First Down: Conor Bednarski wins the QB competition
A very indecisive non-conference season for Stony Brook Head Coach Chuck Priore had Seawolves fans guessing who their starting quarterback would be going into Saturday’s game against the William & Mary Tribe (4-1). After taking all but one snap against North Dakota just a week prior, John Kinder seemed to be the favorite for the starter’s role through week four. In Saturday’s contest, however, Bednarski took all the snaps and completed 16 of 29 passes for 189 yards and one touchdown.
The bulk of the passing yards were completed on an 83-yard touchdown pass to Adrian Coxson. Bednarski was able to avoid turning the ball over, which was something that had plagued him earlier this year and at junior college.
Second Down: Bedell deserves a bigger workload
Sophomore running back Stacey Bedell finished Saturday’s game with 102 yards on 18 carries (5.7 yards-per-carry) and a touchdown. It was Bedell’s third game with over 100 rushing yards raising his season average yards-per-carry to 5.6 (2.9 higher than Seawolves second-leading rusher, Marcus Coker). Despite this success, Bedell has received only 47 percent of the total rushing opportunities Stony Brook running backs have had this season. Look for Bedell to garner more touches as conference play progresses.
Third Down: Defense continues to make big plays and allow bigger ones
On the surface, holding nationally ranked William & Mary to two touchdowns in regulation time, combined with six sacks and an interception may seem like a great day for the Seawolves defense (1-4). However, the situations in which the Tribe were successful on offense were perplexing. In the Tribe’s first three trips to the red zone, the Seawolves were able to hold them to two field goals and an interception, thanks in large part to the constant pressure applied by the Seawolves front seven. The Tribe’s two touchdowns came as a result of two long passing plays. Steve Cluley hit DeVonte Dedmon to set up the Tribe first and goal at the two for the first one. The second one tied the game, a 52-yard pass to Sean Ballard with 25 seconds left.
Fourth Down Its not how you start, it’s how you finish
Repeatedly in the Seawolves’ first two seasons as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), Priore has stressed the importance of finishing games strong. Saturday, Stony Brook relinquished a 14-0 second quarter lead and a 21-14 lead with 1:14 left in the fourth quarter. In all four of Stony Brook’s losses this year, the team has given up a lead. The Seawolves will have another opportunity next week on Oct. 4 against CAA opponent Towson.
Extra Point: Looking ahead to Towson
Next week, the Seawolves will head on the road for a matchup against the Towson Tigers just outside of Baltimore. The matchup will feature Stony Brook’s stout rushing defense against the powerful rushing attack of Towson. The Tigers boast the fourth-best rushing attack in the CAA at 193.6 yards per game. The Seawolves have the second-best rush defense, allowing 88 yards per game on the ground. Stony Brook will have to do better on the ground than they did against the Tribe, as they allowed 116 yards and a pair of touchdowns to William & Mary’s top man Mikal Abdul-Saboor. Tigers’ running back Darius Victor has rushed for 117.6 yards per game so far this season.
Correction: September 29, 2014
A previous version of this article mispelled the name of Stony Brook football quarterback, Conor Bednarski, referring to him as “Connor Bednarski.”