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Showdown Across the Sound: A preview of Stony Brook Football’s matchup against UConn

(HEATHER KHALIFA / THE STATESMAN)
(HEATHER KHALIFA / THE STATESMAN)

After a disappointing 13-7 loss to Bryant in the football season opener, the Seawolves will look to rebound on Saturday as they head across the Long Island Sound to play the UConn Huskies.

In their only Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) game of the year, Stony Brook football will look to defeat a reeling Huskies team. Coming off a 35-10 blowout loss to BYU, UConn will also be in search of their first win of the season following a dreadful 3-9 record in 2013.

“Hopefully we are not in danger of being physically dominated by an FCS team,” said Aman Kidwai, manager from SB Nation’s The UConn Blog.

Quarterback John Kinder will undoubtedly be the Seawolves’ biggest individual difference maker on Saturday. Kinder flashed potential but largely struggled in his debut completing just seven of his 18 passes for 101 yards. This game presents a golden opportunity for Kinder to establish himself as a passer, as UConn ranked among the bottom 10 FBS teams in total defense.

Another major factor on offense will be Stony Brook’s ability to convert on third down. The Seawolves went an abysmal 2-16 on third down tries against Bryant without moving the chains once until the third quarter. It is almost impossible to win at any level with those types of numbers, and this situation could very well decide the game.

Junior running back Stacey Bedell will also need to follow up on his strong performance with similar numbers this week. In what was otherwise a slow offensive night, Bedell shined, recording 116 yards on the ground.

“[Stony Brook’s] running backs against UConn’s defense will be an interesting matchup to watch. The Seawolves have a talented group of running backs who could make a difference if they are able to consistently move the ball on the ground.” Kidwai said.

Stony Brook’s shutdown defensive performance will also need to be replicated. It was the defense that kept the game close last week, and the same will likely be the case on Saturday. Defensive back Christian Ricard led the way with 12 tackles, including two for loss and one sack. Junior defensive lineman Victor Ochi also proved to be a capable pass rusher, registering four tackles and a sack.

“I think the biggest challenge for the Huskies will be the Stony Brook defensive linemen, who could cause problems for UConn’s inexperienced front,” Kidwai said. “The Seawolves’ defense, which appears to be its strength, should be a good test for the Huskies.”

Since 2011, the Seawolves are 1-5 vs. FBS teams with the sole win coming against Army in 2012. A win against another FBS team would easily erase the disappointment of the opener, and could prove to be a tone setter for the rest of the season.

“Losing to Stony Brook would be devastating,” Kidwai said. “A loss would force us to re-evaluate the schedule to see if it’s possible for UConn to even win a game this season. It would get very, very ugly.”

Although Saturday’s game may be miles from LaValle Stadium, Seawolves fans can still watch their team play live at 12 p.m. on Sportsnet New York.

 

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