SYRACUSE -- The biggest question marks for Stony Brook revolved around the defense as it took a step up in class to play Syracuse of the Big East Saturday. The answer came in the second half, when the Orange tried to turn a tight game into a rout but were stopped twice on goal-line stands by the Seawolves.

But for all the toughness SBU showed, it still lost 28-17. As linebacker Jawara Dudley said: "We let one get away. It's a loss. You don't take it easily."

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It certainly didn't come easily for Syracuse. The Orange had third-and-goal at the Stony Brook 3 in the third quarter, but two passes from Ryan Nassib for wideout Jarrod West fell incomplete against tight coverage.

"It was a matchup zone," said safety Dominick Reyes, who led Stony Brook with 11 tackles. "I wasn't surprised one bit. We watched the film, we knew the philosophy of their routes and knew we could match it."

In the fourth quarter, Syracuse had a first down at the SBU 4-yard line. Orange running back Jerome Smith was thrown for a 1-yard loss by Dudley on fourth down.

"I expected exactly what they did," Dudley said. "They ran a stunt, and I made the tackle. I don't know if we proved anything. It's our job to stop them."