The Stony Brook football team will meet the Fordham Rams at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 3:30 p.m., looking to put last Saturday’s blowout at Oregon behind them.
Fordham is coming off its own loss to a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) opponent, as the Rams fell to Florida Atlantic 45-14 after trailing by only seven points at halftime.
Fordham is 0-3 this season after finishing 2-1 last year. Prior to last Saturday’s loss to FAU, the Rams were blown out by Nebraska in their season opener and came short of a comeback win over Monmouth in a 26-23 loss.
The Rams caught a tough break having to play two road games against FBS opponents early in the season, but they will look to get back on track before they begin conference play next weekend.
Despite Fordham’s winless record, the Seawolves should not expect a cakewalk this Saturday. Fordham was picked to finish second out of seven teams in the Patriot League’s preseason poll. Senior quarterback Tim DeMorat was picked to win offensive player of the year, while senior linebacker Ryan Greenhagen was chosen for defensive player of the year.
DeMorat thrived in the spring, completing 72.1% of his passes and averaging 349.7 pass yards per game. He is off to a slower start this season because of his performances against Nebraska and FAU, but he was much better against Monmouth when he threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns while adding 44 yards on the ground.
“He would man the offense of a lot of CAA teams,” head coach Chuck Priore said about DeMorat on Monday’s media teleconference. “He’s a four-year starter … He has some receivers to go to, but he’s the kingpin of their offense and he’s had great success over his career.”
Meanwhile, Greenhagen has been outstanding to start the season, recording a whopping 31 total tackles against Nebraska — a new Division I record — and is averaging 25.3 tackles per game.
Stony Brook is 3-1 all-time against Fordham, winning its last three matchups with the Rams. The two schools signed a six-year contract to face each other every season from 2018 to 2023, with the Seawolves winning both of the Division I-era contests in blowout fashion. The 2020 contest was ultimately canceled with both teams playing conference-only schedules because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Their last matchup saw the Seawolves slaughter the Rams 45-10 in 2019, in which DeMorat threw for only 185 yards and Fordham’s only touchdown while taking five sacks. Greenhagen wreaked havoc, recording 12 tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble. Despite his performance, Stony Brook’s offense had its way with Fordham, recording 601 total yards.
Graduate quarterback Tyquell Fields completed nine of his 12 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns while adding 39 rushing yards. Stony Brook rushed for 368 yards, led by redshirt senior running back Seba Nekhet’s 182 yards and two touchdowns.
The Seawolves could lean on the run game again this Saturday, as Fordham allowed 156 rush yards per game in the spring and is allowing 258 rush yards per game this season. As Fordham’s only Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) opponent this season, Monmouth ran for 200 yards and two touchdowns against the Rams while passing for 268 yards and one touchdown. Look for redshirt junior running back Ty Son Lawton to continue to build on his strong season.
Fields was forced out of the Oregon game after taking a big hit in the fourth quarter, which Priore said resulted in a thigh bruise. Priore expects Fields to play, but it will be interesting to see if the injury limits his mobility at all.
Stony Brook is 13-3 against non-conference FCS opponents since joining the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), with its last loss coming in 2016. The Rams are better than their record shows, but if recent history is any sign, the Seawolves will have a good chance to get back in the win column this Saturday.