Opponent: Stony Brook University Seawolves
2016 Record: 5-6, 4-4 Colonial Athletic Association (FCS)
Head Coach: Chuck Priore (12th season as head coach)
Famous alumni: Joy Behar, Joe Nathan, ummm that’s about it
Date/Time: Saturday, September 2, 4:00 p.m.
Series History: USF leads 1-0 (won 59-14 in 2010)
Last season: In their fourth season in the CAA, the Seawolves finished in a tie for sixth place at 5-6 overall after losing their last four games. Stony Brook faced two ranked FCS opponents in 2016 (North Dakota and Richmond) and won them both at home. After those wins, the Seawolves cracked the FCS Top 25 themselves for a few weeks before hitting the skids.
Stony Brook and USF did have a common opponent last year. The Seawolves were shutout by Temple 38-0 in Week 2. Stony Brook’s biggest win in 2016 was 42-14 over No. 2 Richmond in Week 3, and their worst loss was a similar 43-14 defeat at New Hampshire.
Offense: This was very difficult to find info about. The Seawolves cycled through three quarterbacks last season. Redshirt sophomore Joe Carbone played 10 games, throwing for 1017 yards but just three touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Carbone has tossed five touchdowns overall and run for six scores during his collegiate career.
They do have a stud running back in senior All-CAA honoree Stacey Bedell, who has amassed 2,119 yards during his career and has gained at least 100 yards in 12 games. He ranks in the top 10 of numerous Stony Brook career lists.
There is currently a four-quarterback competition at the Seawolves’ fall camp. Two have never played in a college football game, and sophomore Jack Cassidy started one game against Albany last season. All signs point to Carbone taking the snaps at Raymond James Stadium against USF.
Defense: Stony Brook had a very interesting spring game. Instead of forming two complete teams, the entire offense played the entire defense. The defense team earned one point for a defensive stop and two points for a turnover. The points were doubled if they made a stop or took the ball away before the offense crossed midfield. The offense ended up winning 17-16. Senior DB Chris Cooper (the best player on this defense) led the way with seven tackles. Cooper had the biggest interception for the Seawolves in their 2016 upset win over No. 2 Richmond.
Special Teams: Last year Stony Brook had a senior kicker/punter from Poland named Przemyslaw Popek, so that’s something. He has since graduated and I was unable to find much more of anything about the Seawolves special teams in 2017.
Etc... Let’s call this what it is — an FCS cupcake blowout in the making. With all due respect to Stony Brook, they aren’t close to the caliber of FCS powerhouses like James Madison and Villanova. USF will have absolutely zero problems in this game and I have absolutely zero problems saying that. Let’s just hope for an injury-free game on both sides.
This is no McNeese State situation. There hopefully will never be a situation like that again. So just sit back and enjoy this 2017 home opener.