For the first time in program history Saturday the Syracuse Orange football program will take on the Stony Brook Seawolves in a non-conference contest at the Carrier Dome (4 p.m. ET on SNY). The Orange (0-2) own a 9-0 all-time record against Football Championship Subdivision opponents at home, while the No. 17-ranked Seawolves (2-0) are 0-3 against Football Bowl Subdivision foes.
The showdown should be a high-scoring affair as both programs enter the contest with top-ranked offenses in its respective levels. Currently, Syracuse is ranked third in the nation in passing offense (402 yards per game) and has the No. 1 ranked total offense in the Big East Conference, while Stony Brook has the first-ranked offense in the FCS (591 ypg).
For those Orange fans that want to get more familiar with the Seawolves, here's a brief scouting report.
What Stony Brook will try to do is slow down Syracuse's offense, and to do that it will try and use a ball-control rushing attack featuring running backs, senior Miguel Maysonet and junior Marcus Coker.
Maysonet (5'10, 210 pounds) is the reigning Big South Offensive Player of the Year as last season he rushed for 1,633 yards and 15 touchdowns, while Coker (6'0, 230) is a transfer from Iowa that rushed for more than 2,000 yards and 18 touchdowns in two seasons for the Hawkeyes.
Coker's transfer stemmed from an alleged sexual assault that he was not charged for. Coker was not kicked off the team, but instead decided to make a fresh start at Stony Brook where he is eligible to play because he switched from FBS to FCS.
In the Seawolves first two games, Maysonet has rushed for 229 yards and four touchdowns, while Coker has compiled 156 yards and three touchdowns.
Behind center is senior quarterback Kyle Essington (6'2, 190), who earned second-team All-Big South honors last season after throwing for 1,919 yards and 20 touchdowns. In big games, the Seawolves have asked Essington to air it out as in last year's semifinal contest against Sam Houston State he threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns.
Essington's No. 1 target is senior wide out Kevin Norrell, who's a big-play threat that has already scored on touchdown receptions of 86 and 89 yards.
The Seawolves defense is made up of a young defensive line mixed with an experienced linebacking corps and secondary.
The lone senior on the defensive line is Jonathan Coats (6'4, 260) who started all 13 games in '11 for Stony Brook. Coats, however, is joined by a young cast featuring juniors Leston Simpson (6'3, 250), Kevin Hauter (6'2, 245) and redshirt freshman Victor Ochi (6'2, 250).
Senior Dan Mulrooney leads the lineebacking corps where he serves as the Rover. Mulrooney (6'1, 205) started in all 13 games last season for the Seawolves, and before that he spent three seasons at Boston College. Next to Mulrooney is first-team All-Big South selection Jawara Dudley (6'1, 225), who played 10 games his freshman year and started all 13 games last season. The third starter is Reginald Francklin (6'0, 230) who played in all 13 games in '11.
The group that will be most tested Saturday will be the secondary, which is anchored by senior safeties Cedrick Moore (5'11, 205), Dominick Reyes (6'4, 210), a second-team Big South selection last season, and Greg Melendez (6'1, 211), who spent the last two season at Idaho State.
Meanwhile, the cornerbacking corps features four juniors including starters Davonte Anderson (5'9, 175) and Winston Logdon (6'0, 200).
What's going to keep the Seawolves in the game is their offense, which will need to wear down a deep Syracuse defensive line and take advantage of big-plays when they are there. So far this season, the Orange have shown they can stuff the run, however, this maybe the best running back duo they could face all season.
Syracuse should be able to do whatever it wants on the Seawolves defense, which features some bright spots but nothing that pops out on paper. Stony Brook will need to find a way to slow down the Orange attack by either confusing senior quarterback Ryan Nassib with different coverages or picking off some bad throws, which Nassib sometimes can make.