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The Statesman

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    Football Preview vs. Iona

    After a heartbreaking last second loss to Gardner-Webb last Saturday, the Seawolves travel to New Rochelle, N.Y., to take on the Iona College Gaels.

    The Seawolves and Gaels come into the game with identical 3-6 records.

    The teams have played one common opponent, the Maine Black Bears.

    The Seawolves dropped its matchup in Orno on Sept. 13 by a score of 28-13.

    The Gaels were defeated by the Black Bears 55-7 last Saturday.

    Both offenses average nearly the same number of yards per game. Stony Brook averages 140.5 yards per game rushing, and 166.1 passing yards per game for an average of 306.6 total yards.

    Iona averages 216.1 yards through the air, but only 93.6 on the ground.

    Stony Brook’s advantage would seem to be on the ground. The Gaels give up an average of 260.4 rushing yards per game. The Seawolves running back tandem of Conte Cuttino and Edwin Gowins could have a field day Saturday afternoon. That ranks Iona 116 out of 118 Football Championship Division (Formerly I-AA) teams in the country. The Iona pass defense ranks 59 in the country, but its overall total defense sits at 115.

    Gowins averages 86.89 yards per game, putting him at 35th in the nation. Cuttino’s 84.11 yards leaves him just behind Gowins at 39th. Stony Brook’s overall rush offense ranks 40 in the nation.

    Iona has seen two quarterbacks split the bulk of the playing time so far this season.

    Smith has played the last three games, and the quarterbacks have taken nearly an even number of snaps in two games this season.

    “Warren Smith is our starter for the rest of the year,” Head Coach Fred Mariani said. Nick Rossetti is out for the year with an injury.

    Smith has completed 90 out of 165 passes, a 54.5 completion percentage. He’s thrown for 955 yards to go along with seven touchdowns and nine interceptions. His passer efficiency rating is 106.25.

    The leading rusher that’s not a quarterback is Craig Sutera, who has 142 yards on 30 carries in only three games. He’s also tied for the team lead with two rushing touchdowns.

    The Iona team is coming in banged up.

    “We’re playing with 11 freshmen right now,” Mariani said. “Our starting running back is also injured. The starter now is Anthony Tumbarello.”

    Despite that, the Seawolves secondary still needs to step up this week. They were picked apart by Gardner-Webb and its quarterback Devin Campbell last week.

    Campbell was 32 of 44 for 394 yards and three touchdowns.

    In his “Coach’s Corner” letter to the fans on the Stony Brook Athletic website, Head Coach Chuck Priore discussed the major reason the team dropped it’s last game against Gardner-Webb.

    “In the first half, we didn’t capitalize on all of our opportunities to score,” Priore wrote. “We left five points on the table due to a penalty (touchdown was called back and we had to settle for a field goal) and a missed extra point following a great touchdown drive.”

    Coach Mariani knows where his defense will have to step up this week.

    “You have a multitude of guys to stop,” he said. “But Gowins and Cuttino are really excellent players.”

    Iona’s defense is also banged up, and has a great player to rely upon.

    “We have an All-American candidate at linebacker, Andrew Lipski.”

    Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. in New Rochelle, N.Y.

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