(HEATHER KHALIFA / THE STATESMAN)
The Seawolves look to defeat Albany in last game of season. The two teams are noted rivals. (HEATHER KHALIFA / THE STATESMAN)

The Stony Brook football team (5-6, 4-3 CAA) will be traveling upstate this Saturday to face off against the Seawolves’ bitter rival, Albany (6-5, 2-5 CAA).

The Seawolves are coming off a 35-14 win against Rhode Island via a monstrous effort by running back Stacey Bedell, who accumulated 195 total rushing yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Conor Bednarski was 9-17 for 89 yards in total, with one touchdown and one interception.

The defense put up yet another impressive game that included a fumble return touchdown by Julian Quintin on a sack by Tyrice Beverette. The defense also yielded 300 total yards, but only 60 came in the second half.

The Seawolves were able to have a field day last Saturday against a very weak opponent. Rhode Island’s defense allows 239.1 rushing yards per game, so naturally, Stony Brook’s powerhouse run game would be able to go to town. Stacey Bedell averaged 9.3 yards per carry and had his longest run of the season, a whopping 75-yard rush that finished in the end zone.

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Albany is looking to rebound after a 48-31 loss to No. 6 ranked Villanova. Albany allowed 359 rushing yards throughout the game, while only racking up 77 of their own. Albany’s blatant lack of a rush defense is what sealed the deal against Villanova.

Where the defense falls short, Albany makes up for with its offense. The Great Danes average 361.5 yards of total offense per game, with an impressive 227.4 passing yards per game. This has resulted in 23 passing touchdowns so far this season, compared to only 13 rushing touchdowns. The running game is not horrible either; Albany averages 3.8 yards per carry and 134.1 yards per game on the ground.

Redshirt senior quarterback Will Fiacchi is definitely the shining star of this offense. On the season, he has thrown 195 completions in 350 attempts with 23 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He averages 7.1 yards per pass, and his receivers get more than five yards after the completion, with 12.8 yards per catch.

Stony Brook’s strong lineup of running backs should have no issue finding holes in the Albany defense. The Great Danes allow 208.9 rushing yards per game with an average of 5.2 yards per carry. In addition, they have yielded 19 rushing touchdowns this season so far.

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The Seawolves’ passing game should also be able to find a groove this Saturday. Albany allows 205.4 passing yard per game and has allowed 12 total passing touchdowns—double the amount that Stony Brook has.

The top-ranked Stony Brook defense is in for a good matchup this weekend. They have allowed the fewest touchdowns in the CAA—a measly 13—and on they only yield 304.9 yards of total offense to opponents, which is also the fewest in conference. In addition, the Seawolves have the second most sacks in the CAA for a total of 156 yards.

There is no doubt that this will be one of the closer games this season. Albany scores an average of 28 points per game, making them one of the strongest offenses in conference. This high-efficiency offense will have to make up for a relatively weak defense that allows over 400 yards of offense per game.

The biggest issue that Stony Brook has been facing late is that the Seawolves have been giving up leads. When they played James Madison, the Seawolves had a 24-10 lead at the end of the first half, but they could not manage to score a single point in the second half, ultimately losing 27-24. As long as the Seawolves manage to get ahead early, the defense will be able to hold the Great Danes back, and Stony Brook will see a win in the last game of the football season.

 

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