It was impossible for Stony Brook football coach Chuck Priore to look at some of the numbers from his team's fifth straight loss last week and not wonder, "What's wrong with this picture?"
The Seawolves ran 91 plays to 49 for Elon and held the ball for 37:43 compared to 22:17 for the Phoenix. But Elon walked off with a 21-7 win and Stony Brook sank deeper into depression.
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The Seawolves (2-5, 1-5 Colonial Athletic Association) again will try to turn things in the right direction when they play a non-conference game against Howard (1-7) of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference at 1 p.m. Saturday at LaValle Stadium. The Bison, who recorded their first win a week ago in a 55-9 rout of Savannah State, have been outscored by 198 points this season.
Opportunity awaits the Seawolves.
"You want to win a football game," Priore said. "But the importance of playing well is more important to me. At times we've played really well. But we're not executing from start to finish."
Part of the problem against Elon was that redshirt freshman quarterback Joe Carbone threw four interceptions in his first game starting and going all the way. But Priore said Seawolves receivers dropped seven passes and faulted himself for some of the play-calling.
"He was involved in  plays," Priore said of Carbone. "That's a lot of pressure on a redshirt freshman, and I think he stood up to the pressure. Two of the interceptions he threw are directly on me, things we didn't practice enough with the kid. But overall, he ran the show."
The injury bug bit the defense again when rover back Tyrice Beverette suffered a high ankle sprain that knocked him out of the game. Backup Jake Carlock also was out, but Jaheem Woods came in and led SBU in tackles.
"We played our third kid, who never got practice time and did well," Priore said. "I'm proud of him."
Still, the defense gave up three big touchdown plays on passes of 50 and 24 yards and a 43-yard run that effectively put the game out of reach.
"Big plays is the key to everything," said Woods, who is expected to start at rover against Howard. "We gave up big plays, so we have to find a way to eliminate them and we'll be successful."
Woods said the defense is focusing on attacking the ball to create turnovers and more opportunities for the offense to score. At this point, the Seawolves are starved for a win.
"It's difficult, but we've got to keep pushing," Woods said. "There's life situations right here. You're going to lose a couple battles, but you can't just drop out of the match. You have to keep playing."