Stony Brook glimpsed itself in the mirror Saturday night and had to like what it saw.
In the final tuneup before Colonial Athletic Association play opens, the Seawolves were overpowering on both sides of the ball as they rolled over Fordham, 28-6, before 6,524 at the Rams’ Jack Coffey Field.
Stony Brook (2-1 and ranked 24th nationally in the STATS FCS poll) rolled up 482 yards of total offense and allowed just 238 yards. The Seawolves had gained 414 total yards and allowed 124 at the end of the third quarter when coach Chuck Priore began resting his regulars. Rebuilding Fordham ended the shutout bid with 2:14 left but is 0-3 for the first time since 2009.
The Seawolves' running game again looked very strong as Jordan Gowins and Donald Liotine each went over 100 yards for the second week in a row. Gowins carried 20 times for 160 yards and a touchdown. Liotine rushed 14 times for 106 yards and a 75-yard touchdown on the first snap after halftime, a score that made the margin a comfortable 28-0.
Quarterback Joe Carbone was 10-for-22 passing for 145 yards and a touchdown. He had a lot of success throwing to wideout Nick Anderson, who caught three passes for 68 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown.
The Seawolves’ defensive unit also looked strong and even put points on the board. On the third snap of the game, 275-pound nose tackle Jordan Scarbrough picked a pass by Fordham quarterback Luke Medlock and took it 25 yards for a touchdown. Stony Brook has returned three interceptions for touchdowns this season.
“I don’t get to run with the ball,” Scarbrough said. “Everyone said I was going so slow. But I saw the end zone and had the ball in my hand and had to finish the play.”
Stony Brook also got interceptions from Shayne Lawless and Damarcus Miller. Miller’s was his second in as many games.
“We needed to play physical on both sides of the ball and I think we did that,” Priore said. “We kept them out of the end zone until the last three minutes, which was important. We dominated defensively most of the game.”
SBU opens conference play next weekend against Richmond and then gets 10th-ranked Villanova, both at home.
"I look at it as a good thing,” Gowins said. “We have an opportunity to get ahead in the conference. We want to take the challenge.”
Carbone and Anderson hooked up on their touchdown early in the second quarter as SBU went up 14-0. On the ensuing kickoff, SBU’s Julius Wingate stripped Fordham return man Tyriek Hopkins and Andrew Trent fell on it at the Rams' 24. Two plays later, Gowins burst through for a 9-yard touchdown run as Stony Brook went up 21-0.
Priore said he has grown very optimistic about Gowins this season because he is no longer battling back and ankle issues that followed him through last season.
“Now I can be powerful and run through people,” Gowins said. “That’s my game and I am accepting it more and more now. I am a big back, so when I get in there, I need to make a big difference.”
Both he and Carbone have become excited about the play of the offensive line that is being led by center Joe Detorie. Jonathan Haynes and Mason Zimmerman have moved to the right side and Jaelen Vazquez and Chris Infantino are new starters. “They’ve developed and been great,” Carbone said.
“We’re getting better and better up front. That’s the piece we were all waiting for and now we’re seeing confidence,” Gowins said. “They’re getting very, very good. I am seeing big holes. What more can I ask for as a running back?”