There's excitement about where the Stony Brook football program has been, coming off its first appearance in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs last season, and where it's headed, shifting from the Big South to the CAA next season.
But while the past may be memorable and the future bright, the Seawolves showed in their season opener Saturday night that the present is promising.
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Miguel Maysonet ran for 172 yards on 16 carries, scoring three touchdowns, and the Seawolves racked up 489 yards of total offense as they beat Central Connecticut, 49-17, in a non-conference game in front of 6,094 at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium.
Speaking of time, the Seawolves used very little of it on three first-quarter scoring drives that totaled three plays and 34 seconds.
After Central Connecticut punter Greg Migdal caught a low snap with his knee down, Stony Brook was awarded the ball at the 4-yard line. On the next play, Iowa transfer Marcus Coker -- who finished second in the Big Ten in rushing last season -- barreled up the middle and into the end zone just 4:39 into the game for his first Stony Brook touchdown.
On the first play from scrimmage on the Seawolves' next possession, Kyle Essington connected with Kevin Norrell for an 89-yard touchdown pass, the second longest in Stony Brook's Division I history, for a 14-0 lead.
Then, for the third consecutive possession, it took the Seawolves only one snap to find the end zone. Maysonet took a sweep left, got a block from lineman Mike Lisi, hurdled a helpless defender on the turf and ran 84 yards for a 21-0 lead with 3:31 left in the first quarter. The run was the longest in Stony Brook's D-I history.
"I didn't know that Lisi was going to cut the dude," Maysonet said. "So I was kind of hesitant, and once he cut him, I didn't have a choice but to jump over him."
Maysonet also caught a 25-yard touchdown pass and scored on a 5-yard run in the third quarter. It was the sixth time he scored at least three touchdowns in a game. The senior moved into fourth place on the Big South's all-time rushing list with 2,933 career yards.
Essington completed 9 of 17 passes for 188 yards with one interception and three touchdowns, including a 19-yarder to Adrian Coxson to make it 42-10.
Coker rushed for 75 yards on 19 carries.
Central Connecticut was held to 64 passing yards. Quarterback Andrew Clements rushed for 132 yards, including touchdown runs of 25 and 50 yards.
Stony Brook linebacker Jawara Dudley had seven tackles, three for a loss, and two sacks.
"I was really impressed with our defensive team speed and ability to make plays," Stony Brook coach Chuck Priore said. "The option stuff will get you with responsibility football every once in a while. A guy didn't fill his gap on the long run . . . We created a lot of negative plays and that's really the exciting part of that."
So what are these Seawolves capable of this season?
"We're definitely going to take it one game at a time, but I definitely see big things in the future," Essington said. "I don't know about everyone else, but me personally, I have my eyes set on a national championship."