RICHMOND, Va.- Stony Brook’s first four CAA games this season all were decided by seven or fewer points. Unfortunately for the Seawolves, Saturday’s was not.
The University of Richmond, picked in the preseason poll to finish 10th out of 12 teams, rolled to its fourth consecutive CAA victory, 30-10, on a crisp autumn afternoon. The Spiders (5-4, 4-1) took a 20-10 halftime lead, and then made sure the Seawolves (5-4, 2-3) couldn’t repeat last week’s feat of scoring the final 20 points to stun then-No. 5 Villanova.
“First of all, give credit to them. They played really well,” Stony Brook coach Chuck Priore said. “They played physical. They played hard. They took us out of some things offensively; good job on their part.”
One of the key stats was third-down conversions. The Seawolves were just 2 of 14. The Spiders, meanwhile, were 8 of 15, including 3 for 3 on their first scoring drive and a third-down TD to make it 20-10 late in the first half. In the second half, the Seawolves had a third-and-37, a third-and-26 and a third-and-20.
“We didn’t respond well when adversity struck, which causes some of those scenarios that happened,” Priore said.
Stony Brook was behind 27-10 late in the third quarter when Tyquell Fields (12 for 25 for 206 yards and a score) connected with Nick Anderson on a 32-yard pass play. But Anderson lost a fumble at the Richmond 23.
“It hurts, but it’s part of the game,” Priore said. “They made a play. We didn’t make a play. They raked it from behind. We were in the game at that point. We played a very sloppy game.”
And they didn’t take advantage of two Richmond turnovers in the first half.
“We only got three points off two forced errors, which can’t happen,” Priore said.
Anderson finished with three catches for 62 yards. Delante Hellams added two receptions for 67 yards, including a 57-yard TD in the second quarter to cut UR’s lead to 13-10. Ty Son Lawton was Stony Brook’s leading rusher with 35 yards on 16 carries. Defensively, Synceir Malone and Elijah Duff had nine tackles each, and Malone added an interception.
“My coaches put me in the right positions, and I just made the plays,” Malone said.
For Richmond, quarterback Joe Mancuso was 23 for 30 for 318 yards and two TDs. He was intercepted once. He also was the team’s leading rusher with 88 yards and two scores on 16 carries. Charlie Fessler had 11 receptions for 147 yards, and Keyston Fuller had six catches for 70 yards and two scores.
Stony Brook, which returned to the STATS poll at No. 20 after a two-week absence, was coming off a big upset. But Priore said the team wasn’t still basking in the glory of that win.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “We had a good week of practice, but obviously it did not show on the football field today. Too many little mistakes. All that goes 100 percent on my shoulders. I did not get them prepared enough to be successful.”
Stony Brook returns to action next week at home against Towson, followed a game at Delaware (Nov. 16) and home against Albany (Nov. 23). The Seawolves likely have to win out to make the FCS playoffs for the third consecutive year, something they have never done.
“We’ve just got to know we’re zero and zero right now, and we’ve got to play the next game,” Priore said.
Malone wasn’t even looking that far ahead.
“I think it’s important for us to only look at Sunday,” he said. “We’ve got practice tomorrow. [We have to] go back to the drawing board.”