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Towson Tigers

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Two Months and Counting Until a Baltimore Champion Begins the 2012 Football Season

Posted on 29 June 2012 by Big Chee

Glancing at the title would cause most of you to be up in arms over the fact that I count the Ravens preseason as the start of the NFL.  Well, you are wrong. Or if you may have thought I was referring to the Dunbar Poets, winners of last year’s Maryland HS 1A Championship, and you would be wrong again. I am referring to my alma mater, Towson University.  The Tigers won the CAA Conference Championship and finished the season 9-3 (7-1 in the CAA).  They are, is back in action on August 30 in Ohio to take on Kent State.

I am well aware, of course, that Towson University is not in Baltimore City, but Baltimore County.  That doesn’t matter to me, nor should it to you.  I consider them to be a Baltimore champion.  If they aren’t already from last season’s success, I foresee the Towson University football program as the area’s premier College football team.  Am I getting a little ahead of myself? One might say yes.  But I think this program is bound to sustain the success and build off the historic year it had last year.

As a student from 2005-2009, I saw a program that looked like it had some promise and gave enough to the fans to have an optimistic vision. Ultimately, it was not ready to compete in the toughest conference in the Football Subdivision (FCS). In ‘05 & ‘06, we were the program was a combined 13-9; not too shabby. Once 2007 came around, however, that is where the ship started to sink for the Tigers. With a preseason Top-25 ranking, Towson was unable to live up to the expectations and went ended up 3-8 on the year. Immediately following the 2007 season, Jermon Bushrod, an NFL Pro-Bowl and Super Bowl Champion tackle for the New Orleans Saints had entered the NFL Draft. 2008, which turned out to be Gordy Combs’ final season as head coach, was even worse. Towson finished 3-9 that year, with only one win coming in conference play.

Combs’ departure paved the way for the Rob Ambrose Era began at Towson in 2008. Everyone involved with or who had the slightest interest in Towson Athletics fell in love with the hire. He was an alumnus, a young guy filled with passion and energy who brought a successful resume along with him from his previous coaching destination at UConn However, the on the field results turned out to be more of the same mediocre play in his initial seasons. In 2009, Towson finished 2-9. Did it get worse? Sure did. In 2010, Towson finished a dismal 1-10, ultimately hitting rock bottom in a program that once projected optimism.

Despite the putrid results, Ambrose remained confident and preached patience to the students and alumni. He was persistent in stating that he was going to turn the program around his way, even if it did take some time. This was obviously not going to be an overnight fix. In 2011, the season following the program’s low spot, his team demonstrated how a cohesive football family should operate.  As it turned out, an overnight fix was just what happened.

Ambrose was named Eddie Robinson FCS Coach of the Year for the one of the greatest turnarounds in FCS History. Running back Terrence West led the FCS with 27 touchdowns, winning the Inaugural Jerry Rice Award for Outstanding Freshman. The Tigers, starting the backup quarterback, competed with the University of Maryland Terrapin’s for three quarters. The hard work and hunger Ambrose instilled in his players couldn’t have been more transparent at this time. The success of the regular season paid off as Towson hosted a home playoff game for the first time in school history against Lehigh. The game, played in front of Johnny Unitas Stadium’s first sellout, resulted in a tragic loss, 40-38. From 1-10 to 9-3, 2011 turned out to be truly a dream season for the team, fans, and Baltimore area.

The purpose of the backstory of the Tigers football program is not to provide a history lesson. There are plenty of sources where one could go for that information. My purpose is to portray my pride as an alumnus and to, most importantly, make the surrounding community aware of the success in preparation for the 2012 season. For being a Football town (well as least as long as the O’s have been cellar dwellers), the greater Baltimore area does not have a significant College Football team to support every Saturday. Being a University with over 20,000 undergraduates, that’s hard to imagine. From first-hand experience living in Federal Hill, I know that our community consists of many Towson grads that are in the beginning stages of their post-college careers.

The ceiling is the sky for Towson University, as far as the growth that it can achieve.. Try to name a better college town than Towson? Coming from New Jersey I can tell you that New Brunswick, Rutgers University’s town, does not compare from an entertainment and aesthetic standpoint to Towson.  How about Temple?  Needless to say, it is surely not in the safest part of Philadelphia. You want to tell me you would prefer going to a College Park scene rather than Towson? I didn’t think so…

If you are a Towson Alum, or simply just a college football fan, make sure you out and go check out Towson Football this year. I’m even going to save you the google search for their schedule. Below is a list of the games that you want to start planning your Saturdays around come this fall:

Saturday, September 15th, William & Mary @ Towson on NBC Sports Network, 12:00 PM

If you are a downtown “Yuppie”, as our older generation likes to call us (at least my Grandparents think it’s still a funny term), this game is for you. Wake up, get some breakfast at THB (if you’re an Alum and you have not been back, it’s five times the size, a site to see) and head over to the Stadium. No better way to start to a Saturday afternoon in the fall.

Saturday, September 22nd, St. Francis (Pa.) @ Towson HOMECOMING 7:00 PM

During last year’s campaign, some of my Towson brethren had mentioned to me that at 25, they felt “too old” to attend Homecoming.…NONSENSE. If Towson wants to reach the big time level of a school like Maryland, every alumnus needs to attend this game. Spend the day grabbing lunch at the new CVPs, get nostalgic by grabbing some drinks after at the Kent, and keep going with the day by taking Jimmy’s Cab over to the Field for a tailgate. I know my Fraternity will be in full force.

Saturday, September 29th, 2012 Towson @ LSU Baton Rouge, La, 8:00 PM

Hey, times are still tough for everyone, especially if you’re a 20 something year old like me who graduated with miscellaneous college debts. If you have some vacation days and want to experience a premier “College Football Atmosphere”, you need to make this trip to Death Valley. It just takes a four day vacation to go support Towson on the biggest stage in its existence. My Fraternity brothers and I are planning two days in New Orleans and the remainder of the trip in Baton Rouge. Speaking of that, I better check the bank account as I will certainly be buying my plane ticket soon!

I do not want to take anything away from the home games against Maine, Old Dominion and Rhode Island, as well as the possibility of a road trip to UDel. But as I get older, I am slowly starting to realize the concept of “planning ahead.” People have weddings to go to in the fall, which in my opinion is a very amateur move during football season. That is exactly why I am writing this column in June, to assist you in planning ahead.

Once again, I am just doing my part as a Towson Alumni. I had the best four years of my life at Towson, my friends and I frequently joke about how many years we would cut off our lives to get a chance to relive those times. This is for the students, the faculty, the alumni, and the community.  Let’s all get back together for the sake of the success of Towson Football. You will not be disappointed.

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Bernard Pierce apologizes to Glenn for 5 TDs vs. Maryland Terps

Posted on 28 April 2012 by WNSTV

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Lance Zierlein says expectations are tempered for Texans with Yates at QB

Posted on 14 January 2012 by WNST Audio

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Billick says Ravens’ training camp decision “makes sense” from business standpoint

Posted on 07 December 2011 by Brian Billick

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Terps Football Tanked

Posted on 01 December 2011 by Tom Federline

Tough first year down there at College Park for Randy Edsall. Even tougher on Terp fans. Two wins  – Towson State (it will always be Towson State to me) and “It sucks to be U” (minus 8 players, 4 starters) Miami. Ten losses –  accented buy numerous collapses.  None worse than the last game of the season, 56 – 41 trouncing by NC State. West Virginia and Clemson were busts. The NC State game was deplorable. Outscored 42 – 0 in the last 20 some minutes, during the last game of the year. Ouch! The  Terps may not have had the talent, but to lose those three games the way they did, is lack of leadership and coaching.

Edsall needs to recruit “his type of player”. Forget that out for now. Bottom line – you are not any type of coach, I do not care at what level, to allow your team  and university to be embarrassed. There are going to be tough weeks. There is going to be that game when you are totally dominated. Unfortunately for Maryland fans, except for the Miami game, Terp football was seemingly dominated the entire year. At times, it appeared as if the University of Maryland was fielding a good High School or Division III football team and throwing them out there on a field with professionals. Fourth quarter came, Terps went south, opponents surged. Edsall and his coaching staff looked like they were a deer in the headlights. And unfortunately that tranferred down to the players.

We can’t discount Edsall yet. Remember they are not “his” players. There were many injuries. There were changes off the field. I’m sure his “disciplined ball player” approach was and is a tough sell. Most of those “student athletes” weren’t ready to go to class, maintain grades and wear ball caps with the brim facing forward. The cream will rise to the top and the thugs will fall. There were positives amongst the majority of negatives: Joe Vellano – ACC First team DT , Demetrius Hartfield – ACC Honorable Mention LB, Matt Furstenburg TE and Davin Megget RB – effort.

 

 Joe Vellano – one the reasons to catch Terp Football next year.

Edsall isn’t going anywhere, he has a nice contract and the buy out would evidently crumble 8 more varsity sports at UMCP. Uh-oh don’t get me started on that one – definately a subject for another blog. We should give Edsall some time – change is not always welcomed at first. But yo, Randall – bag the 300 different uniform color combinations, gain the respect of your players and if you’re not going to get in the faces of those youngsters, then get some coaches with guts who will.

For the naysayers and goofballs calling for Edsalls head already, all I have to say are two names: Mark Duffner and Ron Vanderlinden. Their first years record (2-9), second year (2-9 and 3-8), third year (4-7 and 5-6). Ok, I’ll stop, I’m getting bad chills. I hope down the line, I do not cringe when I hear the name Randall Edsall. After that NC State game, I was doing a little more than cringing. The Terp football coach isn’t the only one having a tough first year. How about that new AD? Man, he’s running tops in my book. The new sherif in town takes out 2 coaching icons, watches one program tank, the other on the brink of bottoming out and then eliminates 8 varsity sports programs due to lack of funds. You go Kevin Anderson – what’s your scam? What’s your fix? Bottom out and build up? That is one approach. Was it self-inflicted or did you inherit the mess? Time will tell.

“With change, you will find purpose.” Randy Edsall should purposely get his act together. Because right now he definately does not have the “Moves Like Jagger” – (Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera). He has done failed round 1. I believe he has 4 rounds left. Personally, I’m still wondering what happened with Mike Leach? Now there’s “old school”. I’m not one for the “passive” approach. Was hoping Terps would hire Mr. No Nonsense Texas Tech.

Tough to be a Terp sports fan at the moment. But let’s end with postives: Womens Field Hockey, Womens Basketball, Mens Wrestling………………. and don’t forget mens/womens swimming, track and field, mens tennis, etc. whoops there’s that subject for another blog again. Terpland in need of help. Come on Turgeon – another uphill battle.

D.I.Y.

Fedman

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NFL.com Analyst Bucky Brooks Talks Playing for Randy Edsall

Posted on 01 December 2011 by WNST Staff

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Watch Calvert Hall and Gilman here now…

Posted on 07 October 2011 by WNST Staff

For you high school football lovers, WNST proudly presents Gilman and Calvert Hall battling in a Baltimore classic today:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFiQ4x9kxws[/youtube]

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The Roar Has Been Restored At Towson

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The Roar Has Been Restored At Towson

Posted on 06 October 2011 by John Collingsworth

 For those who have not been following the Towson football team this season, you are missing something special. With the Tigers currently 3-1 and ranked 25th in the NCAA FCS, they are turning heads in the Colonial Athletic Asscoiation and head coach Rob Ambrose has his squad ready to make a run at the conference title this year.

With eight teams ranked in the CAA, No. 6 New Hampshire, No. 7 James Madison, No. 9 William & Mary, No. 13 Delaware, No. 14 Richmond, No. 19 Maine and No. 21 Old Dominion, Ambrose explained he is not shocked by the amount of teams in the Top 25.

“It’s no surprise that eight CAA teams are ranked,” says Ambrose, in his third season as the Tigers’ head coach. “This conference is so incredibly tough. When we do the pre-season rankings, it is very hard because every team is good.”

However before you read any further, here is a quick glance of the final offensive stats from a game the Tigers recently played…

First Downs-

Towson 21

Opponent 20

Passing Yards (Net)-

Towson 217

Opponent 137

Total Offense Plays/ Yards-

Towson 72/ 378

Opponent 61/ 335

Possession Time-

Towson 35:39

Opponent 24:21

The opponent Towson faced was Maryland this past Saturday. The Tigers offense was firing on all cylinders, however they could not quite put the ball through the posts or in the end zone and the final score ended up being 28-3 Maryland.

“Yeah, it was a great learning experience for us. The kids understand a hell of a lot more about themselves. This is a returning 9-win team [Maryland] from the ACC and at halftime we had run 40 some plays of offense for about 250 yards and they had run about 20,” head coach Ambrose said after Towson was defeated by Maryland.

For those of you who have not seen the Tigers in action, well you should. They are an exciting squad to watch with a potent offense and tantalizing defense. Offensive stars Grant Enders and Tyler Wharton have propelled the Tigers to a phenomenal start along with stellar defense from Jordan Dangerfield and Frank Beltre.

This Saturday, the nationally ranked Richmond Spiders, No. 14, will travel to Johnny Unitas Stadium to take on the Towson Tigers, No. 25, with a kickoff scheduled for 7:30pm. This is the first game the Tigers have played where both teams have been ranked since 2007 when they faced Massachusetts.

The Tigers look to extend their home winning streak of three as they have dominated every home game this season so far by outscoring their opponents 115-30.

The Towson defense is one of the best in the nation and CAA. Leading the conference in allowed points per game with 14.5, which is also 3rd in the nation, and pass defense, 135.2 yards per game has propelled Towson to its winning start.

Sidelined with a concussion last Saturday against Maryland, the Tigers starting quarterback, Grant Enders, looks to return to his position under center against Richmond. Enders has completed 44 of 60 passes for 527 yards with 5 TD passes. He is 4th in the nation with a 167.9 passer rating, which also leads the CAA.

The Towson Tigers are pursuing their 4th consecutive home win, a feat not accomplished since 2003, against Richmond, which the Tigers have not defeated since 2007.

Tune in LIVE at 6pm Saturday, October 8th on WNST AM 1570 and WNST.net as Spiro Morekas and Ron Meehan kickoff the pregame show from Johnny Unitas Stadium. Keep on listening as the Towson Tigers take on the Richmond Spiders at 7:30!

Remember every Thursday at 6pm, join Spiro Morekas and Damon Lewis as they host ‘Tiger Talk’ LIVE from Bill Batemans in Towson and hear it on WNST AM 1570 and WNST.net

 

 

 

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Bring on the football regular season already!

Posted on 30 August 2011 by ddinkin

It just isn’t fair that we have to continually suffer through the Orioles season in order to get to the Ravens.  I love the Orioles but they (read: Angelos) clearly doesn’t love me.

It aggravates the cr*p out of me that my relatives in Atlanta and Denver have teams that compete year-round and we are forced to spend the summer watching yet another “drowning victim” of a baseball season.

This year started off worse than usual.  They had a strong opening – as they often do.  But they began to tank much earlier this year than normal.  Really?!  Who did we piss off to deserve this?

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Team Needs: Washington Redskins

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Brian Billick

When Mike Shanahan took over the Washington Redskins last year, this couldn’t have been what he had in mind.

With a top ten defense and the presence of an elite quarterback in Donavan McNabb, the Redskins were sure to improve their 27th ranked rushing attack.  Shanahan alone, whose teams have historically run the ball well, was sure to produce better numbers.

Now, a year later, they are 30th in the NFL in rushing, 31st in total defense, and most likely absent of that elite quarterback presence.

From my perspective they will need to address the quarterback, wide receiver, and offensive line positions sometime this offseason.  Picking tenth in April’s draft will give Washington plenty of options.

Defensively, they have added O.J. Atogwe via free agency and if they can keep Carlos Rogers, their first round pick in 2005, that should improve the secondary and the 31st ranked pass defense in the league.

2009 first round choice, Brian Orakpo is already of Pro-Bowl caliber, but they could use another rush presence at outside linebacker to fit in Jim Haslett’s version of the 34 defense.

If Maake Kemoeatu returns fully healthy that will help to firm up the nose tackle position, but getting depth in the draft wouldn’t hurt.  I not even going to attempt to predict or pretend to know what will happen with Albert Haynesworth.

Coach Shanahan has said the tight end is the only position on the team he has total confidence.  So that appears to be the only position that is not an option in the draft.

Washington does get a break after facing the tough AFC East in their out of conference schedule, then they pick up the NFC West, Minnesota and Carolina in their out of division games.

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