Coming off its much-needed bye week, Stony Brook will host Towson in a Saturday night Homecoming bout at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium.
Stony Brook (2-2, 1-2 CAA) is on a two-game losing streak, with road losses versus William & Mary and James Madison, and looks to reverse fortunes against Towson (2-3, 0-2).
The Tigers, who were Football Championship Subdivision runner-ups in 2013, have had a disappointing 2015 season so far.
Like the Seawolves, the Tigers are also on a two-game losing streak, including a 51-30 defeat on Saturday at the hands of James Madison.
Towson’s offense is averaging 25.4 points per game this season and is led by senior quarterback Connor Frazier.
Frazier has six touchdowns this season and has thrown for 951 passing yards, good for fifth in the Colonial Athletic Association.
The athletic quarterback has impressive versatility as well, having racked up 249 rushing yards this season. In his sophomore season Frazier was used as a wide receiver, catching seven passes in the 2013 FCS title game.
If last year’s meeting is any indication, however, Stony Brook will be able to stymie Towson’s offense.
In an October game one year ago, the Seawolves defeated the Tigers 14-3 on the road, holding the potent Frazier to just 137 yards through the air.
In the ground game, Towson will look to junior running back Darius Victor, who has 500 yards and seven touchdowns through five games.
Stony Brook is looking to rebound from back-to-back dismal performances from its rushing defense, something highly uncharacteristic of a Chuck Priore team. Two games ago, William & Mary torched the Seawolves for 301 running yards. The next week against James Madison was not much better, as the Dukes accumulated 294 yards on the ground.
On the offensive side of the ball, Stony Brook will be without star running back Stacey Bedell.
The junior Massachusetts transfer was sidelined against James Madison with a nagging shoulder injury.
As a result, the Seawolves will use a running-back-by-committee approach, as they did in the game against James Madison. Sophomore Donald Liotine and freshmen Isaiah White and Travis Liburd all saw action against the Dukes. The trio combined for 72 yards rushing in the loss.
Under center, freshman Joe Carbone has emerged as a potent dual-threat quarterback for Stony Brook. Carbone, who has been splitting time with senior Conor Bednarski this season, passed for 132 yards last game, while rushing for 41 yards. Carbone picked up several critical first downs rushing the football on read-option plays in the game.
Carbone and Bednarski will look to have big games against a Towson team whose pass defense has been shaky this season. The Tigers have allowed nine touchdowns through the air and have intercepted just two passes.
Saturday’s homecoming matchup has potential to be the most attended game in Stony Brook history.
Each of the past four season’s homecoming football games have set new attendance records, with last season’s game against William & Mary setting the current record of 11,301.
In front of a packed house, Stony Brook finds itself with a critical midseason matchup.
After the Towson game, the schedule becomes considerably easier for the Seawolves.
With a win, Stony Brook would be well-positioned to make a run to the FCS playoffs, something the school has not done since 2012.
Update: Oct. 13, 2015
The online version of this article has been updated to reflect the fact that Stacey Bedell will miss the rest of the 2015 Stony Brook Football season due to injury.