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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    After Slow Start, Stony Brook Offense Rolled Over Big South Opponents to End Season

    Coming into homecoming weekend riding a four game losing streak, including three games in which the offense did not score a touchdown, things looked bleak for the Seawolves.

    Whether it was returning to play in front of the supportive home crowd, or a critical goal line stand late in the first quarter and subsequent 98-yard drive that Head Coach Chuck Priore predicted after the game would “become the turning point of Stony Brook Football in 2008,” something seemed to click.

    “I think part of it was we had some injuries and then we got some guys back healthy,” Offensive Coordinator Jeff Behrman said. “But also I think we did a better job coaching, to be honest, and we did some things to really give our guys the advantages.”

    Freshman running back Edwin Gowins, the teams most explosive offensive player, was named the Big South Freshman of the Year and was also named a first-team all Big South member.

    Gowins first year for Stony Brook was one of the most successful any back in the program has ever had.

    He set new single season records for the Seawolves in total rushing yards and yards per carry. He rushed for a total of 1,310 yards and his 9.4 rush yards per carry shattered the Stony Brook record by over three yards.

    Gowins 11 rushing touchdowns puts him fifth on the all time single season list. His 278-yard outburst against Iona was the third most ever by a back at Stony Brook, and also set a Big South conference record.

    When Gowins ripped off a 72-yard run in just his second game at Stony Brook, he became the first Seawolves running back to accomplish a 70+ yard rush since Alex Londino did it in 1997 against Bentley.

    “To be honest he didn’t exceed our expectations,” Behrman said. “Chuck (Priore) saw him and said, ‘he’s going be an excellent running back,'” he said.

    “It was enjoyable to watch,” Behrman said.

    Along with Gowins, another Stony Brook running back had a year for the ages.

    Junior Conte Cuttino’s 1,195 rush yards would have put him atop the single season list in nearly any other year. But he does stand alone as the school’s all-time leading rusher with 2,807 yards.

    He also has the most rush attempts of any back in school history with 513.

    Much of the offense’s second half improvement can be traced to Cuttino’s play. He increased his rushing yards in each of the last six games of the year, and went over the 100 yard mark in each of the last five games.

    His 15 career touchdowns currently put him in seventh place on the all-time list. Cuttino was named second team all-conference.

    “Conte is a player who’s gotten better every year he has been here,” Behrman said. “He finally got over 1,000 yards this season because he was healthy.”

    “We were able to throw him the ball a little bit too, he’s improved his hands and he’s a good threat out of the backfield in the pass game,” he said.

    Another important piece to the offensive resurgence was Senior Wide Receiver Dwayne Eley.

    Eley finished the 2008 season with 48 receptions, 697 yards and five touchdowns.

    He leaves Stony Brook with 157 receptions, good for second most in school history.

    His 15 career touchdowns put him at fourth all time, just behind current Senior Lynell Suggs, who had only 12 receptions and two touchdowns this season but leaves near the top of many Stony Brook all time receiving lists.

    Red shirt freshman quarterback Dayne Hoffman also completed his first year as a starter for the Seawolves.

    While his numbers were not overly impressive, Behrman and his staff were happy with what they saw from the quarterback.

    “He certainly progressed,” Behrman said. “He grew as a quarterback, maturity wise.”

    Hoffman completed 48.9 percent of his passes, (125-259) for 1,636 yards, 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

    “He’s still got to grow,” Behrman said. “He’s not going to sit back and say, ‘I’m the starting quarterback,’ and not work hard. He’s someone who works hard.”

    Although less herald, but certainly important components of the offense, offensive lineman Lawrence Lovell and Steve Council will be leaving the team as well.

    “Lawrence and Steve were excellent players for us,” Behrman said. “I would expect who ever replaces them will have time enough to get us going right where we left off.”

    “Certainly it’s hard to replace two or three starters on the offensive line.”

    Behrman and the staff will be going into their fourth season at Stony Brook in the spring, and continue to look for players to improve the team.

    There’s always competition, every position has competition,” he said. You have to perform, it doesn’t matter if you’re a two or three year starter, you have to perform.

    “That’s what it comes down to,” he said. “That’s who’s going to play for us on our offense, guys who perform.”

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