Stony Brook football coach Chuck Priore felt his running backs could carry the load when the Seawolves learned they would be without injured quarterback Kyle Essington for their FCS playoff game against Villanova.
Had Essington been able to play Saturday, it would have been best to keep the ball in the hands of Miguel Maysonet and Marcus Coker anyway.
Maysonet rushed for 160 yards and two touchdowns and Coker added 107 yards on the ground as Stony Brook beat Villanova, 20-10, in a first-round game at LaValle Stadium.
The Seawolves (10-2), from the Big South Conference, will travel to No. 3 seed Montana State (10-1) for a second-round game on Dec. 3.
Essington, the FCS leader in passing efficiency, missed the game because of a right thigh contusion. His backup, Lyle Negron, a junior who attempted only five passes in the regular season, made his first career start.
Negron was only 3-of-6 against Villanova because the game plan relied on Maysonet and Coker, who combined for 54 carries to allow the Seawolves to dominate the game clock, 39:32 to 20:28.
Maysonet scored on two runs in the second quarter - from 1 and 14 yards out - to provide a 14-0 halftime lead. His first score capped a 21-play, 98-yard drive that started in the first quarter and lasted 12 minutes, 43 seconds.
Wesley Skiffington kicked 37- and 29-yard field goals in the second half and Stony Brook took a 20-3 lead.
Redshirt freshman quarterback John Robertson scored Villanova's only touchdown, a 21-yard run with 6:57 left. He finished with 85 yards on 15 carries, and was 15-of-31 for 135 yards and two interceptions.
The Wildcats, who earned the automatic playoff bid from CAA Football, saw their season end with an 8-4 record. They won six more games than a year ago, when they finished 2-9.