One team is coming into this weekend's game with two victories and a game in which they outscored their opponent 77-7.
The other team is coming into this weekend's game with an 0-2 record.
It's the weirdness and beauty of college football that the 0-2 team is the one that should easily win this game.
The Stony Brook Seawolves are, on paper, an FCS juggernaut. They won their first game of the season 49-17 and they rolled Pace (who's nickname I really hope is the Makers) 77-7. Now, to be upfront, Pace is a Division II team. They SHOULD lose 77-7 to Stony Brook. Still, the S'Wolves have put up some fairly impressive stats so far this season.
Miguel Maysonet has 224 yards and four TDs on 23 carries. He's already clocked an 83-yard touchdown run and is averaging just south of ten yards per carry. He also has a receiving TD on the year.
Iowa transfer Marcus Coker has 156 yards on 30 carries as well as three scores.
Freshman RB Jamie Williams ran for 144 yards on nine carries and scored three TDs last week. He was named Big South Freshman of the Week.
Alltogether, the Stony Brook running game already has over 700 yards and 13 TDs.
S'Wolves QB Kyle Essington has only thrown 23 attempts and 15 completions in two games but he's got five touchdowns and 346 yards out of it.
So what does it mean? Will we see a brutal running attack try to overpower the Orange this week or will we shut down this offense that's been gobbling up stats on lesser opponents? Stony Brook's players know playing Syracuse won't be like playing Pace, even if we're coming in with an 0-2 record:
"Seventy in the dome is not going to happen,'' said Stony Brook wide receiver Kevin Norrell. "I know we will put up a fight. We're loaded. Hopefully, at the end of the day, we will put up a W. I don't doubt we can go in there and handle business.
"Syracuse is definitely a really strong team. Their defense is stacked. I'm going to have fun competing against them.''
All signs point to the Orange making good on all that potential they've shown in the first two weeks. In fact, Stony Brooks' arrival might be perfect timing for a team in desperate need of a win in order to justify its solid effort in losses to Northwestern and USC.
If you ask Doug Marrone, he looks across the national room and some teams that are 2-0 against subpar competition and thinks the Orange can hold their head high:
"I feel that we’ve been battle tested."
"We’re excited about how challenging our schedule is," he said. "When you look at who we’re playing, it’s quite a bit different (from) what a lot of schools are playing. And I’m not just talking about the conference we’re in now. I’m talking about throughout the country."
A win here gets the Orange back on track, gives them a little momentum heading into a pivotal road game against Minnesota. This could be the beginning of a winnable three-game stretch. However, SU will need to make good on its potential before we start talking about those next steps.
Plus, you know, padding Ryan Nassib's stats some more wouldn't hurt...