Villanova vs. Stony Brook Preview
Written by David Szczepanski on October 27, 2023
On Saturday afternoon, the Villanova Wildcats will battle the Stony Brook Seawolves at 2pm from Villanova Stadium. After their bye week last weekend, the Wildcats are currently tied for fourth place in the CAA with a conference record of 3-1. The Seawolves are 0-7 overall and 0-5 in CAA play. They are in last place in the CAA.
Stony Brook Seawolves
The Seawolves have yet to give up less than 20 points on defense and have only allowed less than 31 points in just two of their first seven games. Stony Brook has also allowed 45 points or more twice this season, including their most recent loss against New Hampshire last Saturday.
From an offensive standpoint, Stony Brook has scored more than just 14 points in two games: 19 points against Richmond and 28 points against Maine. However, Seawolves’ QB, Casey Case, is having a pretty solid season. The 6’ 6’’ junior from Winter Park, Florida has 1,523 passing yards with nine touchdowns and eight interceptions this season. Although eight interceptions are a lot through the first seven games, Case has five interceptions in his last six games after throwing three interceptions in the season opener against Delaware. Case has thrown for at least 240 yards in each of his last three games, including 348 yards and four touchdowns against Maine on September 30th. Stony Brook’s leading receiver is Anthony Johnson with 84 receptions for 537 yards and two touchdowns. Jayden Cook leads the Seawolves with three receiving touchdowns.
Stony Brook’s running game has really struggled this season. In their loss to New Hampshire on Saturday, the Seawolves combined for 22 carries for just 58 yards. They had just 27 yards over 22 carries in defeat to Fordham on October 14th. The Seawolves’ best running game was their season opener against CAA leader, Delaware, in a 37-13 loss. Stony Brook rushed for 164 yards in that game. Even though he has not carried the ball a lot recently, Stony Brook’s leading running back is Ross Tallarico with 210 yards. Roland Dempster, a senior from Staten Island, has been the most used running back in recent games with 166 yards and two touchdowns in total for the season. Dempster had eight carries for 24 yards and one touchdown against New Hampshire.
Villanova-Keys to the Game
After the bye week last week, Villanova is well rested for Saturday’s CAA matchup. However, the Wildcats must be careful not to overlook Stony Brook. Villanova plays tough New Hampshire on the road next week before returning home to play another solid team in Towson. They end the season with a huge game against Delaware. The Wildcats heavily depended on the running game on a rainy Saturday against Elon two weeks ago. They rushed for 440 yards and TD Ayo-Durojaiye had three rushing touchdowns. Connor Watkins rushed for 125 yards, but struggled in the passing game, which was probably a sign of the poor weather conditions. The running game will be used a lot in this game, but I expect Watkins to throw more on Saturday with better weather conditions and Stony Brook’s struggling defense.
It will also be interesting to see the amount of carries for freshman Isaiah Ragland, who led the Wildcats in rushing yards against Elon with 126. Ragland had a season and collegiate career-high fifteen carries in the win against the Phoenix. Wildcats’ RB, DeeWil Barlee did not play last week, so Ragland received most of Barlee’s playing time and even more.
If Villanova plays a clean game and performs at least averagely on offense, the Wildcats should confidently defeat Stony Brook. On offense, their rushing attack and passing game potential with Connor Watkins is too much for the Seawolves’ defense. On defense, the Wildcats need to find ways to continue to eliminate the running game of Stony Brook like other teams have done in recent games. Although Case is a good quarterback, the Wildcats can control the passing game.
WXVU will have live coverage of tomorrow’s game beginning with the PreGame Show at 1:30pm. Kickoff is scheduled for 2pm right here on WXVU.