One by one, Chuck Priore listed the issues: Youth. Mistakes. Injuries. An inability to finish drives with points.
Individually, they are annoyances that must be fixed. Collectively, they create a formula for a lost season.
Which is where Stony Brook finds itself after a 45-14 loss to New Hampshire on Saturday afternoon at LaValle Stadium.
Stony Brook (0-7, 0-5 CAA) has never experienced a winless season. But with three games remaining, this edition has a chance to do so.
Stony Brook will travel to Villanova (5-2, 3-1) and Monmouth (3-4, 2-2) the next two weeks before concluding its campaign at home against Albany (5-3, 3-1) on Nov. 11.
The Seawolves trailed 31-14 at halftime even though quarterback Casey Case (18-for-29, 255 yards, one touchdown) and Jayce Freeman (two catches for 115 yards and a touchdown) combined to make school history with a 98-yard touchdown pass that cut the deficit to 24-14.
Facing third-and-14 from the Stony Brook 2-yard line, Case fired a pass that Freeman caught at the 9-yard line. The redshirt freshman wide receiver sprinted up the left sideline for the longest passing play and the second-longest scoring play in program history.
On the previous longest pass play, Lyle Negron connected with Malcolm Eugene on a 91-yard touchdown catch-and-run in a 24-3 win over Albany on Nov. 23, 2013.
Ty Son Lawton holds the school record with a 99-yard touchdown run against Delaware on Oct. 16, 2021.
“It felt great to do it in front of a crowd like this,” Freeman said of the Homecoming crowd of 7,739. “Especially on a night like this. I just wish we could have gotten the win.’’
New Hampshire regained its three-score lead when Max Brosmer ran untouched for a 9-yard touchdown on a fake field goal with 24 seconds left in the first half.
Brosmer’s 57-yard touchdown pass to Caleb Burke with 2:09 left in the third quarter and Dylan Laube’s 7-yard touchdown run six seconds into the fourth quarter put it away.
Stony Brook entered the game allowing 34.2 points per game; New Hampshire (4-3, 2-2) was averaging 38.5 points scored per game.
And although the Wildcats won’t be confused with the 1985 Bears defensively — New Hampshire was yielding 30.5 points per game — the Seawolves came into the game with a 14.7-point average.
Being penalized 11 times for 105 yards was not especially helpful to the cause. Neither was losing two fumbles and having eight drives end as three-and-outs.
Said Priore, “When you don’t win, it starts at the top.”
The question posed to Priore was whether he and his coaching staff will use the upcoming games with an eye toward the construction of the 2024 roster. His answer was unequivocal.
“We’ll always try to win the football game,” he said.