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Homecoming Preview: Stony Brook football vs. VMI

RB Brock Jackolski took a knock during practice but should be ready to go on Saturday. (GoSeawolves.org)

After a week off, the game  Seawolves fans have been waiting for is finally here: homecoming, and with it, the start of conference play. Stony Brook football returns to action Saturday to face Virginia Military Institute in this season’s Big South Conference opener.

The Seawolves enjoyed a much-needed bye week after taking their second straight loss two weeks ago against the University of Massachusetts, 26-21, to move to a 1-3 record. Junior Edwin Gowins (Bellport, N.Y.) rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore Miguel Maysonet (Riverhead, N.Y.) also ran for a touchdown for the third straight game. This was the team’s first loss at LaValle Stadium since November 2008.

Despite having a one-point lead in the third quarter, Stony Brook couldn’t finish for the second straight game. The week before, they blew a 10-point third quarter lead against Brown and lost in double overtime.

Head coach Chuck Priore said the team needed the bye week to re-focus after two tough losses.

“When you play those types of games you normally lose because you’re not doing the little things,” he said. “There were little things we didn’t execute correctly on both sides of the ball, so we went back to basics these past 10 days.”

VMI is coming off a 24-13 victory in their Big South opener against Presbyterian last Saturday to move to a 2-2 overall record. Quarterback Cameron Jones passed for 195 yards and two touchdowns. Chaz Jones rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown.

Priore said the bye week was beneficial because of the extra preparation, but he still wants to keep the gameplan simple for this week.

“We’ve had a lot of time to prepare so I think we’re aware of what they do,” he said. “To put it simply, the gameplan is to execute for four quarters.”

The Seawolves will be without Gowins for the third game this season after injuring his groin against UMass. While he couldn’t give specifics, Priore said that the injury will have the running back out of commission for a few weeks.

Junior Brock Jackolski (Shirley, N.Y.) is also banged up this week after taking a helmet to the thigh in practice on Wednesday. But it won’t be enough to hold him out of the game; Priore said he expects him to be ready by gametime.

Stony Brook has won each of the first two meetings against VMI, 40-26 and 27-20. In those two games the Seawolves outgained the Keydets a combined 1,068-684 yards. Priore said he believes this year will be a little more difficult, as VMI has gone to a more traditional offense after being a run-heavy team for the past few years.

“They’re a much improved team from what they’ve been the last two years, so it’s not going to be as easy,” he said.

The Seawolves have not lost a Homecoming game during Priore’s tenure. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.

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