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Stony Brook will stress run vs. Sam Houston

Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet during practice.

Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet during practice. (Aug. 11, 2011) Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

The respective game plans will be simple when Stony Brook University meets Sam Houston State in the second round of the FCS playoffs Saturday in Huntsville, Texas.

Simple, but perhaps not easy.

Stony Brook (9-3) specializes in the run game; top-ranked Sam Houston (11-0) excels in shutting it down, allowing only 59 rushing yards per game.

"We're just going to do what we do best, that's run the ball,'' running back Miguel Maysonet said Wednesday. "We're not going to do anything different.

"I never look at stats at all. I'll get text messages saying, 'They stop the run.' OK, we can run the ball. We run the ball really well here. At the end of the day we'll find out if they can stop us on Saturday. I expect nothing less than a win, that's what we go at towards every game. They are the No. 1 team, [but] we're still going to prepare like we prepared for the other games.''

Sam Houston coach Willie Fritz will concentrate on his team's strong suit, saying, "It's going to be a tough task, [but] we're still going to do the same thing we do every week. It's not a secret. We really get up in there and pack the box. If we could, we'd put 13, 14 guys in between the tight ends. We're going to get a bunch of guys up there.''

Does that mean Stony Brook's running game will be thwarted?

"If you look at their film, nobody tries to run the ball against them,'' Stony Brook coach Chuck Priore said. "So, at the end of the game, it's 22 carries for 55 yards. We're going to put the ball in our kids' hands 45 times, average 41/2 to 5 yards a carry and that's going to equal 180 to 200 yards, so the answer is no, I don't see it happening unless we just fall on our face.''

Maysonet and Brock Jackolski have totaled 2,892 yards and 30 rushing touchdowns. Stony Brook's not-so-secret weapon is its passing game.

"That's what makes us so explosive, we're not a one-sided team,'' Maysonet said. "We have Brock and me and we have Kyle [Essington], who can throw the ball, and we have really good receivers. When they put so many in the box to try to stop us, we can throw the ball, too.''

But Stony Brook does not intend to dramatically alter its strategy.

"Our game plan is exactly how it's been for [12] straight weeks and for almost six years,'' Priore said. "We go on the board, we put our run game together and we expect to run the football.''


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