(STATS) - Stacy Bedell's impressive start had Stony Brook looking at a very promising season. His departure has things looking bleak regardless of what coach Chuck Priore says.
Priore has announced that his leading rusher will miss the rest of the season due to a shoulder injury suffered in a loss to William & Mary on Sept. 26.
The Seawolves hoped Bedell would return after missing the following week's loss at James Madison, but it turns out the man who was leading the FCS in rushing through two weeks won't take the field again until next season.
"You know, losing the big-play player hurts your team," Priore said, "but I think we have enough guys now that we've known for two weeks now that he's not playing, so I think we have a much better grasp of where we're going."
However, the ground game certainly has suffered without Bedell, rushing for a combined 175 yards and 2.4 per carry over the past two games - losses by a combined 39 points. Stony Brook easily won the two full games Bedell played as he rushed for 326 yards and four touchdowns on 43 carries, helping the program earn the 26th-most votes in the STATS FCS Top 25.
The Long Island native rushed for a team-high 1,070 yards in 2014 after transferring from UMass and made the all-CAA second team. It's likely he will apply for a medical redshirt so he can play next season, as he did after his freshman season with the Minutemen was cut short by injury.
Stony Brook now turns to freshmen Isaiah White and Travis Liburd as well as sophomore Donald Liotine to pick up the slack. White leads that group with 147 yards on 35 carries for the Seawolves, who have been averaging about eight minutes more than their opponents in time of possession.
"You need to do that if you're a run-the-ball team, you need to be able to possess the ball and it's a belief we have," Priore said. "We just haven't run the ball as efficiently as we'd like to since Stacy's been out and I think we need to get back to that. We wanna continue to be the team that has the ball and gives the other team limited opportunities for points."
Stony Brook (2-2, 1-1 CAA), coming off its bye week, hosts Towson on Saturday.