For the better part of the first half, the Stony Brook Seawolves outplayed the Syracuse Orange. In fact, they carried a three point lead into the locker room thanks to big plays by their offense and numerous blunders by the Orange. The Orange were able to regroup at halftime, however, and get their first win of the season by a score of 28-17.
Ryan Nassib continued on his torrid pace towards the Syracuse single-season passing record by throwing for 335 yards and three touchdowns. The Orange ground game had a breakout performance as well, rushing for 214 yards on 45 carries. The Seawolves churned out 216 rushing yards of their own, including a 72-yard run by Miguel Maysonet in the second quarter. Aside from throwing a 63-yard touchdown pass on Stony Brook's second possession, quarterback Kyle Essington had a disastrous performance and completed only four of his 19 passes.
Syracuse did everything it possibly could to lose the game during the first half of play. Among the miscues were bad penalties, two missed field goals and poor sideline judgment on a kickoff return. The Carrier Dome crowd grew more and more restless as the mishaps continued to pile up, and any home field advantage had vanished by the end of the second quarter. Once the Orange drove down the field on their first drive of the second half and reached the end zone, however, the crowd got back into the game and the Orange maintained control throughout the rest of the game.
Stony Brook fought hard the entire way, stopping the Orange on two fourth-downs at their own goal line during the second half. The Seawolves could not generate anything on offense, however, and they never really threatened to take the lead back. Any hopes they had were dashed when Marcus Sales hauled in a 19-yard touchdown pass with less than six minutes remaining.
The Orange will no doubt have to clean things up as they head out to Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers next Saturday. While a win is a win, this victory was a messy one in many ways. As long as Nassib continues to throw like he has been, however, the Orange will be a tough competitor in the Big East going forward.