Towson at Stony Brook college football preview

The Baltimore Sun

Towson (4-0, 0-0 CAA) @ Stony Brook (1-2, 1-1)

When: Saturday, 6 p.m.

Site: LaValle Stadium, Stony Brook, N.Y.


Series: First meeting

What's at stake: Seeking their first 5-0 start since 1986, the Tigers open Colonial Athletic Association play. Towson extended its eight-game winning streak — the second-longest streak in the Football Championship Subdivision — with last Saturday's 35-17 victory at North Carolina Central. That win helped move Towson from No. 4 to No. 3 in the Sports Network's FCS poll. The team, which has won seven of eight road contests in the league the past two seasons, will meet a Seawolves squad in its first year in the conference. The Seawolves opened the season with a 24-0 win over conference rival Rhode Island but have since dropped decisions against Buffalo (26-23 in five overtimes) and Villanova (35-6). The loss to the Wildcats last Saturday was Stony Brook's first game since announcing that senior running back Marcus Coker (abdomen) and senior cornerback Reuben Johnson (knee) would be out for the rest of the year.

Key matchup: Despite the absence of Coker, Stony Brook still has an offensive weapon in Malcolm Eugene. The senior wide receiver recorded career highs in both receptions (12) and yards (184) last week. Eugene, who has more than 100 receiving yards in back-to-back weeks, could be matched up against senior Jordan Love or junior Tye Smith. Smith has 18 tackles and two pass breakups, while Love, who was hobbled by a foot injury, has started in each of the past two games.

Player to watch: Tigers fifth-year senior quarterback Peter Athens (Huntingtown) has been sacked just three times thus far. Seawolves senior defensive end Junior Solice will try to add to that number; he leads the defense in sacks with 3.5 but will face a huge obstacle in Eric Pike, a four-year starter at left tackle. Pike, at 6 feet 5 and 298 pounds, earned first-team All-CAA honors last season.

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