Beware the Stony Brook defense and their penchant for big plays! Led in part by Senior D.J. Porter the SeaWolves were plus three in turnovers against their first bowl subdivision opponent of the year. One key pick by Porter came on fourth and Goal. That's the nature of Stony Brooks defense, on one hand they can come up with a big play at any time, on the other they sacrifice some big plays in their attempts to take the ball away.
While they forced four Turnovers they gave up four hundred yards, most of that in the air. Their two pics were matched by three touchdown passes. The SeaWolves Defense excels at is stopping their opponents from running between the tackles. Last week UTEP, already hobbled by injuries on the line, found that out the hard way.
The Miners walked in thinking they would face an average championship subdivision front seven, instead they lined up across from the likes of Junior Masengo Kabongo, a transfer from the University of Maryland who played in six games for the Terrapins back in 2009. Kabongo stands along side a big fast unit of players who can wreak havoc against the run.
The result was a first half full of short runs on first which forced up Nick Lamaison, a Junior seeing his first action, into far too many second or third and long situations. The drives started with a run versus a pass were night and day, later in the game the Miners gave up on trying to establish the run, opting for a few draws here and there only to open up the passing game.
Running the Ball:
Against Pitt Branden Oliver became the first Bull to run for a hundred yards in nearly two years but it took him more than thrity carries to get there. Despite the lack of an explosive running game UB's offense keyed off of even the minor threat of a running game.
This week they have to get through a line which might be less heralded than the Pitt Panthers but is successful in its own right.
Junior Jonathan Coats recovered a fumble last week and is joined by Michael Marino and Andrew Nelson, one of the Big South’s top defensive tackles. These four form the core of players that Branden Oliver and the UB Line will have to run through this week. The one area they seemed most success against the Panthers, the center, is the most challenging area of the line.
The Bulls are running with something of a patchwork line. Pat Wilson is out and Josh Violante is questionable for week 2. It would be surprising if Olivers, or any back carries the ball as much as they did in week one.
The Passing Game:
D.J. Porter leads a unit that thrives on big plays. Porter, a converted wide receiver seldom takes the safe play on the ball. After porter was injured Davonte Anderson helped pick up the slack, picking up four interceptions in just one game last season and, in the process, he set school and Big South records.
Senior Al-Majid Hutchins played through pain last year. Where as Porter was lost for the season Al-Majid hampered by minor injuries was able to start nine games and made 32 tackles and an interception.
Chazz Anderson played a better game than UB have seen in years but his ill advised screen pass, and long return, changed the game. After that play Buffalo never again threatened to take the lead. That interception is they type of play that the SeaWolves use to win games.
Last season Stony Brook defenders picked off seventeen passes and they return the bulk of their secondary. They will give up some yards, more than two hundred a game last season and more than four hundred against the UTEP miners in week one.
UTEP, interceptions aside, moved the ball with relative ease in the later phases of the game. Anderson, who seems to be a mentally tough Quarterback, should be able to match, and exceed, the success of Nick Lamaison but UB can not afford to drop sure touchdowns as they did against the Panters.
If Buffalo brings the offense that found it's feet against the panthers, and if they don't drop sure passes, the Bulls should have little trouble putting up more than four touchdowns on the SeaWolves.