The approach during the Stony Brook football team’s 6-2 start of the season, including 5-1 in Colonial Athletic Association play, is a simple, yet effective one.
“We’re just taking it one day at a time and living in the moment and having fun,” senior defensive back Travon Reid-Segure said. “The game is supposed to be fun so we’re having fun with it.”
And when you’re winning, the game gets substantially more fun. The Seawolves have already won more games since 2012, and have more conference wins since joining the CAA in 2013, with three games — two conference matchups — remaining. Next up is a home matchup against Albany at LaValle Stadium Saturday at 1 p.m.
“We just knew that if we prepared right and just focused, we could do well,” Reid-Segure said. “And with us doing that, I feel like us winning and us playing well and being confident, it kind of leads you to enjoy the moment.”
No. 14 Stony Brook has won back-to-back matchups over ranked opponents, defeating then No. 12 New Hampshire, 28-24, Oct. 14 and then No. 17 Richmond last Saturday, 27-24.
“Kids start believing in what you’re doing,” coach Chuck Priore said, “and obviously when you win, generally the overall group will work a little bit harder for success as they see the carrot out there.”
As has been the story nearly every week, quarterback Joe Carbone and Ray Bolden were in near perfect sync last week when Bolden caught 13 passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns to rank in the top five in the conference in receptions (51, third) yards (654, fifth) and touchdowns (nine, tied for first). Carbone has completed 61.4 percent of his passes (132 of 215) for 1,440 yards and 14 touchdowns. He has three interceptions.
The experienced defense, returning nine starters including Reid-Segure, has used the chemistry they’ve built with one another to make big plays.
“With a lot of guys with a lot of experience, it kind of makes it easier because we’ve pretty much seen a lot of things in our time here,” Reid-Segure said. “And it also helps us help the younger guys out there feel a little bit more comfortable.”
But the players and coaches know they can’t start thinking about a potential postseason trip or beyond their next opponent yet. That’s how disasters begin.
“If you let your guard down, generally not good things can happen,” Priore said. “So as a group, we’re really zeroed in on making sure preparation from Sunday through Friday will help us lead to perfection on Saturday.”
Saturday’s matchup with Albany (3-5, 1-4 CAA) is the “Empire Clash” in which the winner receives “The Golden Apple” trophy for the year. Albany won last season, 13-6, in the final game of the season.