Albany State football earns first national ranking since 2012 - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany State football earns first national ranking since 2012

Gabe Giardina in his head coaching debut (Source: WALB) Gabe Giardina in his head coaching debut (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Albany State (1-0) enters the week ranked No. 20 in the nation in Division II football.

Their 29-12 victory over previously No. 11 Valdosta State (0-1) was convincing in the AFCA poll voting.

It's Albany State's first time being ranked since September 3, 2012.

One game into his coaching career and Gabe Giardina already has the Golden Rams rolling.

They didn't just defeat VSU, the Golden Rams dominated from wire to wire Saturday night in the ASU Coliseum.

Albany State played smart winning the turnover battle 3-0.

They also capitalized on short fields and defensive touchdowns en route to a 23-0 lead in the 4th quarter.

The Giardina era kicked off on the right foot.

"We felt like a a tidal wave out there, just hey keep going, keep playing. When they scored, (we) were upset. We kept competing, they were frustrated, they were mad," Giardina said before Monday's practice. "As a coach you're like great this is good, they weren't satisfied. You go back and watch film and see a bunch of mistakes and things like that. There's a lot we can get better at; there's a lot we can improve on."

As for the national ranking, Giardina said they are more concerned with their next opponent No. 22 Tuskegee (1-0).

ASU kicks off the White Water Classic in Phoenix City, Alabama Saturday at 5 p.m. CST.

The game will be streamed live by ESPN.

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