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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Stony Brook football looks to snap season-long skid with a homecoming victory

Running back Roland Dempster hurdles a Fordham defender on Saturday, Oct. 14. Dempster will look to help lead the Stony Brook football team’s offense to a big day against New Hampshire’s struggling defense. TIM GIORLANDO/THE STATESMAN

Still searching for its first win, the Stony Brook football team will hope that history repeats itself on homecoming.

The Seawolves (0-6, 0-4 CAA) wasted another opportunity to earn a victory last Saturday at home in a 26-7 loss to Fordham. This Saturday, they will finish up their two-game homestand when they take on the No. 22 New Hampshire Wildcats (3-3, 1-2 CAA) at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. Opening kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

New Hampshire has been an offensive juggernaut this season. Through six games, the Wildcats lead the CAA and rank eighth in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) in scoring offense (38.5 points per game). Their 432 yards per game is the third-best mark in the conference. They also thrive at controlling the game, as they are second in the conference in first downs per game (22.7).

New Hampshire’s offense is led by quarterback Max Brosmer. He sits atop the CAA in both touchdown passes (17) and passing yards per game (321.67), which is also good enough for first and second in the FCS, respectively. Brosmer has thrown just two interceptions this season on his conference-leading 250 throws while completing 61.6% of his passes. He is a capable runner as well, as he has two rushing touchdowns and is second on his team in rushing yards.

Despite being a pass-first offense, New Hampshire running back Dylan Laube has been the team’s most dynamic player as an all-purpose back. He ranks eighth in the CAA in rushing yards per game (80.7) and is tied for fourth with six rushing touchdowns. As a receiver out of the backfield, Laube is tied for fourth in the conference in touchdown receptions and ranks sixth in receiving yards per game (69.7).

Complimenting Brosmer and Laube is a deep receiving core. New Hampshire wide receiver Logan Tomlinson leads the group, as he is tied for second in the conference with five receiving touchdowns and averages 52.3 yards per game. Wide receiver D.J. Linkins is third on the team with 45.7 yards per game. Wide receiver Caleb Burke and tight ends Kyle Lepkowski and Colby Ramshaw have all caught two touchdown passes apiece.

The Wildcats’ dangerous offense will look to carve up a Stony Brook defense that has struggled mightily. Through six games, the Seawolves sit dead last in the CAA in both scoring defense (34.2 points allowed per game) and total defense (443.8 yards allowed per game).

The secondary unit has been Stony Brook’s most problematic area this season. It has allowed a conference-worst 260.2 passing yards per game and the second-most yards per attempt (8.5). However, the group has created some big plays this season, as it has generated nine takeaways (seven interceptions and two fumble recoveries) this year.

The Seawolves’ run defense has not been much better. They have surrendered the fourth-most rushing yards per game (183.7) and the third-most rushing touchdowns (15) in the CAA. Though it ranks sixth in the conference with 16 sacks, Stony Brook’s pass rush has struggled to create splash plays recently. After picking up eight sacks in its first two games, it has only added eight more over its last four contests.

The Seawolves’ pass rush is led by defensive end Andy Nwaoko, who leads the team with 2.5 sacks. Defensive ends Anthony Williams and Rodney Faulk, defensive tackle Dyshier Clary and outside linebacker Anthony Ferrelli all have two apiece. This group will have to deal with a New Hampshire offensive line that has given up just eight sacks this season, which is the second-best figure in the CAA.

The highlight of Stony Brook’s defense has been middle linebacker Aidan Kaler. His 8.8 tackles per game are good enough for seventh in the CAA and his 35 solo tackles are fifth-most in the conference. Kaler has also added a sack this season.

Like their defense, the Seawolves’ offense has struggled. They currently possess the second-worst scoring offense (14.7) and third-worst total offense (314.2) in the CAA. They are only averaging 15.3 first downs per game, which is the second-fewest in the conference.

Stony Brook’s run game has been its weakest link on offense. The team is averaging just 102.8 rushing yards per game, which is third-worst in the CAA, and have scored a conference-fewest two rushing touchdowns this year. Its 3.6 yards per carry ranks fifth-worst in the CAA.

Running back Shakhi Carson leads the Seawolves with 42 carries and is averaging 4.1 yards per attempt. Starting running back Roland Dempster has not yet found his footing since returning from injury, as he is averaging just 35.5 rushing yards per game and 4.2 yards per carry. When given the opportunity, running back Ross Tallarico has been the team’s most productive runner. He leads the team with 205 rushing yards on just 32 attempts and is averaging 6.4 yards per carry.

Unlike prior seasons, the Seawolves’ offense has been led by their passing attack. After a rough debut in which he completed just 14 of his 40 passes and threw three interceptions, quarterback Casey Case has turned a corner. Through his last five games, Case is averaging 221 passing yards per game and has completed 59.0% of his passes, throwing eight touchdown passes and five interceptions in that span. Overall, he ranks eighth in the CAA in passing yards per game (211.3).

New Hampshire head coach Rick Santos had high praise for Case and his progression.

“Casey Case is so courageous back there,” Santos said during a press conference on Monday. “He’s an elite, pro-style guy at this level. He’s got a big-time arm.”

Case’s running partner on offense has been wide receiver Anthony Johnson. He currently sits fourth in the CAA in receiving yards per game (72.7) and is tied for third with 30 receptions. Wide receiver Jayden Cook leads Stony Brook with three receiving touchdowns, while Johnson has two.

Head coach Chuck Priore spoke glowingly of Johnson’s talent and the playmaking ability he has shown in his first season with the team.

“He’s had a great season so far,” Priore said. “He’s elusive, he gets open, he makes plays, he’s a good football player. I think he’s a top guy for us.”

The Seawolves will look to capitalize on New Hampshire’s leaky defense. The Wildcats trail only Stony Brook for the worst total defense (423.7 yards allowed per game) in the CAA and own the fourth-worst scoring defense in the conference (30.5 points allowed per game).

New Hampshire’s defensive front has been solid. The team ranks eighth in the CAA in both rushing yards allowed per game (167.3) and sacks (13). It will challenge a Seawolves’ offensive line that is tied for fifth in the conference in fewest sacks allowed (13).

Though their defensive front has been good, the Wildcats’ secondary has hamstrung them. Their pass defense is the second-worst in the conference, as they have allowed 256.3 passing yards per game and 14 touchdowns. They have been opportunistic, however, as they are tied for third in the CAA with eight interceptions.

Middle linebacker Ryan Toscano leads New Hampshire’s defense. He has 49 tackles through six games, ranking ninth in the CAA in tackles per game (8.2). Toscano also has two sacks this season. New Hampshire defensive end Josiah Silver is 10th in the conference with seven tackles for loss and is tied for seventh in sacks with 3.5. Strong safety Joe Eichman is second on the Wildcats with 41 tackles. He also has two interceptions and a forced fumble.

The two sides last collided on Oct. 8, 2022 at New Hampshire’s homecoming game. There, Stony Brook was defeated 24-14. Despite the Seawolves’ struggles, Santos is not taking his opposition lightly.

“I don’t look at their record,” Santos said. “I know how good this football team is and I know how well coached they are. I know they’re going to give us their best shot.”

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About the Contributor
Anthony DiCocco, Assistant Sports Editor
Anthony DiCocco is an Assistant Sports Editor at The Statesman. He is a sophomore majoring in journalism with aspirations of becoming a sports journalist. His love of sports derives from years of playing dek hockey and watching his favorite teams, the New York Islanders, New York Mets and New York Jets. He is the beat reporter for Stony Brook’s hockey and softball teams. He has also covered football, men’s lacrosse and men’s soccer. He was previously the Editor-in-Chief of his high school newspaper the Devil’s Tale at Plainedge High School. He is a local product from North Massapequa, N.Y.
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