A disappointing start to his sophomore year just got tougher for University at Albany wide receiver Dev Holmes of Troy.
Holmes has been suspended for Saturday’s home game against Lafayette, head coach Greg Gattuso confirmed after today’s practice.
Athletic department spokesman Pete Iorizzo said Holmes committed a team rules violation, but Gattuso declined to elaborate.
“I’m not going to discuss internal (matters),” Gattuso said. “This is a family thing between Dev and I.”
Gattuso also wouldn’t say whether the suspension will last more than one game. Holmes practiced with the scout team instead of the starters today.
Holmes is off to a slow start this season after leading the Great Danes with 50 catches for 734 yards and five touchdowns as a freshman.
This season, Holmes has six catches for 36 yards and no touchdowns through three games for the Great Danes (1-2). In a 38-35 overtime loss at Monmouth on Saturday, Holmes had two receptions for 12 yards. When UAlbany scored on a Hail Mary pass with four seconds left in regulation, Holmes got a personal foul for pulling a Monmouth player off the pile that forced UAlbany to make a 35-yard extra point just to send the game into overtime.
Gattuso said last week he thought Holmes was feeling frustrated. Gattuso was asked today if that frustration might have been a factor in his suspension.
“I don’t want to get into it,” Gattuso said. “I’m not going to talk about it. …These are things that happen. We’re moving on and that’s where we’re at.”
UAlbany redshirt freshman quarterback Jeff Undercuffler has found success throwing to other targets, including senior wide receiver Juwan Green, who had a team-record 15 receptions for 245 yards and three touchdowns against Monmouth.
Senior Jerah Reeves (16 catches, 143 yards) is also having a strong season so far for UAlbany and senior Donovan McDonald is another option.
“Right now, we’re just kind of focusing on Lafayette,” said Undercuffler, asked about the impact Holmes’ absence will have on the offense. “We’re just trying to gameplan for what’s ahead.”
Undercuffler said redshirt freshman Tyler Oedekoven is getting more work in practice with Holmes, a slot receiver, out of the starting lineup. True freshman Rickey Gamble is also in position to make an impact, according to Undercuffler.
Gattuso said the Great Danes will prepare without Holmes as if he’s injured.
UAlbany’s #5 Dev Holmes out runs Delaware’s defense during Saturday’s Colonial Athletic Association game Nov. 3, 2018 in Albany, NY. (John Carl D’Annibale/Times Union)UAlbany’s #5 Dev Holmes out runs Delaware’s defense during Saturday’s Colonial Athletic Association game Nov. 3, 2018 in Albany, NY. (John Carl D’Annibale/Times Union)
Photo: John Carl D’Annibale
Photo: John Carl D’Annibale
“Guys have to step up,” he said. “We have good people. Jerah Reeves is going to step in, and Rickey Gamble, and I have confidence they’ll do a good job in that spot. We had to play without (right tackle) Sean Kennedy in the Bryant game and Kobe Thomas went in there and played his butt off. That’s what this is all about. One thing we do know is how to fill in for guys. We’ve had a lot of experience at it.”
Reeves, who caught the Hail Mary pass against Monmouth, said the Great Danes must have a “next man up” mentality that’s especially important in football.
“Basketball might be a little different,” Reeves said. “You lose LeBron (James) and it’s like, oh my gosh. But football is such a team game that somebody has to step in. Could be the quarterback falls down, somebody has to step in. That’s as simple as that.”
Reeves said he thinks Oedekoven and Gamble are ready despite their inexperience. Neither has caught a pass in a college game.
“They’re ultimate athletes and I think them seeing the starters play raises their game to another level,” Reeves said. “They see the speed we play. They see how focused we are. They’ve been ready for a while now.”
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