SEAWOLVES FACTSStony Brook enters its second season in the Colonial Athletic Association.
Coach: Chuck Priore, ninth season (52-40)
Last year: 5-6, 3-5 CAA
Opener: Bryant, 7 p.m. Thursday, LaValle Stadium
Returning starters: 6 off., 7 def.
Top newcomers: QB John Kinder (Syracuse), RB Stacey Bedell (Massachusetts), LB Rahim Cassell (Oregon), DB Kye Morgan, WR Donavin Washington (Fr.), WR Julius Wingate (Fr.)
Key games: Sept. 6 at UConn (FBS); Sept. 27 vs. William & Mary (CAA opener); Oct. 4 at Towson (2013 FCS runner-up); Oct. 11 vs. Maine (defending CAA champ, 2013 FCS 2nd round); Oct. 25 at New Hampshire (2014 CAA favorite, 2013 FCS semifinalist); Nov. 22 at Albany (CAA/SUNY rival, possible playoff implications).
Intangibles: Seawolves plan to start two redshirt freshmen on offense and play nine redshirt freshmen in backup roles on defense. Said Priore: "That group on defense is very important. Getting them on the field does not scare me."
Offense: Kinder won QB job over Conor Bednarski and Carlos Hernandez, but first four non-conference games will determine starter for CAA play. LT Timon Parris and LG Armani Garrick are redshirt freshmen starters. Two-TE lineup will feature senior Will Tye in a variety of roles as TE, FB, WR and slot receiver. Key is return of powerful RB Marcus Coker after missing all but two games with an injury in 2013.
Defense: Linebacker was a weakness until late transfer of Rahim Cassell from FBS powerhouse Oregon. Priore described him as "special." TE Connor Davis shifted to DE to help pass rush with returning DL starters Victor Ochi and Aaron Thompson. Return of CB Davonte Anderson, who missed 2013 with an injury, gives Seawolves five DBs with starting experience, including Christian Ricard at Rover.
Special teams: Placekicker Graham Ball and punter Luke Allen return. Tye and Anderson are top punt returners, and Bedell and Coxson are primary kickoff returners.
Greg Logan's prediction:
9-3, 6-2 CAA