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Stony Brook football falls, 59-14

RB Eddie Gowins carries in the fourth quarter against USF. (AP Photo)

No one could believe it. The Stony Brook fans were incredulous, to be sure. Raymond James Stadium was brought to a standstill as 40,000 stunned fans watched Brock Jackolski stroll into the end zone to give the Seawolves a 14-7 first quarter lead.

When the giant was awakened, there was no turning back. The University of South Florida Bulls scored 52 unanswered points and went on to win, 59-14, in what was Stony Brook’s first-ever game against an FBS opponent.

For one quarter, Stony Brook ran with the Bulls, though there were early signs of things to come.

After the Seawolves stalled on their first drive, USF scored a 59-yard touchdown on its first play from scrimmage when sophomore quarterback BJ Daniels hit Dontavia Bogan for a short pass and Bogan did the rest, streaking down the sidelines past the Stony Brook defense to give the Bulls an early 7-0 lead.

On the ensuing drive, Stony Brook  was forced to punt. Drew Evangelista kicked it away for the Seawolves, but the USF kick returner fumbled on the return and the ball was grabbed by Stony Brook’s Rich Vitale.

The Seawolves were set up on the Bulls 35 yard line.

After a Gowins run for one yard, junior quarterback Michael Coulter hit sophomore wide receiver Jordan Gush, who took it down to the USF 1-yard line.

On the next play, Gowins scored Stony Brook’s first-ever touchdown against an FBS team with a run down the middle, sending the approximately 300 Stony Brook fans in attendance into wild celebrations.

With the score knotted at 7, Stony Brook’s defense held the line at about midfield on the next possession, forcing a USF punt.

On the first try, USF downed the ball inside the Stony Brook 5-yard line, but a flag on the field meant it was coming back. The Seawolves were bailed out by an illegal formation penalty, and, on the re-kick, a low snap forced the USF punter to go down to a knee to pick it up–a move that in college football means the play is dead. The loss of 15 yards on fourth down meant that Stony Brook would take over at the Bulls 27.

It only took the Seawolves one play to score the go-ahead touchdown. Coulter found Hofstra transfer Brock Jackolski streaking down the sideline after a pump fake, and the running back held on and was able to easily get to the end zone to give Stony Brook the lead.

“We made a good connection,” Jackolski said of the score.

Impossibly, Stony Brook was beating an FBS team, holding a one-touchdown advantage over a team that had five players drafted to the NFL last season, a team whose student section (12,501) is larger than the highest total attendance in LaValle Stadium history (10,024). But it was all downhill from there.

Stony Brook was playing against a USF team that was strong, fast and skilled. Coulter found that out the hard way, throwing four interceptions in the rout.

“They’re big, and they can move,” Coulter said. “I’ve gotta learn to throw those in the stands.”

Several of his interceptions came when he was pressured and failed to throw the ball away or throw it far enough away.

By halfway through the second quarter, both starting cornerbacks had left the game injured. Senior Donald Porter, who led the team in receiving last year and made the switch to defense this summer, left with a knee injury. Coach Priore wouldn’t say how long he expects Porter out, but said it appears serious.

Junior Al-Majid Hutchins, a transfer from Rutgers, left the game with a shoulder injury.

Bulls quarterback BJ Daniels threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as the Bulls played out their victory. The USF defense didn’t allow Stony Brook another point.

Running back Miguel Maysonet, another transfer from Hofstra, averaged 6.5 yards per carry, going for 72 yards on 11 rushes. Gowins finished with  54 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.

Coulter went 9 of 21 with a touchdown and four interceptions.

“We have to learn from it and stay positive,” Coulter said after the game.

Jackolski, in addition to the touchdown, shined on kick returns, taking six of them for a total of 111 yards.

Stony Brook’s next game is its home opener on Sept. 11 against Division II American International. Kickoff at LaValle Stadium is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Around the Big South

#20 Liberty 52, St. Francis (Pa.) 7

The Flames threw for 452 yards and six touchdowns against the Red Flash on Saturday.  Liberty’s biggest ground gainer on the day was Chase Barnett, who finished his first game in a Liberty uniform with eight rushing attempts for 56 yards.  Defensively, newcomer Chris Mayo led the team with 10 stops in his first collegiate football game, including seven assisted tackles and a tackle for a loss.

Charleston Southern 41, North Greenville 31

Charleston Southern used a big second quarter, scoring 20 unanswered points to take a lead that they would not relinquish, winning their home opener 41-31 over North Greenville, Saturday at Buccaneer Field.

A.J. Toscano put up 223 yards through the air, completing 17 of his 26 pass attempts for four touchdowns. Four different CSU receivers had 35 receiving yards or more, with Kwame Krakue scoring once with 76 yards. Teddy Allen was the leading rusher, averaging 8.8 yards per carry and garnering 44 yards on five carries.

Gardner-Webb 28, Brevard 14

True freshman Juanne Blount carried 18 times for 134 yards and a touchdown Saturday night to lead Gardner-Webb past Brevard, 28-14, in the season opener for the Runnin’ Bulldogs.

West Virginia 31, Coastal Carolina 0

Coastal Carolina battled the 24th-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers and its Heisman Trophy candidate Noel Devine, but ultimately fell 31-0 in the teams’ 2010 season opener at Mila Puskar Stadium.  Coastal only trailed 10-0 at the half, having a golden scoring opportunity go by the wayside after an interception late in the second quarter.  Also, Devine, who finished with 111 rushing yards, had just 56 yards on 20 attempts for an average of 2.8 per carry through three quarters.

VMI 48, Lock Haven 6

VMI jumped out to a 20-0 lead and never looked back, en route to a 48-6 win over the Lock Haven Bald Eagles in the season opener for both teams, played Saturday afternoon at Foster Stadium in Lexington.

Wake Forest 53, Presbyterian 13 (Thursday)



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