2008 Coach's Corner #2 - A Letter From The Desk Of Coach Priore
Sept. 3, 2008
Stony Brook, N.Y. - On behalf of the Stony Brook University Football program I'd like to take this moment to thank everyone for their support during the victory against Colgate on Saturday evening. The atmosphere was truly electric; the marching band, student section and fans that came helped our players start off the 2008 season with a bang. The environment provided energy and enthusiasm for our team and it continues to make LaValle Stadium a very difficult place to play for any opponent. We will need that support again this week when we host #17 Elon University from the Southern Conference. More on that later . . .
The first game of the season is complicated as it is the first chance for two teams to test and evaluate new plays, schemes, and personnel in a highly competitive game situation. Both teams were excited to prove their mettle and put their skills to the test. Throughout the game, we exhibited strengths and weaknesses on both sides of the ball, but the overall performance of the offense, defense and special teams produced a solid win versus a very strong and respected opponent. It was just a couple of seasons ago that Colgate lost in the NCAA Division 1-AA (now called FCS) National Championship game.
The offense achieved its primary goal by establishing an aggressive and consistent ground attack. Up front, the experience of Steve Council '09 (Plainfield, N.J.) and Lawrence Lovell '08 G `10 (Brooklyn, N.Y.) spearheaded an offensive line that opened up holes for our running backs. Running backs Conte Cuttino '10 (Uniondale, N.Y.) and Eddie Gowins '12 (Bellport, N.Y.) also deserve credit as they did an outstanding job by individually totaling over 100 rushing yards.
Defensively, we were able to consistently put pressure on Colgate's running game and force them to beat us by passing the ball. This led to three interceptions by an excellent secondary corps consisting of Chris Richards '10 (Quartz Hills, Calif.), Cory Giddings '10 (Ocean, N.J.), Chris Brevi '09 (Tampa, Fla.) and Mike McCoy '09 (Los Angeles, Calif). This group, along with the support of impact players like linebackers Carl Teague '10 (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Tyler Santucci '10 (New Kensington, Pa.), helped give our offense the ball back in good field position to score early and often.
Special teams also played a big role in this game, especially when it came to field position for each team. Luke Gaddis `09 (E. Patchogue, N.Y.) was outstanding, averaging 42 yards per punt and pinning Colgate inside their own 20-yard line three times. Also, newcomer Dayton Guillory '10 (Bossier City, La.) made an impact on the return teams with two punt returns for 15 yards and four kickoff returns for a total of 81 yards.
As I stated earlier, this week we are going ahead with rigorous preparation for nationally-ranked Phoenix of Elon University. We will have to improve upon this past week's performance in order for us to be successful against such a good team. I strongly believe that the improvement a team makes between the first and second game often foreshadows the success of a team and I expect that it will be no different this year.
We know the areas we need to improve upon and we must show great focus in this week's preparation in correcting our mistakes and strengthening our units as a whole. We look forward to yet another great home crowd for this exciting match up and we hope for your continued support. See you Saturday at 3:00 p.m. As always, wear RED and Go Seawolves!