The University of Rhode Island football team put an end to their four game losing streak this past Saturday when they traveled up to upstate New York and beat the Albany Great Danes, 31-14.
URI came into the contest with a 1-6 overall record and 0-4 in CAA play. Albany entered 3-4 overall and 1-3 in CAA play, with their one win in conference play coming back in September when the Danes upset then No. 7 Villanova in overtime.
The Rams came out firing on all cylinders as they scored the game’s first 24 points to take a commanding lead. Rhody opened up the scoring when JaJuan Lawson hooked up with junior tight end, Tyler Burke for a 10-yard score to cap a nine play, 44 yard drive.
The two would connect for a second touchdown midway through the second quarter by way of a 21-yard pass as Burke carried a defender into the endzone with him. Burke entered the game with only two career receptions and finished with two catches for 31 yards and two scores.
URI went into the half up 21-0 and didn’t look back.They continued to keep their foot on the gas, scoring the first points of the second half when kicker C.J. Carrick hit a 30-yard field goal to expand the lead to 24-0. The Rams would tack on another touchdown late in the fourth with a five yard run by senior Harold Cooper, his second of the game.
Lawson got his second start this season after an impressive performance in a losing effort against No. 15 Elon University. Lawson finished with 123 yards through the air and 57 yards on the ground. He also had two passing touchdowns and a two-point conversion run.
The star of this game wasn’t the offense of URI but instead it was the defense. The defense held Albany scoreless until the third quarter. Led by their front defensive four, the Rams seemed to live in the backfield as they recorded seven total sacks and held Albany to negative seven yards.
The star of the defensive line on Saturday was sophomore Brandon Ginnetti who recorded three of Rhode Island’s seven sacks. He racked up five tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss. He is the first Ram to record three sacks in one game since Isaiah Grier did so against Hofstra on Sept. 8, 2001. Ginnetti was also named CAA Defensive Player of the Week.
Rhode Island’s seven overall sacks was the most for the program since they had seven against Central Connecticut State on Sept. 10, 2005. URI’s secondary also got in on the fun as they had two interceptions one by Kwadir Brown and the other by Ahkema Evans.
Rhode Island will now enjoy back-to-back home games against James Madison University this Saturday at Meade Stadium, who are currently the No. 1 team in FCS football and defending National Champions. URI will face off against No. 15 Villanova next week.