As we inch into the final month of the regular season, the CAA has one of the mostly hotly contested races of the regular season.
Week 8 is something of a quiet week in the Colonial, with some teams on bye and others playing relatively straightforward games. One contest stands out as the most important game to watch: Rhode Island's riveting offense will travel to Long Island for a fight with Stony Brook's grit'n'grind run game & defense.
Despite the fact that URI quarterback JuJuan Lawson hasn't played a game in October yet, the Rams still rank as a top-3 CAA team in in scoring offense (37.0 ppg) and passing offense (276.2 ypg). They also rank second in kickoff return average (27.4 ypr) and lead the conference in passing efficiency.
Stony Brook, on the other hand, is proving why its one of the most consistent defensive teams in the conference. At 23 points per game, the Stony Brook defense ranks right there with Maine and Villanova. It does a nice job getting off the field, too, holding opponents to a 33 percent conversion rate on third down.
All the while, the Seawolves control pace by churning out 200 yards per game on the ground.
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Both Stony Brook and Rhode Island have already been saddled with a loss to a team currently in first place in the conference. Tom Flacco and Co. dropped 50 points on Stony Brook a few weeks ago in an uncharacteristically high-scoring game, while Rhode Island lost to Maine on a walk-off field goal from Kenny Doak.
This game is a critical CAA matchup. The loser of this game won't necessarily be out of the conference title race or playoff race, but the margin error will be thin and getting thinner. Both these teams still have to travel to Harrisonburg to play JMU, starting with Stony Brook next weekend.
For more on the CAA's best game of the week, subscribe to the HERO Sports FCS Podcast! I offer a short preview of the game and what I believe the key matchups are, beginning at the 44:30 mark.
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