The Oregon Ducks headed into play with a stern test at Ohio State. Despite Justin Fields taking his skills to the NFL, the Buckeyes were ranked #3 in the country after outlasting Minnesota, 45-31. Quarterback C.J. Stroud made his debut and looked like a poised veteran, hiding likely jitters that he had coming into the game. He threw for 295 yards on 13-of-22 passing for four touchdowns and an interception. Oregon didn’t have an answer for Stroud, who threw for 484 yards and three touchdowns, but a ground attack led by C.J. Verdell was enough for a 35-28 upset.
The Stony Brook Seawolves of the Colonial Athletic Association fell to the University of New Hampshire in their opener 27-21. They bounced back with a 24-3 win over Colgate of the Patriot League. The offense, led by Tyquell Fields, looked like a well-oiled machine. Fields threw for 140 yards on only 11 attempts, while Ty Son Lawton ran for 134 yards and a touchdown.
Oregon is led by quarterback Anthony Brown, who has completed 32-of-58 for 408 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. He has hit 13 different receivers for at least one reception, led by tight end Spencer Webb’s 5 catches. In the early going, Johnny Johnson II is the team’s home run hitter, averaging over 25 yards per reception on his three catches. On the ground, the Ducks have slashed through defenses at the rate of 227.5 yards per game. C.J. Verdell leads the way with 235 yards on 38 carries, followed by Anthony Brown’s 121 yards and Travis Dye’s 107 yards. Defensively, the Ducks have pressured quarterbacks often, leading to six sacks. They also have one interception, five forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries.
The Seawolves leader is quarterback Tyquell Fields, who has thrown for 395 yards and two touchdowns. On the downside, he’s completed only 52 percent of his passes, thrown two interceptions, and has been sacked three times. He’s likely in for a rude awakening against a team with the caliber of pass rushing talent as the Ducks. Should Fields have time to throw, he will look for his top target Shawn Harris Jr, who has hauled in 6 passes for 128 yards. Other primary targets are Khalil Newton and Delante Hellams, who have combined for 10 catches and 146 yards. On the ground, Ty Son Lawton and Seba Nekhat have rushed for a combined 295 yards.
The Seawolves are clearly not in the same league as the Ducks; make no mistake about it even in your wildest dreams. They went 1-3 in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and 5-7 in 2019. Oregon struggled a bit to a 4-3 overall record last season with a loss in the Fiesta Bowl. However, they went 12-2 with a Rose Bowl victory in 2019 and won another bowl game in 2018.
Even if the two teams played against similar competition, the records and overall statistics would favor Oregon. The fact that the Pac 12 conference is infinitely stronger than the Colonial Athletic Association makes this game even more lopsided. Jeff Sagarin’s ratings illustrate the disparity perfectly. The Ducks play in the Pac 12, ranked 6th and are ranked 9th among division 1 football teams with a ranking of 85.52. The Colonial Athletic Association is the 25th ranked conference, and Stony Brook is ranked second to last in the conference and 195th in the country with a rating of 42.86.
Putting it all together, there is very little indication that Stony Brook can hang with Oregon. They might stay with them for a period of time in the first quarter while emotions are high. Oregon will kick it into gear and likely will win by 30 or even 40 points.