@UA Fan others have mentioned what you should expect from this defense, but not necessarily enough to give you an accurate picture of what Albany needs to overcome to move the football and score. In my opinion, this defense is the best I've seen since I started watching this team in 1990. This has been especially true in the latter portion of this season. The D-Line is quite solid. Not only are they able to generate a pass rush on their own, but they also do so while stuffing the run/forcing it outside. There are 3 all conference selections there (Marks, Sterk, and Benson). When the play is pushed outside, the linebackers are ready. Again, three players are all-conference (Andersen, Hill, and Williams). Both Andersen and Hill were 1st team selections, though Anderson did not play our last game due to lingering injuries. Both the D-Line and Linebacking Corps are incredibly deep for an FCS program. Expect fresh legs rotating in throughout the game. The defensive backfield did not receive the acclaim many of us felt they deserved. Brayden Konkol was a 1st team all conference selection, but no one else made it. The other safety is solid and the corners do a nice job. The last 2 games have been against very, very good offenses that are generally pass-first but had a great opportunistic running game. MSU held them to 17 and 14 points. This was 12 and 22 points below those team's season averages, respectively.UA Fan wrote: ↑Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:21 amAlthough we don’t have the altitude, we sure as heck have snowy and cold weather. There’s some southern kids on the team, but a lot from PA, NJ and NY and our open flat campus is windy as heck. Gattuso is a Pittsburgh guy who played for Penn St so cold is not an issue in his mind. The Danes will apparently practice at a local soccer bubble facility with a big indoor field....until they plow off Bob Ford Field.
Another player to watch for UA is WR #20, Tyler Oedekoven. He’s a redshirt freshman from a great HS program in PA. In the last few weeks he’s had to step up to replace Donovan McDonald on returns and offense. Great hands. He made a ball pinned to the helmet circus catch against Stony Brook that was reminiscent of the David Tyree catch in the Super Bowl. So if MSU tries to shut down Green and Reeves, TO could have a big day. The key as always is giving the QB enough time...so that’ll be paramount to success.
Should be a fun chess match. I mean football game.
The MSU offense, when running smoothly, creates more problems for the opposing team's offense. Because MSU has a prolific running game, they do have the potential to control time-of-possession. When this is the case, it not only wears on the opposing defense, but also keeps the MSU defense fresh so they can continue to attack.
Things can fall apart quickly for opposing teams. The teams that have seen the most success against the MSU defense have been those who were able to sustain drives by gaining a few yards at a time. Getting to third and short is especially important against this defense so that they at least have to think about defending the run.
A special note, Brayden Konkol (#41) seems to play out of his mind in big games. In MSU's first playoff game last year, he had a sack, an interception, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. He had an interception in last week's game as well. He and Andersen (LB #15) can cover WR (even good/fast/big WR) one-on-one pretty easily.
So that's what to expect on Saturday from our defense. I agree that weather should be a non-factor for your team, but this defense is another matter entirely.