Looking to avenge last week’s overtime loss at Rhode Island, the Seawolves will head back on the road to face the Towson Tigers on Saturday, Oct. 9 at 4 p.m.
Already 0-2 against Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) opponents, Stony Brook will need to get back on track to remain competitive within the conference. The Seawolves are 3-4 against the Tigers and have lost the last two matchups. In their last meeting in 2019, Towson won 31-14 and gave graduate quarterback Tyquell Fields fits, as he completed under 40% of his passes and threw two touchdowns and three interceptions.
Heading into this Saturday’s matchup, the Tigers are 1-3 (0-1 CAA) with similar statistical rankings to the Seawolves so far this season.
The Tigers are coming off a bye week, however, following a 48-21 loss to an FBS opponent, San Diego State. They were only down seven points heading into halftime, but the Aztecs outscored the Tigers 27-7 in the second half.
Graduate quarterback Chris Ferguson is in his first season at Towson, but spent most of his undergraduate career in the CAA at Maine. As a redshirt freshman in 2017, Ferguson completed 65.5 percent of his passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns in a 20-19 loss to Stony Brook.
Despite averaging only 197.7 pass yards per game, Ferguson helped the Black Bears win the CAA championship in 2018 and reach the FCS Playoff semifinals. Following the 2019 season, Ferguson transferred to Liberty, where he started only one game in 2020.
Ferguson has been less than stellar for the Tigers this season, averaging 169 pass yards per game and completing just above 57% of his passes for five touchdowns and three interceptions.
Towson has not run the ball particularly well either, averaging just 84.5 rush yards per game, but Stony Brook head coach Chuck Priore expects the Tigers to lean on the run game this week.
“When I look at the film, I think they’re a physical offensive line. I think they’ll get the run game going,” Priore said in Monday’s media teleconference.
Stony Brook should be ready to defend the run, especially coming off a career day from graduate defensive lineman Brandon Lopez. In last week’s game against Rhode Island, Lopez recorded a career-high 3.5 tackles for loss and tied his career-high of six total tackles and will look to carry that performance into this weekend.
The Seawolves will look to create turnovers this week, something they have not done since week two.
“We’ve unfortunately gone three straight games now and have not gotten a turnover on defense,” Priore said. “That’s created a lot of long fields for our offense and we’ve got to be able to rectify that as a defense.”
Playing against a lackluster offense, Stony Brook’s defense will need to show up big to build confidence heading into the second half of the season.
On the other side of the ball, the Seawolves offense will go up against a porous Tigers run defense. Towson has allowed 202.8 rush yards per game and 5.5 yards per carry this season. Redshirt junior running back Ty Son Lawton rushed for a career-high 154 yards last week and leads the Seawolves with 425 rush yards and 5.1 yards per carry this year. Expect him to keep his outstanding season going this week.
It won’t be easy, but the Seawolves must begin winning as quickly as possible. The Seawolves are on the road against a rested opponent, but they must take advantage of a favorable matchup if they are to turn their season around.