TOWSON, Md. – After dropping a heart-breaking 13-10 decision at No. 5 James Madison University last week, the No. 17 Tiger football team returns to Minnegan Field at Johnny Unitas® Stadium, hosting the University of Maine in a Colonial Athletic Association game on Saturday night, October 13 at 7:00 p.m.
Another large crowd is expected at Unitas Stadium as Towson University celebrates Family Weekend. Saturday night’s game will also be the Tigers’ “Pink Game” as the team shows its support for breast cancer awareness.
The game will also be aired on the Tigers’ web site, www.TowsonTigers.com with Spiro Morekas and Ron Meehan calling the action. The Tigers’ internet broadcast also features a one-hour pre-game show.
Both Towson and Maine come into this week’s game with 2-3 overall records. Both teams are also 1-1 in CAA play. The Tigers beat William & Mary and lost to JMU while Maine lost to Villanova before routing Delaware, 26-3.
The Tigers, who have played the third-toughest schedule in FCS football this year, will be seeking their third consecutive home victory. Towson beat William & Mary and St. Francis in its first two home games. Ironically, Maine has played better on the road this season. The Black Bears are 2-1 on the road, winning games at Bryant and Delaware.
Last season, Towson pulled out a 40-30 victory over Maine in Orono. It was a matchup of two of the top teams in the CAA. The No. 7 Black Bears came into the game with a 7-2 overall record and were the league leaders with a 5-0 CAA mark. Towson came into the game with a 6-2 overall mark and a 4-0 CAA record. Led by Terrance Westand Tremayne Dameron, ’12, Towson ran for a seasonal high 334 yards on 53 carries. West ran for 183 yards on 21 carries and scored three touchdowns while Dameron had 109 rushing yards and scored two touchdowns.
The Tigers’ victory created a three-way tie at the top of the CAA and gave Towson the inside track for the CAA championship. Two weeks later, the Tigers clinched their first CAA championship with a 28-17 win at Rhode Island.
Both Towson and Maine advanced to NCAA FCS post-season play.
“Maine was really good last year and I think they’re better this season,” says Towson Coach Rob Ambrose.“Their defense is really improved and their defensive speed is impressive. They played well at Delaware last week and that got our attention.”
When Towson and Maine hook up for the 11th time on Saturday night, the Tigers will be led by the top-ranked defensive unit in the CAA. In their first five games, the Tiger defense has allowed an average of 282.00 total yards per game. In addition to leading the CAA, the Tiger defense is ranked sixth in FCS football. Towson has only given up 135.00 passing yards per game and has the second-best pass defense in NCAA FCS.
Junior linebacker Telvion Clark, a transfer from Virginia Tech, leads the Tigers with 34 tackles, a mark that places him 10th in the CAA among linebackers. Sophomore cornerback Tye Smith is second on the team with 32 tackles. He also leads the team with three pass breakups. Freshman linebacker Bryton Barr has also made 32 tackles.
Senior safety Jordan Dangerfield has made 31 tackles. He now ranks 23rd on Towson’s career list of tackles leaders. He has 220 tackles in his career.
West, the ninth-leading rusher in school history, leads the Tiger offense. In five games, he has rushed for 442 yards and scored a team high seven touchdowns. In 16 career games, he has scored 36 rushing touchdowns, setting a school record. He has rushed for 1,736 yards in his young career.
Turnovers continue to haunt the Tigers. After turning the ball over three times at James Madison, the Tigers are minus-nine in turnover ratio this season. The turnover ratio has negated the Tigers’ offensive domination. The Tiger offense averages 34:03 time of possession per game, a mark that places the Tigers second in the nation.
In five games, Towson has run 347 offensive plays while Towson’s opponents have run 291 offensive plays. Towson is also outgaining its opponents, 1802 yards to 1410 yards. The Tigers have 102 first downs while their opponents have 80 first downs. Towson has 947 rushing yards while their opponents have rushed for 735 yards. Defending national champion North Dakota State leads FCS football in time of possession at 35:00 per game.
Towson’s game against Maine is the second of seven consecutive CAA games for the Tigers. Dating back to last season, the Tigers have won eight of their last ten CAA games.
After hosting Maine, the Tigers return to Unitas Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 20 to host Old Dominion. On Oct. 27, the Tigers visit Villanova. After a Nov. 3 trip to Delaware, the Tigers host Rhode Island in their final home game on Nov. 10. Towson concludes the regular season at New Hampshire on Nov. 17.
TIGER TALES: Senior wide receiver Tom Ryan needs only four more receptions to become the 20th player in the history of the Tiger football program with 100 career catches … He enters Saturday’s game with 96 receptions for 1,108 yards and six touchdowns.
Towson and Maine will be meeting for the 11th time in a series that the Black Bears lead by a 6-4 margin … From 1988 to 2010, the Black Bears won five straight games against Towson … This will be the fifth time the teams have played at Towson … Maine is 3-1 in games played at Towson while the teams have split six games in Orono … Towson won the first-ever meeting in 1979, stunning the Black Bears, 13-7 … In 1982, the Tigers came from behind to edge Maine on a Sean Landeta field goal with one second remaining, 35-32 … Towson also pulled out a 17-14 victory in Orono in 1987, the Tigers’ first win as an NCAA Division I-AA (now FCS) program … After the win in 1987, the Tigers did not beat Maine again until their 40-30 victory last season.