A losing season has already been clinched as the Stony Brook football team continues to dwell in the cellar.
The Seawolves (0-6, 0-4 CAA) took a short trip over to the Bronx only to be sent home by the Fordham Rams with a blowout 45-14 loss. The game was as advertised: Fordham’s offense was overwhelming, and Stony Brook’s offense was significantly behind the curve. Dropped passes, missed tackles and poor situational play continued to be an Achilles’ heel for the Seawolves, who have still not gotten out of their own way.
“Fordham’s a very good football team, and we didn’t represent ourselves correctly,” head coach Chuck Priore said in a postgame interview with Stony Brook Athletics. “We went up against an offensive team that what they’ve done to us, they’ve done to everybody.”
The stat sheet accurately reflects Fordham’s dominance over Stony Brook. The Seawolves were outgained 591-321 on the night and allowed nine more first downs than they picked up. Stony Brook also lost the turnover battle 2-1. As usual, the team struggled to prolong drives, going 4-of-16 on third down. Defensively, they allowed six third-down conversions in 12 opportunities.
Ironically, due to Fordham’s quick-strike nature, the Seawolves actually won the time of possession battle, but that was the only advantage they had on Saturday.
Stony Brook’s defense came out strong, forcing three straight punts on Fordham’s top-tier offense to open the game. Of the three drives, two of them were three-and-out. Even with starting running back Ty Son Lawton back in the lineup, the Seawolves’ offense was unable to draw first blood. On the fourth drive, Fordham’s up-tempo offense finally worked, as the Rams drove down the field in five plays to score the game’s first touchdown. Fordham running back Julius Loughridge made the big plays on the drive, exploding for 30 yards to take his team to the red zone before capping it off with a four-yard touchdown.
Almost on cue, Stony Brook went three-and-out after the Fordham touchdown. After that, the game was essentially over. Fordham quarterback Tim DeMorat picked apart the Seawolves’ defense for the rest of the night, leading them to scores on each of the next four drives to take a 31-0 lead into halftime.
The Seawolves got the ball to start the second half and drove to Fordham’s 33-yard line. Quarterback Charlie McKee took a deep shot but was picked off in the endzone by defensive back Brandon Spencer. In a scoreless third quarter, the Stony Brook offense was unable to take advantage of the worst pass defense in the nation.
The game was still 31-0 entering the fourth quarter, where garbage time ensued.
In his first career start, McKee finished the night 18-of-36 passing for 239 yards, two touchdowns and one pick. He became the first Seawolf to throw for 200 yards in a game since Tyquell Fields did it against Richmond in 2021. McKee padded his stats in the fourth quarter by led the Seawolves on back-to-back touchdown drives to end the game, tossing a touchdown pass to wide receivers Tedy Afful and Khalil Newton on those possessions.
“He’s going to be a good player,” Priore said. “We’re excited about having him. He’s a competitor; he competed. We’re excited about his overall performance.”
McKee’s numbers could have been significantly better had he received some more help. McKee launched several deep passes in the first half but saw many catchable throws dropped including two by wide receiver Shawn Harris Jr. He was also sacked four times. On a positive note, McKee spread the wealth on Saturday, hitting nine different receivers throughout the game.
The run game was not particularly strong for Stony Brook despite seeing several key pieces return. Along with Lawton, running back Jayden Cook saw a lot of playing time. Lawton was solid individually, rushing seven times for 34 yards. However, between Lawton, Cook and Ross Tallarico, Stony Brook only rushed for 104 yards on 32 attempts.
As for the defense, they did not stand a chance. Like Priore said, Fordham did to the Seawolves what it has done to everyone in 2022. DeMorat completed 27 of his 39 passes for 371 yards and three touchdowns. Even Fordham’s backup quarterback, Grant Wilson, went 3-for-3 with 35 yards and a touchdown. On the ground, Fordham rushed for 185 yards and two touchdowns. Loughridge rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries to lead the pack.
Linebacker Reidgee Dimanche had another respectable day, recording 10 total tackles and recovering his first fumble of the year. Dimanche now leads the team in takeaways this year with two.
Some other notes that stood out: Afful’s touchdown was the first of his career. Also, McKee’s performance has been so superior to his fellow quarterbacks that he now leads the team in every passing stat after just six quarters of play.
All the Seawolves can do is put this game behind them and move on. Their next game will be their homecoming game on Saturday, Oct. 22 against Maine. Opening kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Maine upset Monmouth 38-28 on Saturday, and are 2-4 overall (2-1 CAA).