On Nov. 16, 2013, Stony Brook football beat the James Madison Dukes, 41-38. Entering that game, the Seawolves found themselves in a very similar position as this year. They were 3-6 and eliminated from playoff contention. They knew they were a better team then their record showed.
Unfortunately for the 2013 Seawolves, they fell victim to a brutal schedule for their first year in the Colonial Athletic Association, which featured the top five CAA teams, two of which ended up in the semifinals of the FCS playoffs. The Dukes went into that game ranked No. 25 in the country. Going into this week, the Dukes received votes in both major poles.
Like the 2013 Seawolves, the 2014 Seawolves (4-5, 3-2 CAA) have dug themselves into a hole they wont be able to get out of. After a loss in their last game to New Hampshire and a win by New Hampshire against Albany last weekend they have officially been mathematically eliminated from any scenario that would place the Seawolves in the playoffs.
With Stony Brook out of the playoffs, the Seawolves may look to build chemistry among the players that will return next year.
On the offense, junior quarterback Conor Bednarski will lose some of his major weapons to graduation including wide receiver’s Adrian Coxson and Jahrie Level, tight end Will Tye and running backs Marcus Coker and James Kenner. Bednarski will look to a couple of underclassmen that have played big roles already.
Sophomore running back Stacey Bedell should see the majority of carries this Saturday. Bedell has already rushed for 750 yards on the season and seven touchdowns. Freshmen wide receiver Donavin Washington may once again start on Saturday after an 11-catch 102-yard performance last week playing in place of an injured Level. On defense, Stony Brook will continue to lean on junior defensive end Victor Ochi who leads the Seawolves with 9.5 sacks to provide pressure on James Madison’s high-powered offense.
James Madison has eclipsed the 30-point mark seven times already this season. The Seawolves have yet to allow a team to score 30 and have yet to score more than 21 points. Junior quarterback Vad Lee, who has 21 touchdowns on 2319 yards passing and six touchdowns on 663 yards rushing this season leads the Dukes in all four categories.
This will be the fourth time this season the Dukes faced a team coming off a bye week. In the previous three, the Dukes went 1-2.
Stony Brook’s top ranked total defense will face James Madison, which has won four consecutive games, on Saturday at 1 p.m. in LaValle Stadium.