After a disappointing campaign in their inaugural season in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Stony Brook Seawolves hoped that the 2014 season would be one of redemption. A slow start to the season created some doubt, but but a three game winning streak (4-4, 3-1 CAA). The Seawolves look like contenders again.
The QB Dilemma
Training camp for Stony Brook football was highlighted by the quarterback battle between junior Conor Bednarski and senior John Kinder, but neither quarterbacks have been making any highlight reel plays this season. The offense has looked weak at times due to Stony Brook’s ability to get the passing game going.
John Kinder won the starting job heading into the season because of his dual threat play making ability, but he struggled both passing and running the ball in his four starts this season. Kinder is 25 for 48 passing for 356 yards with three interceptions and one touchdown, and has -18 yards rushing on 30 carries.
Kinder’s struggling opened up an opportunity for Conor Bednarski, who took it. Despite his struggles, he looked like the better of the two quarterbacks. Kinder has seen action in all seven games for the Seawolves, and has started the last four. Bednarski completed 55 of his 107 pass attempts this season with 658 yards passing to go along with his four touchdowns and four interceptions. They’re not eye popping numbers, but the offense has played better with Bednarski under center. The Seawolves are 3-1 in his four starts.
The Rise of Stacey Bedell
The shining star of Stony Brook’s offense has been sophomore running back Stacey Bedell. Bedell, who transferred from the University of Massachusetts after playing two seasons, appears to be the Seawolves’ answer to replacing former Stony Brook star running back Miguel Maysonet. Bedell’s career has already taken shape even with four games left in the regular season. In his six starts this season, he leads the Seawolves with 697 yards rushing on 128 carries, averaging 5.4 yards per rush and five touchdowns – all career highs.
The Seawolves offense has always depended on their ability to run the ball, and Bedell brings the big play ability and consistency that they’ve been lacking in the post-Maysonet era. Bedell has scored at least one touchdown in each of his last five games and rushed for over 100 yards in five of his last six starts.
Defense wins games
Despite a breakout year by Bedell, the biggest impact for Stony Brook football is the incredible defense, led by seniors Christian Ricard and Davonte Anderson.
Christian Ricard, the Stony Brook captain, is having a career year. Prior to this weekends win at Elon, the senior had 51-recorded tackles on the season, a career high in tackles for loss with 14.5 and a career high in sacks with six.
Davonte Anderson, who was redshirted last season due to injury, picked up from where he left off two seasons ago. Anderson was a second team All-Big South selection two years ago with six interceptions and nine pass breakups that year. He currently lends the Stony Brook secondary with three interceptions in three straight games.
All four of the Seawolves wins have been defensive efforts. In all four wins, Stony Brook defense has held its opponents to seven or fewer points, leaving its last three opponents scoreless in the second half.
The Seawolves are heading to No. 5 New Hampshire (5-1) on Saturday Oct. 25th hoping to extend their winning streak to four games, get to above .500 for the first time this season and ride that momentum to the end of the season.