Coastal Carolina-Stony Brook game breakdown

October 12, 2012 

Breaking down the game

•  Series | Stony Brook leads 4-0

•  Weather | 69 degrees and sunny

Key number: 42-0

The Coastal Carolina players say they aren’t thinking about the 42-0 drubbing they endured at Stony Brook last year, but who could forget? The Chanticleers were outgained 446-73 in that game, which devolved quickly into a thoroughly uncompetitive mess as the Coastal players struggled to adapt to the cold, wet weather conditions of a late October game on Long Island. Surely, there’s some residual motivation left over from how that one ended.

Key matchup

The Chants have to find some way to slow down Stony Brook senior running back Miguel Maysonet. He’s not the full extent of the Seawolves’ offense, but as long as he’s able to run through the Coastal defense like he has the last two years – for 193 and 191 yards respectively – the rest won’t matter. Maysonet ranks fourth in the FCS in rushing yards per game (148) and already has four games of at least 158 yards this season while averaging 7.8 yards per carry. It’s not just Maysonet, though. Stony Brook averages 298.2 rushing yards per game as a team. Coastal has been vulnerable against the run (see 399 yards allowed on the ground at Appalachian State), so the challenge starts up front this week for the Chants.

Quarterback

Senior Aramis Hillary had his quietest game of the season the last time out – 15-of-30 for 145 yards at Appalachian State – but he’s been arguably the Big South’s best quarterback to this point. He leads the conference in total offense (277.6 yards per game) and passing (254.4 yards per game) while posting a 9-to-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio. … Stony Brook senior Kyle Essington leads the league with 12 touchdown passes (along with four interceptions), but he’s averaging a modest 168.2 passing yards per game in the Seawolves’ rush-heavy offense. That said, he’s the reigning Big South Co-Offensive Player of the Week after throwing for five touchdowns last week against Charleston Southern.

•  Edge | Coastal Carolina

Running back

The Seawolves like to run the football, and they do it as well as anybody. Their 298.2 rushing yards per game ranks fourth among all FCS teams. Maysonet’s biggest games have come in big moments as he rumbled for 220 yards in a win over Army and 198 yards in a 32-31 victory against Colgate. Junior Marcus Coker, an offseason transfer from Iowa, is another talented option in the Seawolves’ backfield and has 416 yards and six touchdowns. … Senior Jeremy Height leads Coastal with 274 yards, but look for juniors Lorenzo Taliaferro and Travis Small to see an increase in touches. Small was the team’s leading rusher last year and is expected to return this week after missing the first half of the season with a foot injury.

•  Edge | Stony Brook

Wide receiver

An already deep receiving corps has only gotten deeper as the season has progressed for Coastal. Junior slot receiver Niccolo Mastromatteo (20 catches for 214 yards) is set to return this week after missing two games with a rib injury. In his place, though, freshman Tyrell Blanks (13-162) emerged and should find some work in four-receiver sets going forward. Juniors Matt Hazel (24-324) and DeMario Bennett (22-251) are also off to nice starts, and senior tight end David Duran says he finally feels fully healthy. Needless to say, the Chants have plenty of options here. … Senior Jordan Gush is coming off a three-touchdown performance for Stony Brook, but senior Kevin Norrell has been Essington’s go-to target with a team-high 27 catches for a Big South-best 684 yards and five touchdowns.

•  Edge | Coastal Carolina

Offensive line

There’s not enough that can be said for the work Stony Brook does up front to set up its perennially potent rushing attack. The Seawolves’ blocking scheme sets the tone for whoever is running behind it. In the two games Maysonet received a light workload, the Seawolves still went over 200 yards rushing. The team is averaging 6.4 yards per rush collectively. Junior right tackle Michael Bamiro was a preseason All-Big South pick. … Coastal is averaging just 3.3 yards per carry and has allowed 11 sacks through five games.

•  Edge | Stony Brook

Defensive line

What makes Stony Brook especially tough is that the team is almost as good defensively as it is offensively. The Seawolves lead the Big South in total defense (304.2 yards per game allowed) and rank second in rush defense (157 yards per game). Junior Leston Simpson, a transfer from Minnesota, is tied for third in the league with 4.5 tackles for loss. … Coastal is coming off a humbling performance in that loss at Appalachian State, but the defensive line has not been the team’s biggest concern this season. It will certainly need to play better than it did a week ago, though.

•  Edge | Stony Brook

Linebacker

Junior Mike McClure and sophomore Quinn Backus were not exempt from blame for the Chants’ woeful showing two weekends ago in Boone, N.C., but they are having nice seasons nonetheless and both rank in the top four in the Big South in total tackles. Both have also shown a knack for big plays. McClure is second in the league with five tackles for loss, and Backus has two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble so far. … Junior Jawara Dudley is the Seawolves’ top defensive playmaker and ranks among the top seven players in the league in tackles (7.0 per game), sacks (2) and tackles for loss (4).

•  Edge | Coastal Carolina

Secondary

Stony Brook is stout here, too, leading the Big South in pass defense by a wide margin while holding opponents to 147.2 yards per game – fifth-best in the FCS. Junior cornerback Davonte Anderson leads the league with six passes defended (including two interceptions) while senior free safety Dominick Reyes has four tackles for loss and ranks second on the team with 36 total tackles. … Coastal is next-to-last in the conference in pass defense, allowing 250.2 yards per game. The secondary has simply allowed far too many big plays this season – especially on third-down situations.

•  Edge | Stony Brook

Special teams

Senior Tre Henderson ranks second in the FCS in averaging 39.3 yards per kickoff return and needs just 33 yards to become Coastal’s all-time leader in that category. Sophomore Alex Catron, meanwhile, hasn’t had an attempt in the last two weeks, but he is 6-of-7 on field goal tries so far. … Stony Brook senior Wesley Skiffington is perhaps the steadiest kicker in the league. He’s 6-for-6 on field goals and perfect on 24 extra point attempts. He also handles punts for the Seawolves, though they have punted the fewest times (19) of any team in the league.

•  Edge | Push

Intangibles

Stony Brook is the most well-coached team in the league under the guidance of Chuck Priore and has emerged as the Big South’s premier program (at least for the time being, as the school will be leaving the conference after this season). The Seawolves’ only loss came on the road at Syracuse in a competitive 28-17 game, and they dominated another FBS foe in their 23-3 win at Army. They are the defending Big South champs, the preseason favorites to win the league again and without question the team to beat at this point. It’s yet another daunting challenge for Coastal, which plays its third ranked FCS team in four games (with the other contest being a matchup against an FBS-level Toledo squad). The Chants are on a three-game losing streak and looking to avoid the first four-game skid in program history.

•  Edge | Stony Brook

Pick

Stony Brook, 31-24

News and Notes

No changes to defensive lineup

While Coastal moved some players around on its defensive depth chart during the bye week, defensive coordinator Clayton Carlin said there would be no changes to the starting lineup as of now.

The Chants are coming off their worst game of the season when they allowed 684 yards at Appalachian State – the most yards Coastal has ever allowed in a game.

“We’re just trying to find the best mix and match at some spots,” Carlin said of the depth chart shuffling.

The Chants used the bye week to address what the coaches saw as an overabundance of self-inflicted mistakes.

“We didn’t really focus on Stony Brook, we went back to the basics,” head coach Joe Moglia said. “… We are focused very, very much on our fundamentals, and hopefully we’ll be able to show a significant improvement from a defensive perspective from where we were a week ago.”

Priore’s thoughts on Chants

Stony Brook’s coach was typically laudatory of the Chants this week, as opposing coaches tend to be heading into a game.

“What I see on film is a very good football team,” Priore said. “At this time of the year, you don’t look at records – you look at performance. And I think their performance in each game has been very good. You look at the competitiveness of the Toledo game and where that game was in the fourth quarter. You look at Eastern Kentucky, Furman and the battles they had in both of those games. You sort of throw Appalachian State out – we’re not going to spend much time on that one game when you have the opportunity to look at the other games, which were very competitive.”

He said he’s been especially impressed with Hillary’s play at quarterback and his continued growth the last few years.

“They’re an explosive offensive team that you need to control,” Priore said.

Discouraging trend

Not only has Coastal never defeated Stony Brook in four tries, but the Seawolves’ margin of victory over the Chants has increased each year since they joined the Big South in 2008.

Stony Brook won 38-28 on its last visit to Brooks Stadium before the forgettable 42-0 rout up north last year.

Hall of Fame Weekend

Coastal will recognize its 2012 Sasser Athletics Hall of Fame class during halftime of the game.

The five inductees this year are former football players Maurice Simpkins and Quinton Teal, former baseball standout Mike Costanzo, softball star Meagen Johnson and cross country and track champion Anne Marie Moutsinga.

Former CCU track and field standout and two-time Olympian Amber Campbell will also be honored during the game.

By Ryan Young, ryoung@thesunnews.com

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