Some schools in the Football Championship Subdivision are “there.”
Since 2011, North Dakota State has defeated its Football Bowl Subdivision opponents each year and won the FCS each year. James Madison regularly blows out opponents and is at the top of the Colonial Athletic Association standings.
But Stony Brook Football is not “there.” As much as athletic director Shawn Heilbron wants the program to get “there,” it simply is not ready yet. The team’s 38-0 shutout loss to Temple on Saturday, one of the worst losses in school history, shows that Stony Brook is not ready to handle the bigger programs in college football.
Teams are defined by their offenses and the Seawolves have struggled mightily on that side of the ball. They gained 133 total yards, which is the lowest total since the school joined the CAA. Redshirt sophomore punter Marc Nolan was on the field so often that he amassed a career-high 352 yards on a career-high nine punts.
Much like last week, the rushing game was nonexistent. Sophomore running back Jordan Gowins had the most yards rushed for, making his way for 36 yards on 11 attempts. Redshirt junior Stacey Bedell gained a paltry 18 yards on 10 carries.
In last week’s 13-9 win against North Dakota, both players showed signs of struggle and combined for a total 68 yards. Good teams traditionally have good rushing games and Stony Brook, which was expected to be an above-average rushing team coming into the season, has not displayed any semblance of a rushing game whatsoever.
Worse yet, the Seawolves still have not scored a single offensive touchdown. Last week a fumble recovery and a blocked punt were Stony Brook’s saving graces, but this week, no spectacular plays bailed the offense out.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Joe Carbone only aired the ball out for 84 yards and seems to have gotten worse since his above average showing against North Dakota. His two picks and below 50 percent completion percentage were less than satisfactory and only further displayed the holes in the passing game.
Carbone’s subpar performance does not get a team into the national spotlight. If Stony Brook wants to become one of the premier teams in the CAA, it will need to improve on every facet of the offensive game. The offensive line is still struggling after Carbone was sacked four times against North Dakota. This time, the unit only allowed two sacks but breaking into the pocket seemed to be no challenge for the Temple defense.
Stony Brook is 1-6 against FBS opponents. It has seen mixed success in the CAA since joining the conference. Although its defense is one of the strongest in the FCS, its offense is one of the worst.
After defeating the No. 19 team in the FCS, the Seawolves still need to prove that they can handle bigger opponents. Although many expected Stony Brook to lose to Temple, getting blown out 38-0 shows how much more ground the Seawolves still need to cover in order to get “there.”