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Pregame Prep: Albany vs. UB


7 p.m. Friday at UB Stadium

Radio: 1520 AM. Online: ESPN3.

Last time out: This is the eighth straight season UB has hosted a lower-division, Football Championship Subdivision opponent, and the Bulls are 7-0 in those games. UB beat Albany in last year’s opener, 51-14.

Trending: Albany was picked to finish 11th in the 12-team Colonial Athletic Association, which includes Richmond, William & Mary and Stony Brook. The Great Danes return 19 starters from a team that went 3-8 last season. Albany’s football budget, counting tuition costs, was $3.5 million in 2014. UB’s was $7.25 million.

Stat check: UB ranked 10th in the Mid-American Conference in rushing yards and 10th in attempts per game last season. It would be a good boost for the young Bulls offensive line to open with a feel-good rushing performance.

Star gazing: UB running back Jordan Johnson (No. 2) looks poised to have a big senior season. UB’s top receivers are Marcus McGill (7) and Malcolm Robinson (80). Players to watch on the UB defense include defensive linemen Demone Harris (91) and Brandon Crawford (55), linebackers Khalil Hodge (4) and Brandon Berry (23) and cornerback Boise Ross (1).

At stake: How will UB’s quarterbacks look? Graduate student Grant Rohach (19) will get the start and be spelled by red-shirt freshman Tyree Jackson (3).

Prediction: UB 36, Albany 13.

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