Stony Brook, N.Y. - Stony Brook University's football team will be heading out of town for its Halloween festivities this weekend as it heads south for it's first-ever game in the state of North Carolina where it will play at Gardner-Webb University. It will be a key matchup between the Seawolves and Runnin' Bulldogs, as SBU (3-0) and GWU (2-0) both enter the contest undefeated in conference play. All of the action can be heard live on WUSB (90.1 FM), with the pregame show starting at 1:15 p.m.
KickoffBack on the road for the sixth time this season, Stony Brook will make its first-ever visit to Gardner-Webb for a key matchup in the Big South. With both teams coming into the game with undefeated conference records, the winner of the game could place itself alone in first place depending on the outcome of Liberty's (which is also undefeated in Big South play) game against Presbyterian. A win for the Seawolves will keep them in control of the conference race, regardless of the Liberty outcome, and also give the team a season best three-game win streak as well as back-to-back road wins. On a windy, rainy afternoon in front of a regional TV audience, Stony Brook handled both the weather and its opponent last week in a 16-10 win over Coastal Carolina. For a second straight week it was Conte Cuttino who put the winning points on the board for the Seawolves, this time taking a screen pass 28 yards in the fourth quarter for his first career TD reception. He also led the SBU ground game with a season-high 96 yards. Chris Tyler also hauled in a TD pass for SBU, the second of his career, in the second quarter. Defensively, Stony Brook shut down Coastal Carolina, holding it to just 157 yards, the first time this season the defensive unit has held an opponent under the 200-yard mark. In terms of passing efficiency Stony Brook is the top team in the Big South on both sides of the ball, leading the league in passing efficiency and passing defense efficiency. The game against Gardner-Webb will feature the top two passing attacks in the Big South.
The Opponent Winners of two straight and three of their last four, Gardner-Webb is one of three teams (Stony Brook & Liberty) that are currently undefeated in the Big South Conference. Coming in at 5-2 overall, the Bulldog's only two loses both came to FBS opponents (N.C. State and Buffalo). Last week the Runnin' Bulldogs rolled to an easy 68-0 win over NAIA opponent Southern Virginia. Boasting the top offense in the Big South, the pass happy Bulldogs are averaging nearly 400 yards per game, 230 of which come through the air. Quarterback Stan Doolittle has completed over 63 percent of his pass attempts and has been picked off just twice all season in 212 attempts. His favorite target is wide out James Perry III who has caught 36 balls for 457 yards and three scores this season. Gardner-Webb is no slouch on the ground either, with five players at or near 200 yards for the season led by Patrick Hall and his 281 yards. The last two Big South Defensive Player of the Year selections, Mario Brown and Jeffrey Williams, anchor a defense that is No. 2 in the Big South against the run, giving up an average of just 125.9 yards per game.
The Series This will be the second meeting between Stony Brook and Gardner-Webb. In the first meeting last season on Long Island, the Seawolves saw a 26-14 first half lead disappear in the second half in a 34-33 loss to the Bulldogs. Conte Cuttino and Ed Gowins combined for 330 yards on the ground, but Gardner-Webb threw for 394 yards to counter the SBU rushing attack. James Perry III caught nine passes for 153 yards to lead GWU.