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Towson eyes 6-0 start Saturday against New Hampshire

Posted on 04 October 2013 by WNST Staff

UNBEATEN TIGERS HOST No. 19 NEW HAMPSHIRE ON SATURDAY

No. 3 Tigers Seeking 10th Consecutive Win

TOWSON, Md. –  Riding a nine-game winning streak, the undefeated Towson University football team (5-0, 1-0) returns to Minnegan Field at Johnny Unitas® Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 5 when the Tigers host No. 19 New Hampshire (1-2, 0-0) in a Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) game at 12:00 noon.

The game will be televised on Comcast SportsNet-Plus. Scott Graham and Andy Gresh will call the action.

A home game will be a welcome respite for the Tigers from the grind that found Towson playing four of its first five games on the road. After opening the season with a 33-18 win at Connecticut, the Tigers beat Holy Cross on the road, 49-7. On Sept. 14, the Tigers played their home opener and beat Delaware State, 49-7. However, it was back on the road the following week where Towson beat North Carolina Central, 35-17. Last week, the Tigers pulled out a 35-21 victory at Stony Brook.

In the opening weeks of the season, Towson traveled 2,548 miles to pick up four road victories. Dating back to last season, the Tigers have played seven of their last nine games on the road – and they have won all of them. Towson’s seven-game road winning streak is the longest in school history.

“We are road-weary,” admits Towson Coach Rob Ambrose. “I feel like we are that Cleveland Indians team in the movie, ‘Major League.’ That team was always on a bus and that’s how we feel.

“However, it will be great to take the field on Saturday afternoon with a large crowd of our fans cheering us on,” he adds. “I know that will energize us.”

New Hampshire comes to Unitas Stadium with a deceptive 1-2 record. The Wildcats, who have qualified for the NCAA FCS playoffs eight years in a row, opened their season with a 24-21 loss at Central Michigan. After beating Colgate in their home opener, the Wildcats dropped a 34-27 decision at undefeated Lehigh last week.

Saturday’s game will be the 10th meeting between the two teams. UNH owns a 7-2 series lead, but the Tigers have won the last two matchups. Two years ago, Towson edged UNH, 56-42. Last season, the Tigers traveled to New Hampshire for the regular season finale and shocked the No. 7 Wildcats, 64-35. That win earned the Tigers a share of the CAA championship.

When Towson hosts New Hampshire, it will be the first time the teams have played where the Tigers had a higher national ranking. It will also match the top offensive team in the CAA against the top defensive team. New Hampshire comes into the game averaging 459.0 total yards per game as well as 236.7 rushing yards per contest. The Tigers allow 271.6 total yards per contest and only 70.8 rushing yards per game.

Towson ranks fourth in the NCAA FCS in rushing defense and sixth in total defense.

Offensively, the Tigers will be counting on junior Terrance West (Northwestern H.S./Baltimore, Md.). The leading rusher in the CAA with 648 yards on 126 carries, he has scored 12 touchdowns this season, a mark that leads NCAA FCS. West has topped the 100-yard rushing mark in four of five games. The only time he didn’t reach the 100-yard plateau was a 49-7 win over Delaware State when he left the game early in the third quarter. He did score five touchdowns against the Hornets.

The third-leading rusher in school history, West needs only 12 rushing yards to become the third player in program history to rush for 3,000 yards. He has scored 56 career touchdowns in 26 games.

In two games against New Hampshire, West has run for 497 yards on 42 carries and six touchdowns.

Junior defensive end Ryan Delaire (Windsor H.S./Windsor, Conn.) leads the Tiger defense with 6.5 sacks. He ranks fourth in the nation in sacks. Led by Delaire, the Tiger defense ranks second in the nation with 21 sacks in five games.

Senior linebacker Telvion Clark (Granby H.S./Norfolk, Va.) leads the Tigers with 44 tackles in five games. He made a career high 14 tackles and had one sack at Stony Brook. Junior cornerback Tye Smith (Wakefield H.S./Raleigh, N.C.) is second on the team with 28 tackles.

The Tigers’ game against New Hampshire will be the first of back-to-back home games against the top teams in the CAA. After hosting No. 19 UNH, the Tigers host No. 20 Villanova on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 7:00 p.m.

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Towson shows improvement during second preseason scrimmage

Posted on 17 August 2013 by WNST Staff

TIGERS SHOW IMPROVEMENT DURING 2ND PRE-SEASON SCRIMMAGE
Derrick Joseph Has Productive Performance

TOWSON, Md. –
 With just 12 days remaining before the season opener at the University of Connecticut, the Towson University football team held its second scrimmage of the pre-season as they ran about 120 plays and went for more than two hours at Johnny Unitas® Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

At the end of the scrimmage, it was obvious that junior Derrick Joseph had improved his status on the team.

Joseph, a reserve wide receiver and an explosive kick return specialist during the last two years, took the opening kickoff of the scrimmage and returned it 92 yards for a touchdown. Then, he excelled at wide receiver, a spot where he is competing for playing time.

On the third possession of the scrimmage, he scored the first offensive touchdown of the game when he caught a 10-yard swing pass from Connor Frazier and avoided two tacklers on his way to the end zone. Later in the scrimmage, Joseph capped off a 55-yard, four-play touchdown drive by catching a 43-yard TD pass from senior quarterback Peter Athens.

He finished the scrimmage with four receptions for 81 yards and two touchdowns.

“Derrick is having one of the best pre-seasons of anyone I’ve had in my four years as the head coach,” said Towson Coach Rob Ambrose. “We are excited about the impact he can have with our team. He deserves a lot of credit because he has committed himself to being a complete football player.”

However, Coach Ambrose has still not decided who will be the Tigers’ starting quarterback when they open the season. Frazier and Athens appear to be the top two contenders for the spot.

“I’ve said all along that our starting quarterback will be the one who consistently outperforms the others,” he said. “We are looking for someone who does well in all phases of the game, efficiency, passing, running and directing the offense. Both Connor and Pete made some really nice plays today and they are getting better.”

Athens completed 11 of 15 passes for 173 yards and threw a pair of TD passes. In addition to his 43-yard TD pass to Joseph, he threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to junior Brian Dowling, a transfer from the University of Massachusetts. Frazier, who ran the ball well, completed five of six passes for 36 yards and a touchdown.

Coach Ambrose was especially pleased with the way the defense is playing. He said, “With the guys we have up front, we are a stout unit and we can do a good job stopping the other team’s running game. Arnold Farmer and Jon Desir do a great job closing off the gaps.”

With 12 days before the season opener, Ambrose admits “We aren’t there yet but we are getting better. The improvements are incremental but we are going in the right direction.”

After taking Sunday off, the Tigers will return to their two-a-day practice schedule on Monday.

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Towson football set to open preseason camp this week

Posted on 30 July 2013 by WNST Staff

TIGERS OPEN PRE-SEASON PRACTICE SESSIONS THIS WEEK 
Tigers Open Preparations For 2013 Season

TOWSON, Md. – Coming off back-to-back Colonial Athletic Association championship seasons, Coach Rob Ambrose and the Towson University football team open pre-season preparations this week when 93 players report to the pre-season camp. The Tigers report to camp on Thursday, August 1 and start practice on Friday, August 2.

The Tigers will hold 27 practice sessions between now and their season opener on Thursday, August 29 at the University of Connecticut.

Highlighting the Tigers’ pre-season practice schedule are Fan Day on August 10 and Media Day on August 21. The Tigers will have five days in which they practice twice.

The Tigers, who have posted a 16-7 record over the last two seasons, have eight starters returning on offense and seven starters on defense. A consensus NCAA FCS Top 25 pre-season selection, Towson was picked to finish second in the Colonial Athletic Association in a pre-season poll of coaches and media.

Seven Tigers were named to the CAA’s Pre-Season All-Conference team, including running back Terrance West (Northwestern H.S./Baltimore, Md.), tackles Eric Pike (Duval H.S./Landover, Md.) and Randall Harris (Duval H.S./Lanham, Md.), fullback Emmanuel Holder (Calvert Hall H.S./Baltimore, Md.) linebacker Monte Gaddis (Cleveland Central Catholic H.S./Cleveland, Ohio) and cornerbacks Jordan Love (Deep Run H.S./Washington, D.C.) and Tye Smith (Wakefield H.S./Raleigh, N.C.).

While the Tigers return all five starting offensive linemen and the top running back, the quarterback competition will be one of the main features of pre-season camp. Senior Peter Athens (Huntingtown H.S./Huntingtown, Md.), sophomore Connor Frazier (Damascus H.S./Gaithersburg, Md.) and junior Joe Brennan (Camden Catholic H.S./Audubon, N.J.) are the top candidates for the job.

Named as the CAA Pre-Season Offensive Player of the Year, West has run for 2,340 yards in two seasons while scoring 43 rushing touchdowns in 21 games.

Along with Gaddis, sophomore Bryton Barr (Mechanicsburg H.S./Camp Hill, Pa.) and senior Telvion Clark(Granby H.S./Norfolk, Va.) return to lead the Tigers’ linebacking corps. Last season, Gaddis and Barr tied for second on the team with 74 tackles while Clark made 49 tackles.

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