Stony Brook returned to its FCS neighborhood Saturday after spending the previous Saturday in an elite FBS neighborhood — at fourth-ranked Oregon, where the Seawolves kept up for a while before absorbing a 41-point setback.
This time, they were back at LaValle Stadium, looking to move to .500 in Week 4 against a Fordham team that was returning to more even footing, too. The Rams had sandwiched FBS blowout losses at Nebraska and Florida Atlantic around a three-point loss to Monmouth.
As it turned out, the Seawolves weren’t on even footing with their Patriot League opponent. Senior quarterback Tim DeMorat hurt them through the air, firing for 280 yards and four scores, and Stony Brook’s offense blew several scoring opportunities.
Fordham walked away with a 31-14 win, leaving both teams at 1-3.
"At the end of the day, they certainly executed better when it came into turning things into points," Stony Brook coach Chuck Priore said. "We did not. It’s been a little bit of a struggle with us through our first three games and it continued. We’ve just got to regroup mentally."
The Seawolves rolled up 29 first downs and 426 yards, but they came away with only the two touchdowns. Three other drives into the red zone ended with no points.
"It’s fixable," said redshirt senior running back Seba Nekhet, who scored both TDs. "We have to capitalize when we’re in positions like that."
Stony Brook got off to a bad beginning. Shawn Harris Jr. fumbled away the opening kickoff — Fordham ball at the Seawolves’ 28.
Five plays later, DeMorat found Dequece Carter in the back left corner of the end zone for an 11-yard score.
The Seawolves responded nicely, tying it on the ensuing drive. Tyquell Fields, who threw for 253 yards but was sacked five times, swung a pass to the right side to an open Nekhet for a 20-yard touchdown.
But DeMorat capped a 91-yard drive in the second quarter by hitting Fotis Kokosioulis with a shovel pass for a 4-yard score and the lead.
Then DeMorat tossed a touchdown pass on the opening drive of the second half, firing a strike down the middle to a wide-open Hamze El-Zayat for an 18-yard touchdown.
After Fields was stuffed on fourth-and-1 from the 3, Fordham went 97 yards in four plays. DeMorat went long and Carter caught the ball for a 40-yard touchdown — four TD passes, 28-7.
"Discipline," redshirt senior linebacker Reidgee Dimanche said of the pass defense woes. "Eyes weren’t in the right place. People not doing their job."
Nekhet ran it in from the 10 1:06 into the fourth, and the margin was down to 14 again. But that’s as close as it got.
"Obviously," Rams coach Joe Conlin said, "a great win on the road against a good CAA team."
The Seawolves still believe they can be a good CAA team.
"We all we want to be winners," Dimanche said, "and we want to come back from starting slow. We need to. I’ve been telling the team, ‘Winning is a necessity.’ That has to be how it is."