#33 Stony Brook 2018 FCS Football Preview

Stony Brook Seawolves
Overall Rank: #33
#6 CAA
 Stony Brook Logo
Stony Brook reached the playoffs for the first time since joining the CAA prior to the 2013 campaign. Once there the Seawolves crushed Lehigh at home in the first round by a score of 59-29 before running into a James Madison team that was clearly one of the best two teams in the FCS. This time around Stony Brook has some holes to fill and that could prevent them from a return trip to the playoffs.
2017 Record: 10-3, 7-1
2017 Postseason: FCS Playoff
Coach: Chuck Priore (77-61 at Stony Brook, 116-70 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Carmen Felus, Chris Bache
Defensive Coordinator: Bobby McIntyre
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Donald Liotine, RB, 711 yards
Passing: Joe Carbone, QB, 2,470 yards
Receiving: Donavin Washington, WR, 354 yards
Tackles: Noah McGinty, LB, 96
Sacks: Shayne Lawless, LB, 8.0
Interceptions: Noah McGinty, LB, 1; Shayne Lawless, LB 1
Other Key Returnees: RB Jordan Gowins, DB Gavin Heslop, DL John Haggart
Key Losses: RB Stacey Bedell, WR Ray Bolden, WR Harrison Jackson, OL Timon Parris, LB Tyrice Beverette, CB Travon Reid-Segure, S Darin Peart, DB Chris Cooper, DL Ousmane Camara
Joe Carbone is an experienced senior quarterback who threw for 2,470 yards and 23 touchdowns during his much improved junior campaign. If he can take another big step forward in 2018, the Stony Brook offense will be in good shape, but there will be a lot of new faces around him. Top receivers Ray Bolden and Harrison Jackson are gone, leaving Donavin Washington and his 354 receiving yards as the team’s top returning pass catcher. Also gone is running back Stacey Bedell, who tallied 835 yards and eight touchdowns last year. Donald Liotine and Jordan Gowins have plenty of experience though and should be more than capable of covering for the loss of Bedell. The bigger concern though is on the line where some key pieces need to be replaced, most notably Timon Parris.
Noah McGinty and Shayne Lawless combined to tally 189 tackles last season, but they will miss fellow linebacker Tyrice Beverette who was tied atop the team’s tackle leaders with 96. Still, McGinty and Lawless are very talented linebackers who should have little trouble maintaining Stony Brook’s impressive run defense. John Haggart anchors the line after tallying 6.0 sacks in 2017. It will be important for this team to have a solid pass rush to help cover the new look secondary. Travon Reid-Segure, Darin Peart and Chris Cooper are all gone from a pass defense that ranked tenth in the CAA. Finding some new playmakers in the secondary could be the difference between a team that gets back to the playoffs and a team that quickly falls down the conference standings.
The Bottom Line:
Despite Carbone’s improved play, the offense could struggle this year if the line fails to step up. And the defense has similar questions in the secondary. The CAA slate is always tough too. Stony Brook opens conference play with home games against Richmond and Villanova. Both of those teams had disappointing 2017 seasons, but both are traditional powers that are looking to rebound in 2018. Those are the types of games the Seawolves must win if they are going to make a push for the playoffs, especially with road trips to New Hampshire and James Madison coming up in October.
Projected Postseason: None
2017 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 161.2 (52nd in nation, 5th in conference)
Passing Offense: 190.0 (76, 8)
Total Offense: 351.2 (71, 6)
Scoring Offense: 29.2 (40, 3)
Rushing Defense: 97.0 (11, 3)
Pass Defense: 229.3 (79, 10)
Total Defense: 326.3 (24, 4)
Scoring Defense: 20.6 (28, 5)
Turnover Margin: 0.38 (38, 6)
Sacks: 2.31 (45, 9)
Sacks Allowed: 1.62 (39, 1)
HERO Sports 2018 Recruit Rankings:
#138 Rahsul Faison
#152 Isaiah Givens
#184 Larry Ross
#225 Chris Chernak