But the way you have to approach it is to be concerned about getting Colgate ready. We need to look at what we can control.”

It should be interesting to see what happens on the field this Saturday. With two well-prepared teams and coaching staffs about to collide, the game is definitely something no one should miss.

“We’re looking forward to coming up to Colgate and playing this Saturday,” said Ford. “I know Dick Biddle has done a great job, and Coach Hunt and I go way back. I’ve always been impressed with them. They come to play, and play hard. I have a lot of respect for them.”

“I think we’re gonna have a good game,” said Biddle. “Hopefully the weather will hold out and students will come. It will be a good time, and we won’t disappoint the fans.”