Football Looks To Knock Off Monmouth On Saturday

Oct. 20, 2000

Stony Brook, N.Y. - Saturday's Game: The Seawolves look to snap a three-game losing streak as they take on Monmouth this afternoon. Today's game is the sixth straight conference matchup for Stony Brook.

The Series: Stony Brook got the leg up in the all-time series with a 7-3 win last year at Seawolves Field. The Seawolves piled up 392 yards of offense but it was James Crawford's 30-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that proved to be the difference.

Hitting The Road: Today's game is the first of three straight road games for Stony Brook. The Seawolves are 1-1 on the road this year.

Ralph Runs Wild: Running back Ralph Menendez broke out last week against Sacred Heart with 183 yards on 24 carries, including a career-high 80-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. With each carry he inches closer to becoming SB's all-time leading rusher. He needs only 120 yards to surpass Oliver Bridges (2,342 yards). It was Stony Brook's first 100+ yard rushing effort since the opening game of the season.

Turnovers Hurt: Last week marked the second straight contest that Stony Brook outgained its opponent but came up short on the scoreboard. The Seawolves put up 350 yards of offense to SHU's 325, (194-22 on the ground). Mistakes have been the difference as SB turned the ball over four times in each of the last two weeks.

Points Hard to Come By: Since a 60-point outburst against St. Francis, Stony Brook has managed only 29 points in its last three games, an average of 9.7 points per game.

Third And Long: Some of the problems in scoring points can be attributed to Stony Brook's third down situations. The Seawolves have converted 24-of-91 third down opportunities (26.4%) which ranks second to last in the NEC. A closer look at the third down conversion rate may indicate why. SB has been faced with 53 third downs where they have needed seven or more yards to get a first down and 25 situations where they needed 11 or more yards for a first down. In those 53 chances, the Seawolves have managed only 10 first downs - a conversion rate of 18.8 percent.

Running Game On A Roll: The Seawolves have been rushing the ball well over the last month. In the last four games, SB has averaged 161 yards per game on the ground. In only one game this season have the Seawolves rushed for less than 100 yards - it was week two against St. John's when the Red Storm held SB to minus-4 yards rushing.

Under Air Attack: Seawolves opponents have gone to the air the last two weeks. The pass defense yielded 282 yards to Wagner and 303 yards to SHU last week.

Picking It Off: Stony Brook has intercepted 13 passes in six games this season and picked off a pass in every game except St. John's. Alexis Ayala and Chad King lead the team in picks with three.

Kevin Steps Up: In the absence of starting wideout Lucas Niskanen, Kevin Csoka turned in a career-best performance last week with seven catches for 66 yards.

Tough To Run On Us: The Seawolves rushing defense limited Sacred Heart to 22 yards on 19 carries this week. Stony Brook has held opponents to under 100 yards per game four times this year. The rushing defense ranks fourth in the NEC.

Not So Safety: Last week, Brian Stanley was flagged for intentional grounding in the end-zone which resulted in a safety. It was the second week in a row that Stony Brook `s opponent has recorded a safety.

News and Notes: Freshman Chad King is third on the team in tackles and leads the team in solo takedowns . . . Seawolves are 1-3 at home this year after going 4-1 last season . . . SB has been outscored 105-29 over the last three weeks.

Injuries Hit Hard: Lucas Niskanen-separated shoulder - may play Jesse Reynolds - sprained ankle - out David Kopp - separated shoulder - out Dan Bertzos - sprained ankle - out