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Everything to know for Stony Brook’s one-time-only spring football season

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A first-of-its-kind springtime college football season is upon us, and Stony Brook University will take part in it.

For those confused and remembered Alabama winning the College Football Playoff National Championship back in January, we’ve got you covered.

There are two subgroupings of Divison I college football: Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).

The FBS, the NCAA’s top tier of college football, plays for the chance to get into bowl games (like the Rose Bowl or Orange Bowl) and the College Football Playoff. The FCS, the lesser-known college football brand, plays to enter a 24-team playoff tournament.

While many FBS schools opted to play a shortened season in the fall due to COVID, some FCS programs — such as SBU — chose to postpone playing until spring.

And now for one of the first times in college football history, FCS will have the sole limelight.

Here’s everything to know about Stony Brook’s spring season.

What’s the schedule?

Inside the FCS, there are several conferences. Those that chose to play in spring will participate in abbreviated seasons. Some leagues canceled their seasons entirely, such as the Ivy League.

Stony Brook is a member of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), which opted for a six-game regular season.

Other leagues will participate in eight games, while other programs, such as the Northeast Conference (NEC), which includes Long Island University, a fledgling FCS school, will play in four games.

Here is the regular-season schedule for the Seawolves:

  • Villanova at Stony Brook: Saturday, March 6, at noon
  • Stony Brook at Delaware: Saturday, March 13, at noon
  • Maine at Stony Brook: Saturday, March 20, at noon
  • Stony Brook at Albany: Saturday, March 27, at 1 p.m.
  • Stony Brook at New Hampshire: Saturday, April 10, at noon
  • Rhode Island at Stony Brook: Saturday, April 17, at noon

What’s the deal with playoffs?

This year, the FCS playoff tournament will be chiseled down to 16-teams, instead of its typical 24 teams.

There will be ten conference winners awarded playoff positions.

Those other six teams is where it gets sticky.

Some FCS schools chose to participate in non-conference games in the fall before postponing the season until springtime. In October, underdog FBS school Jacksonville State upset FIU, 19-10.

To be considered for the remaining playoff spots, the NCAA said teams must play at least four games this season. The factors include the schools’ quality of wins, especially in non-conference and FBS play.

“Even if you have an FBS win, somebody that might’ve played in the fall and won an FBS game, that certainly would help,” said Kyle Moats, FCS committee chair, on selecting the playoff teams.  “We have some tools in our tool box.”

The playoff bracket will be revealed on Sunday, April 18. The championship game will be Saturday, May 15.

Fans in the stadium?

While it will vary state by state and college by college, Stony Brook University plans on having a limited amount of fans at its Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium this spring.

The season opener against Villanova will be limited to families of the game’s participants, with no tickets on sale to the general public.

“Our objective is to open attendance to a wider audience in accordance with all state, county and campus guidelines,” said Adam Rubin, associate athletic director for strategic communications at SBU. “As we receive further guidance, we will continue to communicate with our loyal donors, season ticket holders and other constituents.”

Where to watch?

Since attendance will be very limited, the easiest way for fans to watch Stony Brook regular-season games will be through FloSports.TV, an online subscription service.

You can also check Stony Brook Football’s Twitter page for in-game updates.

Note: Stony Brook plans on resuming its relationship with broadcast partners, such as SNY, for the upcoming fall season.

Speaking of fall football, what’s the plan?

As of now, there are no intentions to continue playing regular-season FCS games in the springtime.

Stony Brook already announced its fall schedule, which includes a Sept. 18 game at traditional Pac-12 power Oregon.

Seawolves to watch

Offense: Stony Brook is returning quarterback Tyquell Fields, who recorded 2,809 yards of total offense (2466 passing, 338 rushing), the most in school history.  He also registered 20 touchdowns (16 passing, four rushing), and had three game-winning or game-tying fourth-quarter drives last season.

Defensive: Sam Kamara, a redshirt senior, will continue to anchor the defensive line for Stony Brook. The 6-foot-2, 295 pound NFL prospect had his last season cut short due to a season-ending injury. He played in five games and recorded three sacks. In 2018, he played 12 games and recorded nine sacks, with 42 tackles (11.5 for loss).

Words from the coach

This will be Stony Brook head coach Chuck Priore‘s 15th season leading the Seawolves.

Here’s what he had to say about the special spring season.

“Overall, as a team, I’m excited,” said Priore.

“This has been a team that has attacked it with a passion for success. I think it built great team morale when we got back here in the fall after being apart.”

Top: Stony Brook quarterback Tyquell Fields practicing for the spring regular season (credit: Facebook/ Stony Brook Football).