The Stony Brook Football team heads into Saturday’s road game against Rhode Island in search of its first conference win in nearly three months.
Luckily for the Seawolves’ sake, they will be facing quite possibly their weakest opponent this season. Rhode Island has been abysmal by every metric imaginable. The Rams have the worst record in the Colonial Athletic Association, with a 1-5 conference record and a 1-8 overall mark. They have the second-worst scoring offense in the conference, the worst scoring defense and average 30 points per week allowed, with only 13 points per week scored.
It is possible that Stony Brook’s defense, which feasted on a weak Howard team last week, could do the same against Rhode Island. The Seawolves allowed just nine total points in that game while recording twelve sacks en route to a 14-9 win. Despite all of its struggles this year, Stony Brook is still fifth in the CAA in total defense.
Much of the defensive focus will turn towards senior defensive lineman Victor Ochi, who is tied for the school’s all-time sacks record with 29. One more sack will move him past Stony Brook alumnus David Bamiro, who has held the record since 2004.
Likewise, Ochi is only one and a half sacks behind Football Championship Subdivision leader Tyrone Holmes, a senior for Montana, for the national lead in sacks for the year. It will take some work to catch Holmes, but anything is possible against this weak Rhode Island offense.
On the offensive side of things, sophomore running back Donald Liotine will lead the way for Stony Brook. He recorded a career-high 204 yards and both of the Seawolves’ touchdowns last week and could be primed for another solid performance against the third-worst rushing defense in the CAA.
Liotine carried the offense last week, and will likely need to do the same this week. His rushing yards accounted for two-thirds of Stony Brook’s total yards in last Saturday’s game. The Seawolves only passed for 95 yards against Howard and have averaged only 162.3 yards per game this season.
In addition to its five-game conference losing streak, Stony Brook also has the potential to snap a five-game road losing streak that dates back to last season. The Seawolves’ last road win came on Oct. 18, 2014 against Elon.