Seawolves took a 14-7 lead in the first quarter
Tampa, Fla. - A crowd of over 40,000 fans at Raymond James Stadium saw Stony Brook's football team take a first-quarter lead, but South Florida scored the next 38 points and went on to win 59-14. Junior Edwin Gowins' (Bellport, N.Y.) led Stony Brook with 16 carries and 57 yards. Sophomore Jordan Gush (Richardson, Texas) caught four passes for 58 yards in the Seawolves first game against an FBS opponent.
"I thought we showed a lot of poise," head coach Chuck Priore said. "But we made a few mistakes and they capitalized. With an opponent like South Florida, you can't make too many mistakes. Overall, I'm really proud of how we competed. I think our guys represented Stony Brook well," Priore said.
Down 7-0 following a 59-yard TD pass from B.J. Daniels to Dontavia Bogan, Stony Brook punted on its second consecutive possession. But a forced fumble by junior Brock Jackolski (Shirley, N.Y.) and the recovery by sophomore Rich Vitale (Higganum, Conn.) set the Seawolves up with the ball on the USF 35. One play later, junior Michael Coulter (Yorba Linda, Calif.) hit Gush for a 31-yard reception, setting up Gowins' three-yard touchdown run. Coulter finished the evening 9-of-21 for 112 yards, but threw four interceptions.
After holding the Bulls to just five plays on their next possession, the Seawolves capitalized when Bulls' punter Justin Brockhaus-Kann's knee was down fielding the punt on the 27-yard line. On the next play, Coulter found Jackolski on a wheel route for the touchdown, giving the Seawolves a seven-point lead.
South Florida wasted no time on their next drive, going eight plays for 70 yards in four minutes, including a four-yard TD run by Daniels.
Coulter was intercepted on Stony Brook's next possession, but a 42-yard drive was stopped, resulting in a 37-yard field goal by Eric Schwartz, making it a 17-14 game.
Starting its drive deep in opposing territory, Stony Brook was forced to punt after a three and out. A bad snap and sophomore Drew Evangelista's (Cedar Grove, N.J.) blocked punt was recovered in the end zone by USF's Chris Lane, putting the Seawolves down 10.
South Florida forced Stony Brook to punt on its next possession and got ball back on SBU's 36. The Bulls drove all the way to the one-yard line, but with first and goal from the three, the Bulls were held scoreless as sophomore Kenny Tuiloma (Long Beach, Calif.) and senior captain Arin West (Toms River, N.J.) stopped Moise Plancher on fourth down.
Evangelista was forced to punt on SBU's next drive and his punt, from inside the 10, was a beauty. Mishandled by Jonny Sitton, the ball was fumbled all the way to their own 39. But South Florida went 61 yards in 1:30, capped by a touchdown reception from Joel Miller as the Bulls went up 31-14.
USF scored on two of its first three possessions to start the second half. A 33-yard interception from Mark Joyce gave the Bulls their biggest lead of the game to that point, 52-14.
The Seawolves recovered their second fumble of the game when junior Corey Stringer (Warren, Ohio) forced the ball loose from Bradley Battles and the ball was recovered by sophomore Dominick Reyes (Hesperia, Calif.).
Stony Brook opens its home part of the 2010 schedule against American International College on Saturday, September 11 at 6 p.m.
Notes: Gowins' touchdown was his 21st career rushing score, bringing him within one touchdown of second place all-time in Stony Brook history. Coulter's 27-yard touchdown pass to Jackolski was his 16th career passing touchdown, bringing him to within one TD of sixth place all-time in Stony Brook history. The announced attendance of 40,210 at Raymond James Stadium is the largest to witness a Stony Brook football game. The 14 points scored by Stony Brook is the most USF has given up to a FCS opponent since allowing 13 to Elon on Sept. 1, 2007. The 59 points allowed by Stony Brook is the most since giving up 62 to New Hampshire on Sept. 16, 2006.