If Towson University football coach Rob Ambrose needed a clear picture of where his Tigers rank with the best the CAA has to offer, he got a high-definition view of New Hampshire today at Johnny Unitas Stadium. The Wildcats, ranked #6 in the FCS, shot out to a 30-0 first quarter lead and were never threatened, winning 57-7 in a game that doesn’t really indicate exactly how the whole afternoon played out.
Losing by 50 would give one to reason that the winners piled up 500 or more yards on offense and had a field day with the Tigers young, inexperienced defense.
Towson’s defense actually stood tall on Saturday, allowing UNH just over 285 yards of total offense. It was the Tigers offense that was New Hampshire’s best friend, as not only could Towson not do much when they HAD the ball, but they contributed to the 57-7 walloping by virtue of two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns.
The 4th quarter was scoreless and the Wildcats were doing their best to score. If Ambrose needs a Monday afternoon meeting-pick-me-up, he can point to the fact that UNH was still trying to light up the scoreboard up 57-7 with 8 minutes to go and they couldn’t put it in the end zone. Small victories are important when you have a young team like Towson.
A grand total of 8 turnovers marred the afternoon for Towson, as they fell to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in the CAA. They won’t play many teams better than UNH this year, that’s the good thing. They do play Richmond and JMU though – both national title contenders along with the Wildcats – that’s the bad thing.
QB Peter Athens had a rough day to say the least. He threw 5 interceptions in about 35 minutes of play. The second INT that was taken back to the house basically summarized Towson’s afternoon. Early in the 3rd quarter, trailing 40-7, Towson blocked a UNH punt and recovered it on the Wildcats 8 yard line. Not that Towson was going to manage a 33-point comeback or anything, but a score at that point gives them some 3rd quarter momentum. Two plays after the blocked punt, Athens threw his 5th interception of the day and Peter McGuinness took it back 96 yards for a TD that brought an end to Athens’ day.
It surely looks strange to write it — but Towson’s defense was more than decent on Saturday afternoon. When you don’t allow a top 10 team to gain 300 yards of offense, you’re doing something right. Of course, a UNH follower would argue that the Wildcats piled up nearly 300 yards in “return offense” if you take into account the yardage gained on INT’s and kick-off/punt returns. Touche.
Towson returns to action next Saturday at Rhode Island for a 2pm game with the Rams. All Towson football games are heard live on WNST.