Friday, October 9, 2009

The dirt on the Danes with Rich Duff

I had a chance to talk with Saratoga Springs native Rich Duff on Thursday. Duff and the rest of the UAlbany defense haven't allowed a touchdown in 10 quarters or more than 12 hours of game action.

What has been clicking defensively for the last two or three games?

RD: We have eight senior starters on our defense, so we’re all pretty experienced. Our front seven are playing really well. We’re obviously stopping the run. The first couple games teams were running the ball all over us, but the past three games, they haven’t really done much since the Maine game, the second half of the Maine game. We’re playing well right now.

Was the second half against Maine a turning point for the defense?

RD: At the end of the first half, we had a goal line stand and we’ve had four goal line stands since then. We’ve been pretty jacked up since then.

What’s Homecoming week like and how is it different from any other game?

RD: I guess. It depends on who we’re playing. We’re pretty excited to play Duquesne because they gave us a tough match last year. Last year, we played Saint Francis (Pa.) and not to downplay them, they’re improved this year, but last year, we weren’t that excited. This year, we’re pretty excited because Duquesne gave us trouble last year. They threw the ball for like 350 yards on us and that’s one of main focuses this week, to not let that happen again.”

With Duquesne do you have to take the pass or run away first?

RD: Our goal is always to take the run away first and force them to pass, make them one dimensional. They’re one tight end (senior Sean Bunevich) isn't playing this week and he’s the one that tore us apart last year and they have a transfer from Michigan State (wide receiver Dave Williams) and our main focus is to stop him.

Is this a defensive team of playmakers?

RD: Our four linebackers, I think are really good. Our d-line is doing really well and our secondary has been getting some picks lately. We’re forcing a lot of turnovers since the Maine game and making a lot of plays.

In the preseason did you have a sense that this would be a good defense?

RD: With eight starters starting on defense, we thought we were going to be pretty experienced and ready to go. We’ve all been there before and had a lot of game-type situations.”

(UAlbany Athletics)

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