1. Will there be consistent quarterback play?
The Seawolves return quarterback Joe Carbone, who started nine games last season before suffering a shoulder injury. Despite completing nearly 52 percent of his passes for 1,017 yards with three touchdowns and 12 interceptions, Stony Brook went 5-3 in games he started and completed. Redshirt freshman Tyquell Fields entered training camp No. 2 on the depth chart and could compete for playing time. But coach Chuck Priore has liked what he’s seen out of Carbone early.
“The major factor is just the consistency that you play and I think I’ve seen that since spring ball and preseason, which we’re excited about,” Priore said. “And eliminating negative plays, which I think is more of a mindset than anything.”
2. How dominant can the defense be?
Stony Brook returns nine starters from last season, which bodes well for the unit’s chemistry. The Seawolves have ranked in the top three in total defense in the FCS each of the previous three seasons, and their returning core is highlighted by a terrific linebacking trio in Tyrice Beverette, Shayne Lawless and Noah McGinty. And that chemistry and experience could prove vital this season.
“It’s really key because you know what the guy next to you is doing,” Beverette said. “You know his weaknesses, you know his strengths, so that allows us to play better as a team.”
3. Getting more help at wide receiver
Ray Bolden was the Seawolves’ clear top threat in the passing game last year. He accounted for 37 of the 107 team’s receptions (34.6 percent) and for 536 of the 1,209 receiving yards (44.3 percent). His 37 receptions was nearly twice as many as the next highest player (19). As team’s focus on Bolden, he’ll need to work through the coverages, and other receivers such as Donavin Washington, Andrew Trent, Julius Wingate, Jahquel Webb and Delante Hellams Jr. will need to make big plays throughout the season for the offense to thrive.
Stony Brook schedule
Saturday at South Florida 4 p.m.
Sept. 9 at Rhode Island 1 p.m.
Sept. 16 Sacred Heart 6 p.m.
Sept. 23 Towson 6 p.m.
Sept. 30 at William & Mary 6 p.m.
Oct. 7 Delaware 6 p.m.
Oct. 14 New Hampshire 6 p.m.
Oct. 28 at Richmond 3 p.m.
Nov. 4 Albany 1 p.m.
Nov. 11 Wagner 1 p.m.
Nov. 18 at Maine 12 p.m.