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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Seawolves prepare for late season playoff push

Seawolves run the ball down the field. (JESUS PICHARDO / THE STATESMAN)

The first half of the season was more than a little rocky for the Stony Brook football team.

The Seawolves have already suffered a pair of critical conference losses to Villanova and Towson this season. They have also lost two of their top players in running back Marcus Coker and defensive back Reuben Johnson for the season, due to injury.

But, despite all this Stony Brook still finds themselves with a chance to qualify for the FCS playoffs. If the Seawolves go at least 4-1 in their final five games, they will be eligible for a spot in the 24-team FCS tournament.

The Seawolves currently have a 3-3 overall record. In order to have a chance at being eligible for the FCS playoffs, they must finish with at least seven wins.

Stony Brook will also have an opportunity to improve on their 1-2 record in conference play, as all of their remaining games are against Colonial Athletic Association opponents.  They will have home games against New Hampshire, Richmond and Albany, and will hit the road to take on Maine and James Madison.

Reeling off four out of five wins will be far from an easy task for SBU. They will likely need much more out of their offense, which ranks just 9 out of 11 in the CAA in points scored per game.

Their rushing attack for Stony Brook took a huge hit on Sept. 21, when it was announced that Coker will miss the rest of the season with an abdominal injury.

In his absence, the Seawolves have made the transition to a three running back rotation. Jameel Poteat, James Kenner and Tyler Fredericks have all gotten large amount of carries over the past four games.

Poteat has had the most success out of the three, running for three touchdowns, and averaging 4.6 yards per carry. But overall, Stony Brook has averaged 132.7 yards on the ground per game, which ranks tenth in a CAA conference, which features many outstanding running backs.

Senior Lyle Negron has done mostly well in his first year in the starting quarterback role. In six games he has thrown for seven touchdowns, completed 63.1 percent of his passes, and has thrown for an average of 223.2 yards per game.

One area where Negron led offense that struggled this season is in converting third down attempts. The Seawolves have a third down conversion rate of just 35.8 through their first six games.

While the offense has not quite been up to par, the SBU defense has stepped up this season. They have allowed just 18.7 points per game, which ranks second in the CAA.

Their pass defense has been particularly strong, allowing just 153.7 points per game through the air. Christian Ricard, Winston Longdon, Ivan May and Naim Cheeseboro have all been strong in the secondary this year.

The Seawolves return from their bye week, with a home matchup against New Hampshire this Saturday. The Wildcats also come into the game with a 3-3 record.

This weekend’s game gives Stony Brook not only a chance to leap over a conference opponent, but also a chance to build up the momentum they will need for a second half playoff push. 

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