Every week, our Sports staff will take a deeper look at Stony Brook’s football games and what the team did well and where it went wrong.
First Down: Nothing going on offense.
Stony Brook failed to make any meaningful offensive impact in Saturday’s 21-0 road loss to the 25th-ranked William & Mary Tribe. The team gained only 167 yards of offense on the night.
Junior running back Stacey Bedell, who rushed for a total of 326 yards in his first two games, had just 28 all night as he left in the third quarter with an apparent injury.
The Seawolves as a team only rushed for 64 yards on 28 carries—which translates to 2.3 yards per carry.
If an offense centered around its running game like Stony Brook struggles on the ground, scoring plays will be few and far between.
The Seawolves’ passing game did not fare any better.
Senior quarterback Conor Bednarski and redshirt freshman quarterback Joe Carbone combined to go 13-for-24 passing with 102 yards through the air.
William & Mary’s defense shut down the Seawolves on all fronts Saturday.
Second Down: Defensive difficulties ruled the night.
After dominating opponents in its first two games, Stony Brook’s defense struggled all night on Saturday. The defense allowed more total yards and points this week than it did in its two previous games combined.
William & Mary compiled 467 yards of offense and 21 points. Stony Brook’s opponents had managed just 373 yards and 15 points total in the first two games.
The Tribe had two lengthy scoring drives; one nine-play, 72-yard drive in the first quarter, and one 10-play 88-yard drive in the second quarter. William & Mary had another drive of 75 yards in the fourth quarter that was capped off by a 59-yard run to the endzone from junior running back Kendell Anderson. Anderson finished with a career-high 191 yards on the night.
Third Down: The down that Stony Brook struggled with the most.
Third down was troublesome for Stony Brook throughout 2014.
The team converted on just 32 percent of its opportunities all season.
After the Seawolves converted on 45 percent of its chances in the first two games of this season, it looked like their third-down offense may have been revamped in the offseason.
However, Stony Brook lost the third down battle on both fronts all night on Saturday. The Seawolves converted just five third down opportunities in 15 tries while William & Mary succeeded on nine of its 16 third down chances.
With third down results like this, it is not surprising that the final score looked the way that it did.
Fourth down: On a positive note…
William & Mary may have dominated Stony Brook, but there were still a few positive takeaways for the Seawolves to take from Saturday night’s game.
Sophomore wide receiver Ray Bolden recorded seven receptions for 53 yards, which is impressive considering the Seawolves managed to pass for only 102 yards total. Bolden has now recorded at least five catches in each of his first three games with Stony Brook after transferring from Moorpark College in California.
Two defensive backs also stood out in this otherwise troublesome game. Senior Naim Cheeseboro recorded ten tackles and a pass breakup in by far his most active game of the season. Sophomore Tyrice Beverette also set a career-high with seven solo tackles. Beverette has shown some serious promise thus far that can continue to be built on later in the season.
Extra Point: On the road again next week.
Stony Brook will play in Virginia again next Saturday afternoon against James Madison at 12 p.m.
After receiving an at-large bid to the postseason last year, the Dukes are off to a 4-0 start in 2015, and were ranked ninth in the Football Championship Subdivision coming into this week.
This week, James Madison made national headlines when it shocked SMU of the Football Bowl Subdivision by defeating them 48-45.
When it faced Stony Brook at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium last November, James Madison won 27-24 after the Seawolves blew a 14-point second quarter lead.