1st Down: It is not about how you start, but how you finish.
Stony Brook jumped out to another 14-point lead against its opponent, but came up empty. Where have we seen this script before? The Seawolves blew first-half leads in every single loss they have had this season, including three that were 14-point leads. They jumped out 14-0 on William & Mary and lost in that heartbreaker. They jumped out 14-0 on UNH up in New Hampshire, and lost 28-20.
On Saturday, they led 24-10 against James Madison and could not hold on to the advantage.
In the team’s six losses this season, Stony Brook has been outscored 72-19 in the second half, including three shutouts. The third quarter was the absolute kiss of the death for the Seawolves in every game, as they have only put up 13 overall points in the period to their opponents 41.
2nd Down: Marcus Coker starting to come into form.
Whether it is too little, too late or not, it is nice to see the senior running back come back to form a little bit. He ran 11 times for 89 yards in the game against New Hampshire two weeks ago and ran circles around the Dukes, going for 145 and a touchdown. The yardage total is a new Seawolves-high for him. This is also the first time he has rushed for 100 yards since Week 2 of last season, when he went for 115 in a wild one at Buffalo.
He said in the press conference that he did not think about the injuries at all, but it is hard to believe that. He was a good running back at Iowa and transferred to Stony Brook looking to do the same thing, but just could not stay healthy.
Whether it was the ab injury last season or the offseason leg injury, it was not good seeing such a hard working man end up with such bad luck. But as the season winds down, he is looking to go out strong and is doing just that.
3rd Down: Ochi and Ricard proving they are worth more than a watch-list nomination.
It seems like whenever people talk about this defense, the names Victor Ochi and Christian Ricard have to come up.
They have been dominant all season long and they did it again on Saturday, with each recording two sacks. Ricard finished with 10 tackles on the day, his second double-digit tackle output of the season. He is now first in the conference in tackles for loss, averaging 1.95 per game. He is also sixth in sacks, averaging 0.85 per game. He will be deeply missed when he graduates in May.
Ochi will not be graduating in May and is putting up comparable numbers to this point. The junior out of Valley Stream, N.Y. is fourth in tackles for loss at 1.65 per game, and second in sacks, averaging 1.1 per contest. He has been a major force for the Seawolves defense, and leads a stout defensive line that will all be returning next season.
4th Down: Offensive production has been too erratic.
One big problem with the Seawolves offense this season has been its inconsistency. They have been able to score, but it has come in spurts. Aside from the three 14-point games already mentioned, Stony Brook has not been able to be consistent scoring threats all season. The team put up 10 in the first quarter at UConn, but only put up six the rest of the way. They scored 14 in the second against American International, and only put up six in the other three quarters.
The Seawolves only got a touchdown in the first and the fourth quarters against Towson. They put up 13 in the third against Maine and only got six in the other three quarters combined. It is tough to get a rhythm and any momentum when you cannot score offensively. The defense has been good, but even the best defenses crack at some point.
Extra Point: It is all about pride now.
The Seawolves are not making the playoffs. Now, it is all about pride as Stony Brook will play host to Rhode Island and then head upstate for the Empire Clash against the Albany Great Danes.
Focusing on the home finale, Rhode Island is sitting ugly at 0-10 on the year, and you do not have too look to far to figure out why.
They have the worst scoring offense (12.3 points per game) and the worst scoring defense (36.7 points allowed per game) in the CAA.
They also allow the most rushing yards in the CAA (236.6 yards per game), and they allow the fourth-most passing yards per game (238.9 yards per game). The one thing this team is good at is not allowing sacks. They are fourth in the conference at that, only allowing 20 in their 10 games.
But even the best offensive lines have let the stout Seawolves defensive line get to their quarterback a few times, and Nov. 15 should be no different as Stony Brook wraps up its 2014 home schedule.