By Matt Braunstein
On Friday, September 27, the Stony Brook men’s football team charged onto their home field with intensity and determination. It was a cold and misty night, and as usual their stadium was not nearly filled to capacity, but this did not deter them. This was quite possibly the biggest game of their season; a televised clash with our rival, the Hofstra Pride.
The Seawolves received the opening kickoff and proceeded to march down the field under the leadership of freshman QB Dayne Hoffman and helped by some excellent running from junior RB Conte Cuttino. The offense shook off two penalties along the opening drive, and on a third and long Hoffman dropped back, pump faked, looked off his receivers, and threw a tight beautiful spiral to senior receiver Dwayne Eley in the end zone. The ball touched Eley’s hands, the crowd erupted in celebration, and then he dropped the touchdown pass. From that point on the game went downhill, and Seawolves went up shit creek.
Hofstra beat SBU handily by a score of 43-3. As if a pounding like that wasn’t enough, it was the 12th time in row the Pride has beat SBU. Though the teams are considered rivals, the rivalry is a bit one sided as previous to this game, Hofstra had beat Stony Brook all eleven times the teams faced off. The worst loss came two years ago in a 55-0 trouncing, but this past week’s game wasn’t much better.
The Seawolves scored on only one of their eleven possessions throughout the course of the game, a field goal in the first half. The other ten times they punted, gave up possession on downs or simply turned the ball over. In total, the Seawolves offense amassed 72 rushing yards, 139 passing yards, and no touchdowns. It should be noted also that Hofstra did have male cheerleaders on the sideline, so they also beat us in gayness.
Though the offense showed it was more than capable when executed properly, they were plagued by mistakes from the start of the game. They made three penalties (all at crucial points in the game), threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles, one of which was returned sixty yards for a touchdown by Hofstra DB Leslie Jackman.
Snapping the ball was also a problem, perhaps caused by the light rain that persisted throughout the game. Both on special teams and in the shotgun formation, the ball was launched over the QB or punter’s head more than once, and resulted in a loss of yards and continued frustration.
Hofstra was not nearly as stagnant on offense, gaining 155 yards on the ground and 161 yards through the air, leading to a total of five touchdowns. They also kicked a field goal, returned a fumble for a touchdown and were able to convert eight of thirteen on third downs. Stony Brook only converted three of eleven on their crucial downs.
This loss brings SBU’s record to 1-4 this season. However, all hope is not lost as the team still has not faced any of their conference opponents in the newly joined Big South division. The Seawolves also have an extra week of practice to regroup and prepare for a game at Liberty University on Oct. 11.
The team this year is not untalented by any means. Though QB Hoffman is in his first year, he seems to have a grasp on the offense and shows poise in the pocket. RB Cuttino is as fast and hard-hitting as ever, and now has a nice complement in freshman RB Edwin Gowins. Reliable senior WR Lynell Suggs was out with an injury for most of the game, but the team’s number two receiving threat, Eley, played well despite his early touchdown drop. He is a small, shifty receiver in the mold of the Panther’s Steve Smith, and has excellent hands.
The offensive line remains as the team’s biggest strength, as they gave up no sacks to Hofstra and continue to do work in the trenches. They are a bulky and powerful squad anchored on the left side by senior LT and team captain Lawrence Lovell and massive senior LG Steve Council. The run defense is solid but the pass defense is a bit shaky, but there is no doubt that head coach Jim Priore will have the team working hard during practice to improve.
So yes, Hofstra wiped up the floor with Stony Brook this past Friday, and yes it was the 12th time in a row they did it. But just remember, they have male cheerleaders and we don’t, and goddammit, that is something to be proud of.