The vivid memory Stony Brook coach Chuck Priore has of 5-9 cornerback Davonte Anderson dates to 2010, when the Seawolves traveled to South Florida to play an FBS opponent for the first time. The freshman wasn't intimidated.
"South Florida went after him with a fade in the end zone with a 6-5 kid, and he pinned the kid out of bounds and kept him from making the play," Priore said. "Davonte has been there and played those type of kids. I'm not worried about Davonte's competitiveness, knowledge and ability."
Latest college sports stories
A similar challenge awaits Anderson and the rest of the Seawolves' secondary when they face Connecticut, another FBS school, Saturday at Hartford's Rentschler Field. The Huskies (0-1) opened with a two-quarterback rotation of Casey Cochran and Chandler Whitmer, but Cochran was declared out of the game with an upper-body injury. Whitmer will look for 6-3, 216-pound receiver Geremy Davis, the biggest target on the field.
Anderson plays field cornerback for Stony Brook (0-1), covering whichever receiver comes to the wide side of the field, and he's sure to cross paths with Davis. "I've been on their film through the summer because they have a new coaching staff and their offense has changed," Anderson said. "I've been watching it like a movie every day. I know they have a great receiver, Geremy Davis. I'm looking forward to competing with him."
Although the Huskies are a level above the FCS Seawolves, Anderson said the fact that fellow CAA member Towson beat UConn, 33-18, last season is inspirational. "That's a great encouragement," Anderson said. "It's always good to see a CAA team win against a Division I school. They're a beatable team. We're not coming in this game thinking we're going to lose. We think we can win."
Since that blowout loss at South Florida, Priore's teams have been very competitive against FBS opponents, losing in overtime in 2011 at UTEP, leading Syracuse at halftime in a 2012 loss, soundly defeating Army, 20-3, in 2012 and losing a five-overtime heartbreaker last season at Buffalo.
UConn coach Bob Diaco, who was hired away from Notre Dame, said the Towson loss should have his team focused for Stony Brook. "If you can't have your eyes opened by that experience," he said, "I don't know what would."
Running back Marcus Coker returns after a one-game disciplinary suspension to boost an offense that struggled badly with new quarterback John Kinder in its 13-7 loss to Bryant.
"John Kinder is going to be all right," Anderson said. "We don't feel like we have extra pressure. Offense will take care of their business and we'll take care of our business."