The Central Connecticut football team's historic 2019 season came to a close in the first round of the NCAA FCS Playoffs on Saturday afternoon at Albany. The Great Danes move on the second round, and will play next week at Montana State, with the 42-14 victory over the Blue Devils. Central's season ends with an overall record of 11-2. The loss to Albany on Saturday was the first loss vs. an FCS team this season for the Blue Devils.
The loss also snapped an eight-game winning streak for the #17 Blue Devils. Central hadn't lost a game since Sept. 21 on the road at FBS opponent Eastern Michigan. Their trip to the playoffs was the second in the last three seasons.
The first half started promising for the Blue Devils, they led 7-0 after a dominant first quarter in which they held the Great Danes to just 13 yards of total offense on eight offensive plays. Central began the game with a nine-minute drive on offense, but came up empty when they missed a short field goal. Following an Albany punt the Blue Devils put together a quick 68-yard scoring drive to take a 7-0 lead.
Albany wouldn't score until 17 seconds left in the second quarter. However, a touchdown just before the half, and then two in the first four minutes of the third quarter gave the home team a 21-7 lead and changed the game's momentum. They scored two more times before the end of the third quarter and led 35-7.
Central's season ends with an 11-2 overall record.
Score: Central Connecticut 14, Albany 42
Records: Central Connecticut (11-2, 7-0 NEC), Albany (9-4, 6-2 CAA)
Location: Ford Field | Albany, NY
- The Blue Devils held the ball for over nine minutes on their first drive of the game, but a field goal was no good and the game remained scoreless to open the first quarter.
- The defense held the Great Danes to a three and out, and then a 31-yard scoring pass from senior quarterback Aaron Winchester to tight end Theo Zidor gave the Blue Devils a 7-0 lead with 3:49 left in the 1st quarter.
- Albany scored with 17 seconds left in the second quarter to tie the game 7-7. A 12-yard pass from Jeff Undercuffler to Juwan Green capped a 40-yard drive as the first half came to an end.
- Albany opened the second half and took a 14-7 lead as Undercuffler hit Green, this time from 40 yards, for the touchdown just 24 seconds into the second half.
- After a blocked field goal, Undercuffler threw hit third touchdown of the game to push the lead to 21-7 with 10:24 left in the 3rd quarter.
- Two more touchdowns before the end of the third quarter pushed the Albany lead to 35-7.
- Winchester posted his ninth rushing touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
- 4:53 - Albany scored three times in 4:53 between the end of the 2nd quarter and the beginning of the 3rd quarter to turn a 7-0 deficit into a 21-7 lead.
- Junior Tre Jones posted the 21st interception of the season for the Blue Devils in the 1st quarter. It was his second of the season.
- Central outgained Albany 207-102 in total yards in the first half, including only 28 yards on the ground for the Great Danes.
- Albany outgained the Blue Devils 237-57 in the third quarter.
- The Blue Devils didn't allow a point in the first quarter, again. They allowed only three total points in the first quarter of the last nine games. They allowed only 23 first quarter points in 13 regular season games.
- The Blue Devils ended the season with a school-record 11 wins, including six on the road and a perfect 7-0 record in NEC play this season.