Here are 10 things you should know about the Stony Brook Seawolves heading into Saturday’s game against Temple at Lincoln Financial Field:
1) The Seawolves had the No. 1-ranked defense at the FCS level last season. Seven starters are back from that unit, though they need to replace all-American defensive end Victor Ochi, who recorded 13 sacks in 2015.
2) Coach Chuck Priore’s defense surrendered just 177 yards and one touchdown in its season-opening, 13-9 win over North Dakota last weekend.
3) On offense, the Seawolves have leaned on heavy sets and a strong running game in recent seasons. But they have a new offensive coordinator this year, and the run-pass split was nearly 50-50 against North Dakota.
4) Redshirt sophomore quarterback Joe Carbone threw 122 passes and started two games last season, so he has some experience. Carbone is 6-2, 220 pounds, and is not particularly mobile.
5) To bolster the offense, Stony Brook brought in five noteworthy FBS transfers this offseason – three from Boston College, one from West Virginia, and one from Maryland. WVU transfer Jonathan Haynes started the opener at guard, while BC transfers Jordan Gowins (RB), Harrison Jackson (WR), and Sherman Alston (WR/KR/PR) all saw regular action. Starting wide receiver Tim Keith is another FBS transfer from Western Michigan who missed the 2015 campaign due to injury.
6) Stony Brook launched as a Division III program in 1984, and eventually transitioned to the upper level of FCS after Priore arrived in 2006. They dominated the Big South from 2009-2012, but have finished in the middle of the pack since moving to the CAA in 2013. The Seawolves went 15-18 overall, 10-14 in CAA play, from 2013-2015.
7) Junior kicker Przemyslaw Popek has converted 11 of 19 field goal attempts over the past two-plus seasons and sophomore punter Marc Nolan averaged 33.6 yards per punt last season. Alston figures to boost Stony Brook’s return game this year.
8) The Seawolves started just three seniors against North Dakota.
9) Stony Brook has a recent history of close games against FBS opponents:
- 2014: UConn 19, Stony Brook 16
- 2013: Buffalo 26, Stony Brook 23 (5 overtimes)
- 2012: Stony Brook 23, Army 3
- 2012: Syracuse 28, Stony Brook 17
10) Last year the Seawolves opened the season at Toledo, but the game was canceled at halftime due to lightning and heavy rain. Stony Brook scored on its opening drive in that contest, then Toledo scored 16 straight points to take a 16-7 halftime lead before the game was called.