DURHAM, New Hampshire — Stony Brook gave the ball away five times Saturday, and New Hampshire made the Seawolves pay with a 43-14 victory at Wildcat Stadium.
UNH (6-3, 5-1 CAA) took advantage of Stony Brook’s turnovers and stopped the Seawolves’ winning streak at three games. SBU fell to 5-3, 4-1 CAA.
The Wildcats forced Stony Brook into mistakes after stopping the Seawolves’ dynamic running backs.
Leading rusher Stacey Bedell, who was averaging 86 yards per game on the ground and had scored 10 touchdowns, gained only 15 yards on 12 carries. UNH also limited running back Jordan Gowins to 30 yards on 12 carries.
With no running game, the Seawolves turned to the air, and that’s where they ran into trouble. Quarterback Joe Carbone threw four interceptions, three of which resulted in touchdowns as New Hampshire took a 29-7 lead.
“I think they [UNH defense] executed pretty well and we executed pretty poorly, so give credit to them,” said Carbone, who passed for 165 yards and two touchdowns.
Stony Brook coach Chuck Priore credited UNH with being able to pounce on his team’s miscues.
“Their program did a great job today and certainly took advantage of the opportunities we presented to them,” Priore said. “That’s what good football teams do.”
UNH quarterback Trevor Knight (13-for-27, 144 yards, three touchdowns) gave his team a 7-0 lead on its first possession when he floated a 9-yard touchdown pass to former Sachem North star Dalton Crossan.
Wildcats cornerback Prince Smith Jr. picked off Carbone and ran it back 43 yards for a touchdown 48 seconds later. Neil O’Connor connected with Kyle Reisert for the two-point conversion, putting the Seawolves in a 15-0 hole.
Wildcats coach Sean McDonnell spoke about the importance of the fast start.
“It was huge,” he said. “It was 15-0 before most people were sitting down, and that’s a great deal. When you can score 15 points early in the game against a great defense like that, they have to rely on their offense a little bit more.”
Carbone bounced back, rolling to his right and connecting with Steve Marino for a 9-yard touchdown pass and a 15-7 deficit.
Early in the third quarter, UNH linebacker Quinlen Dean intercepted Carbone and brought the ball back to the SBU 18. On the next play, Knight connected with O’Connor for an 18-yard touchdown and a 22-7 advantage. Dean finished with two interceptions, nine tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Later in the third quarter, Dean intercepted Carbone again, setting up a 1-yard touchdown run by Knight that gave New Hampshire a 29-7 lead.
“The defense and special teams put us in good positions all game,” Knight said.
Carbone’s 38-yard touchdown pass to Tim Keith narrowed the score to 29-14 with 3:21 left in the third quarter. But on the ensuing kickoff, UNH defensive back Casey DeAndrade broke off a 91-yard return that set up Malik Love’s 6-yard touchdown reception.