Wes Skiffington has been pretty special for Stony Brook
By Greg Logan, Newsday
It came as no surprise after Stony Brook's first FBS win at Army that Miguel Maysonet was named Big South offensive player of the week for his career-best 220-yard rushing performance and that SBU's entire defense won for holding Army to three points. But theSeawolves made it a clean sweep when kicker Wes Skiffington won special-teams honors for booting three key field goals in the 23-3 victory.
As coach Chuck Priore said of the milestone win, "I think the biggest part of the special day is we played well. It wasn't a fluke."
It was a complete performance that wrapped up the non-conference portion of Stony Brook's schedule with a 4-1 record and No. 13 national ranking in both Football Championship Subdivision polls.
Now, the Seawolves open Big South Conference play againstCharleston Southern (1-3) at 6 p.m. Saturday at LaValle Stadium to begin their quest for a second straight FCS playoff berth.
As well as Stony Brook has played on both sides of the ball this season, it's easy to overlook how much better the kicking game has become with Skiffington also handling punting duties and averaging 41.5 yards per kick.
"Being able to change the field position like he's done in his punting has allowed us to play defense in a positive situation," Priore said.
Charleston Southern hasn't done a good job stopping the run, suggesting Skiffington might kick a lot of extra points Saturday. But there likely will come a time during Big South play where Skiffington will be counted upon for a big field goal such as the 44-yarder he hit at the end of the first half to give SBU a 13-0 lead at Army.
"That was a big kick," Skiffington said. "To get that first FBS win in my four years here, it's a nice feeling for us and the team."
Over the course of Skiffington's career, the Seawolves have won three straight Big South titles, and now have become a national contender.
They have a comfort level knowing Skiffington can make field goals under pressure.
"It's just faith from the team and from Coach P," Skiffington said. "That first year, I remember he gave me a rubber band and said, 'Anytime you're out there and feel like anything is going to go wrong, just look down at that rubber band, give it a little tug and know that I'm behind you.' Special teams doesn't need to be a question mark on this team."