UAlbany football team gets big sendoff as it leaves for national semifinals

The University at Albany football team got a great sendoff on Thursday at the campus as they departed for their national semifinal matchup against South Dakota State.

Hundreds of people gathered at the campus to see the Great Danes. Cheerleaders waved pom poms as the players got on buses to head to the airport.

UAlbany will play the top-seeded Jackrabbits in the Football Championship Subdivision semifinals on Friday night.

The Great Danes are 22 ½-point underdogs against the unbeaten Jackrabbits. However, that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the students and community who wished them well.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

The 11-3 Great Danes have never been this far in the playoffs. They upset No. 4 Idaho in the quarterfinals last Saturday 30-22.

Head Coach Greg Gattuso said it may get lost in the shuffle what this team has accomplished.

“It’s a Final Four in a major Division I football conference. It’s really a big deal,” he said.

“Ten years ago, I said at my news conference ‘I want to win the conference and win a national championship.’ Whether we do that or not, this team’s been very good,” he went on to say.

Rodger Wyland is heading to South Dakota with the team for Big Board Sports. He will have full coverage leading up to the game online and on our newscasts.