1st down: A spectacular first quarter for the Seawolves
Although the game may not have officially counted, Stony Brook played a spectacular first quarter against Toledo on both sides of the ball. Up until the first lightning delay stopped the game with 14:51 left in the second quarter, it looked entirely possible that the Seawolves could pull off an upset. They were leading 7-3 at this time, and had outgained the Rockets 84-27. Stony Brook opened the game on a 13-play, 76-yard drive that ended in a touchdown from senior quarterback Conor Bednarski to freshman tight end Cal Daniels. They also stifled an offense that ranked 15th in the Football Bowl Subdivision last year, allowing only two first downs. Considering the fact that the Seawolves were playing an FBS team, this was a very encouraging sight for Stony Brook.
2nd down: A horrendous second quarter for the Seawolves
After a three-hour lightning delay, reality set in. It was Toledo that dominated on all fronts in the second quarter, scoring two unanswered touchdowns and outgaining the Seawolves 168-20. The Rockets turned on the jets after the delay, and Stony Brook managed only three first downs to Toledo’s seven. This was not unexpected, as Toledo was the 26.5-point favorites to win the game according to Vegasinsider.com.
3rd down: Ground-and-pound is back and better than ever
As head coach Chuck Priore has tended to do over his decade-long tenure at Stony Brook, the running game and defense will be the team’s two strengths. Despite a poor second quarter, the Seawolves should be satisfied that they allowed only 16 points in one half to one of the FBS’ best offenses. They completely shut them down early in the game, which is good news considering that Stony Brook will not play any opponents nearly as tough offensively as Toledo for the rest of the season.
Additionally, junior running back Stacey Bedell remained the offense’s focal point. Bedell was spectacular during Stony Brook’s touchdown drive, as he ran for 48 yards on three carries against the 14th-best run defense in the FBS. Senior quarterback Bednarski also did a solid job managing the game, aside from one bad interception late in the first quarter. Bednarski is not a star, but if he can avoid mistakes and let Bedell do most of the heavy lifting, Stony Brook has the potential to field a much better offense than they did last season.
4th down: Season Opener, take two
Stony Brook will play their first official game of 2015 on Saturday at home against the Central Connecticut Blue Devils. The Blue Devils went 3-9 last season, and are not expected to do much better this time around. They lost their season opener to Lehigh 20-14, and were selected to finish sixth in the seven-team Northeastern Conference by the conference’s annual coaches’ poll. This represents a much more favorable matchup than Stony Brook was dealt with last week, and should serve as a tune-up opportunity ahead of the team’s CAA opener at home against New Hampshire on September 19. It would be a major disappointment if Stony Brook did not win this week’s game.