Tag Archive | "Grant Enders"

Harbaugh looking forward to seeing McKinnie go to work

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Harbaugh looking forward to seeing McKinnie go to work

Posted on 05 May 2013 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — On the day when the Ravens were wrapping up their mandatory rookie minicamp, coach John Harbaugh answered questions about the return of his starting left tackle and oldest player on the roster.

After agreeing to a two-year deal worth a maximum of $7 million to remain in Baltimore on Thursday, Bryant McKinnie, 33, is expected to come to town this week to finalize the contract and begin offseason workouts. His return means the Ravens have now retained four of five starters from their Super Bowl XLVII offensive line, with only 15-year veteran Matt Birk departing due to retirement.

The Ravens had publicly entertained thoughts of moving second-year lineman Kelechi Osemele to left tackle, but a new contract for McKinnie means Baltimore can keep Osemele at left guard, solidifying another position that would have been a question mark had the 2012 second-round pick made the position change.

“Having Bryant back is a big plus for us. We were hoping that would be the case,” Harbaugh said. “I’m looking forward to seeing him next week and getting him in here and going to work. We want our line to be as strong as it can possibly be and that makes us stronger.”

Harbaugh, run-game coordinator Juan Castillo, and other members of the organization kept in touch with McKinnie throughout the offseason, even when it appeared they had little interest in bringing back the 2002 first-round pick. The Ravens’ involvement in negotiating with McKinnie spiked after they were unable to come away with a left tackle of the future in last weekend’s draft and saw San Diego and Miami make contract offers to his agent Michael George.

Asked if he’s been pleased with what McKinnie has told him in terms of his activity and conditioning level this offseason, Harbaugh spoke in generic terms since he hasn’t seen the left tackle since the end of last season. Specific details of McKinnie’s deal hadn’t been reported as of Sunday afternoon, but it’s believed there will be some incentives related to workouts and playing time.

There was plenty of speculation that McKinnie found his way into Harbaugh’s doghouse last season as he didn’t start a game until the playoffs, but the Baltimore coach reached out to the 354-pound lineman earlier this offseason to make it known that he wanted McKinnie to stay with the Ravens in 2013.

“I’m always pleased with conversations with Bryant McKinnie,” Harbaugh said. “I enjoy talking to Bryant. He’s one of my favorite guys. He’s a sterling conversationalist. We talk a lot about stuff, a lot of different things — a broad range of topics. I always enjoy that. I think he does as well.”

Spagnuolo’s role a work in progress

Sunday marked the first time Harbaugh commented publicly on the hiring of former St. Louis Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo as a senior defensive assistant, and it appears his role will remain fluid as the offseason moves into training camp and the start of the regular season.

The pair spent seven seasons working together as assistants for the Philadelphia Eagles before Spagnuolo moved on to become the defensive coordinator of the New York Giants and ultimately the head coach in St. Louis from 2009 through 2011. Spagnuolo spent last season as the defensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints but was fired after his unit finished last in yards allowed and 31st in points surrendered.

“His accomplishments speak for themselves. I think it adds to an already very strong staff and just makes us that much better,” Harbaugh said. “The more great coaches and great players that we can build into what we’re doing, the better we’re going to be. He’ll build into the defensive side, he’ll assist where needed, and I think we’ll build that in as we go. He can really work with any position, so it’s a big plus for us.”

Given the 53-year-old Spagnuolo’s impressive resume aside from working with an overmatched New Orleans defense a year ago, it will be interesting to see how closely he works with defensive coordinator Dean Pees and whether his longstanding relationship with Harbaugh may put him in line to be the eventual replacement for the 63-year-old.

Elam impresses early

Sunday offered the media’s first glimpse at first-round safety Matt Elam in a Ravens uniform and the University of Florida product didn’t disappoint, showing good speed and nearly picking off a pass during 11-on-11 drills.

Harbaugh even pointed to some of the leadership traits Elam exuded with the Gators that already were carrying over to the practice field in Owings Mills this weekend.

“Matt really picked things up quickly. He really did a nice job of communicating in the back end, which is not usual for a rookie,” Harbaugh said. “Most rookie defensive backs — even all defensive players — have a tough time with the communication part of it because they’re not confident enough to make the calls. He’s smart. He picked it up quickly, he jumped right back there and made the calls with force and played fast. He looked good.”

Odds & ends

Sunday featured an impressive moment for the Towson Tigers football program as quarterback Grant Enders — invited to try out this weekend — connected with wide receiver Gerrard Sheppard on the final play of Sunday’s practice. However, Enders was also the quarterback nearly picked off by Elam in 11-on-11 drills. “Enders and Sheppard looked really good in this camp,” Harbaugh said. “They are NFL-quality guys.” … Former Maryland tight end Matt Furstenburg caught a touchdown from University of Pittsburgh quarterback Tino Sunseri, who also tried out this weekend. … Second-round linebacker Arthur Brown of Kansas State showed impressive quickness dropping into coverage and blanketed running backs and tight ends running routes on a handful of plays. … Harbaugh said the Ravens are interested in bringing in another kicker who can handle punting and placekicking duties to share reps with kicker Justin Tucker and punter Sam Koch during training camp.

 

 

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Former Towson players look to impress scouts at Pro Day Tuesday

Posted on 12 March 2013 by WNST Staff

TIGER FOOTBALL HOSTS PRO DAY ON TUESDAY

NFL Scouts To Visit Campus To Evaluate Tiger Seniors

TOWSON, Md. – Members of the Towson University football team will be demonstrating their athletics skills and showing off their potential when National Football League scouts visit campus for the Tigers’ annual “Pro Day” on Tuesday, March 12 starting at 2:00 p.m.

The Pro Day activities will begin in the weight room in the Towson Center at 2:00 p.m. From there, the scouts and players will move to the playing field at Johnny Unitas® Stadium for additional tests and drills.

A contingent of seven Tiger seniors will receive most of the attention from the NFL scouts. All-Americans Jordan Dangerfield (Royal Palm Beach H.S./Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and Frank Beltre (Randolph H.S./Randolph, N.J.) will be getting long looks from the scouts. A second team All-American safety, Dangerfield was a three-year starter for the Tigers who made 258 tackles in his career. He was also named to the All-Colonial Athletic Association first team twice.

A three-year starter at defensive end, Beltre earned honorable mention All-American notice as a senior.  A three-time All-CAA selection, he finished his career with 232 tackles, including 38 tackles for lost yardage and 11 sacks.

Defensive end Romale Tucker (Cardozo H.S./Washington, D.C.), a four-year starter who earned third team All-CAA honors as a senior, will also participate. Tucker made 191 tackles in his career, including 25.5 tackles for lost yardage and 10 sacks. He also forced four fumbles and recovered two in his career.

Dangerfield, Beltre and Tucker were all part of a Tiger defensive unit that lead the CAA by allowing 313.2 total yards per game.

Scouts will also be evaluating four offensive standouts from a Towson unit that averaged 31.9 points per game last season. A second team All-CAA selection at quarterback, Grant Enders (Old Mill H.S./Millersville, Md.) was a two-year starter for the Tigers who led Towson to a 16-6 record and two CAA championships. In his career, he passed for 4,413 yards and 35 touchdowns with only 16 interceptions. He also rushed for 1,002 yards in 22 games.

Wide receivers Tom Ryan (Father Judge H.S./Philadelphia, Pa.) and Gerrard Sheppard (McDonough H.S./Owings Mills, Md.) are also scheduled to participate. In his career, Ryan caught 127 passes for 1,528 yards and eight touchdowns. As a senior, he earned third team All-CAA notice. A transfer from the University of Connecticut, Sheppard caught 52 passes for 584 and five TD’s in his career.

Versatile Cody Kirby (Kent Island H.S./Chester, Md.) will also be evaluated. A three-year performer for the Tigers, he saw action at tackle, long snapper and tight end for the Tigers. In his career, he caught 10 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns.

“We are very excited about having a Pro Day with so many teams coming on campus,” says Coach Rob Ambrose. “This is another indication of the growth of our program. Since the end of our season, every NFL team has sent someone to campus to look at film. They know we have players who should be evaluated.”

Beltre, Dangerfield, Enders, Kirby, Ryan, Sheppard and Tucker were key parts of the dramatic turnaround of Tiger football. In the last two seasons, Towson posted a 16-7 record, including a 16-4 mark against NCAA FCS opponents. The Tigers, who won the 2011 CAA championship outright, were CAA co-champions last year. Towson has a 13-3 record against CAA opponents the last two years.

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Towson RB West receives All-American honor

Posted on 29 November 2012 by WNST Staff

TERRANCE WEST NAMED AS 3rd TEAM ALL-AMERICAN
Tiger Running Back Honored By College Sports Madness

TOWSON, Md. – 
Sophomore running back Terrance West (Northwestern H.S./Baltimore, Md.) of Towson University has been named as a third team All-American by College Sports Madness, a web site that covers FCS football.

A two-time All-Colonial Athletic Association first team selection, West was the only member of the Tigers’ football team to earn All-America honors from College Sports Madness.

The leading rusher in the CAA. West ran for 1,046 yards in 10 games, a 104.6 average. He had 1,046 yards on 195 carries, an average of 5.4 yards per carry. He also led the CAA by scoring 15 touchdowns, including 14 rushing touchdowns. West, who also caught five passes for 102 yards and a touchdown, was fourth in the CAA with 114.8 all-purpose yards per game.

It marked the second year in a row that West led the CAA in touchdowns.

Honored as the winner of the Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman in NCAA FCS last season, West is already the fifth-leading rusher in Towson football history. In 21 career games, he has rushed for 2,340 yards on 389 carries, a 6.0 average. He has run for more than 100 yards in 11 games and has scored 44 career touchdowns, including 43 rushing TD’s. He needs on three more touchdowns to tie the Towson career record set by Jason Corle, ’01.

As a sophomore, West led the No. 15 Tigers to a share of the Colonial Athletic Association championship and a 7-4 record. Towson became the first school in five years to win back-to-back CAA titles.

He earned first team All-America honors from the Walter Camp Foundation as a freshman after rushing for 1,294 yards on 194 carries while scoring an NCAA FCS-leading 29 touchdowns.

West capped off his sophomore season by rushing for 236 yards on only 19 carries while scoring a pair of touchdowns in a 64-35 victory over No. 7 New Hampshire, a win that earned Towson a share of the CAA championship. West was honored as the CAA Offensive Player of the Week after the victory, marking the third time in his career he earned the award.

It was West’s sixth multi-touchdown game of the season and the 14th multi-TD game of his career.

West also played well at No. 19 Villanova as he led the Tigers to a 49-35 victory. In the win over the Wildcats, he rushed for 144 yards on 23 carries with two touchdowns. He also caught the first touchdown pass of his career, a 78-yard toss from senior quarterback Grant Enders (Old Mill H.S./Millersville, Md.).

In 34-27 overtime win at Delaware the following week, West ran for 113 yards on 30 carries and scored two touchdowns, including the game-winner in overtime. He also ran for 153 yards on 27 carries in a win over William and Mary and picked up 112 yards on 28 carries at James Madison.

In the Tigers’ upset bid at Louisiana State, West rushed for 79 yards on 22 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns.

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Ambrose says Towson didn’t need “NCAA Board Room” validation

Posted on 18 November 2012 by WNST Staff

CAA CO-CHAMPION TIGERS OVERLOOKED BY NCAA

Tigers Not Chosen For NCAA FCS Playoffs

TOWSON, Md. – Although Towson University finished the regular season with four consecutive victories and earned a share of the Colonial Athletic Association championship, the Tigers were not selected to play in the NCAA FCS playoffs. The NCAA announced its 20-team field on Sunday afternoon.

The Tigers, who finished the season with a 7-4 record and went 6-2 in the CAA, assembled in their locker room to watch the NCAA selection show. They sat in stunned silence when they learned that Towson was not selected.

“I can’t think of any time when I’ve been more disappointed,” said Towson Coach Rob Ambrose. “These players deserve better than this and they earned the right to play in the NCAA post-season again.

“These guys are champions,” Ambrose added. “We don’t need some people sitting in an NCAA Board Room to validate us. The goal should be to have the best 20 teams competing for the championship.”

The Tigers, who shared the CAA title with New Hampshire (8-3, 6-2), Villanova (8-3, 6-2) and Richmond (8-3, 6-2), were seeking their second straight appearance in the NCAA FCS playoffs. UNH and Villanova were selected to advance to the post-season while Towson and Richmond were overlooked.

In the final four weeks of the season, Towson posted convincing wins over Villanova (49-35) and New Hampshire (64-35). When Towson handed UNH a decisive 64-35 in the regular season finale on Saturday, it seemed like the Tigers had played their way into the NCAA FCS playoff field.

Over the last two seasons, Towson has posted a 13-3 record in CAA games and has won seven of eight CAA road games.

The Tigers also played the third-toughest schedule in FCS football, a slate that included losses to a pair of NCAA FBS teams that are having very good seasons, Louisiana State and Kent State.

Towson loses 14 seniors from this year’s team, including wide receiver Erron Banks (Bound Brook H.S./Bound Brook, N.J.), defensive end Frank Beltre (Randolph H.S./Randolph, N.J.), wide receiver Alex Blake (Friendly H.S./Fort Washington, Md.),  linebacker Brian Boateng (Gaithersburg H.S./Burtonsville, Md.), running back Dominique Booker (Hermitage H.S./Richmond, Va.), defensive end Ben Chroniger (DeMatha H.S./Crofton, Md.), safety Jordan Dangerfield (Royal Palm Beach H.S./Royal Palm Beach, Fla.), quarterback Grant Enders (Old Mill H.S./Millersville, Md.), tight end Cory Kirby (Kent Island H.S./Chester, Md.), defensive tackle Matt Morgan (Horseheads H.S./Horseheads, N.Y.), linebacker Nick Ranko (Foxborough H.S./Foxborough, Mass.), wide receiver Tom Ryan (Father Judge H.S./Philadelphia, Pa.), wide receiver Gerrard Sheppard (McDonogh H.S./Owings Mills, Md.) and defensive end Romale Tucker (Ballou H.S./Washington, D.C.).

Beltre and Dangerfield were All-American performers while Enders was a two-year starter at quarterback. He posted an impressive 16-6 record as the Towson signal-caller.

“These players will always be special to this program,” said Ambrose. “They changed the culture around here and brought respect to this football program.”

TIGER TALES:  In their season-ending four-game winning streak, the Tigers outscored their opponents by a 188-107 margin … In the last four contests, Towson averaged 525.5 yards of total offense per game while allowing 332.2 yards per game … Towson led the CAA in total defense, allowing 313.2 yards per contest.

In their four-game winning streak, the Tigers had a plus-five turnover ratio … Towson turned the ball over only once in the final four games of the year … Towson’s four-game winning streak is their longest winning streak since 2006 when the Tigers opened the season with four wins in a row.

 

– TowsonTigers.com –

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Title hopes at stake as Towson visits New Hampshire Saturday

Posted on 16 November 2012 by WNST Staff

DURHAM, N.H. - Riding a three-game winning streak, the Tigers will be seeking to stake their claim to a share of the Colonial Athletic Association championship when they visit Cowell Stadium to face CAA co-leader New Hampshire …A Tiger win over UNH would throw the entire CAA into a mad scramble because it would create the possibility of a six-way tie for first place in the CAA … Wins by Towson over UNH, James Madison over Old Dominion, Richmond over William & Mary and Villanova over Delaware would leave Towson, UNH, JMU, Richmond and Villanova all tied for first place at 6-2 and would force the utilization of a tie-breaker scenario.

For Towson to have its best shot at its second straight CAA championship, the Tigers would like a three-way tie with New Hampshire and Villanova because Towson would hold the tie-breaker over both teams.

The Tigers, who are the defending CAA champions, have won 12 of their last 15 CAA games … Towson was 7-1 in 2011 and has a 5-2 record this year … From 2007 to 2010, the Tigers were 3-29 in CAA games.

Towson is also seeking its second straight appearance in the NCAA FCS playoffs … Last year, the Tigers earned the CAA’s automatic bid as conference champion … Towson earned a first-round bye and dropped a 40-38 heartbreaker to Lehigh in the second round of the playoffs before a sellout crowd at Unitas Stadium.

TIGERS vs. NEW HAMPSHIRE:
Towson and New Hampshire are meeting for the ninth time in a series that began in 1980 … UNH has a 7-1 series lead and didn’t lose a game to the Tigers until last year.

The two teams first met in 1980 when Towson was a Division II program … UNH won that contest, 10-6 despite a 51-yard field goal by future NFL All-Pro punter Sean Landeta … In 1981, Towson and New Hampshire met in Durham and the Wildcats pulled out a 31-29 victory … The teams did not meet again until 2004 when they were conference rivals … In seven games as conference rivals, UNH has averaged 43.3 points per game … In conference games, their average margin of victory has been 29.3 points … UNH has a 4-0 record at home against Towson.

On its way to its first CAA championship last season, the Tigers finally beat UNH for the first time ever, handing the Wildcats a 56-42 loss at Unitas Stadium … The two teams combined for 98 points and 1,128 total yards.

ROAD WARRIORS:
The Tigers, who are seeking their first-ever win at Cowell Stadium, have been a very good road team the last two seasons … In fact, Towson has won six of its last seven CAA road games … In 2011, Towson earned CAA road wins at No. 17 Old Dominion (39-35), No. 14 William & Mary (38-27), No. 7 Maine (40-30) and Rhode Island (28-17) … Towson has a 2-1 CAA road record this year … On Oct. 6, the Tigers lost at No. 5 James Madison (13-10) … But, Towson bounced back with a 49-35 win at No. 19 Villanova and a 34-27 overtime victory at No. 23 Delaware one week later.

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Towson FB Holder named CAA Rookie of the Week

Posted on 05 November 2012 by WNST Staff

EMMANUEL HOLDER NAMED AS CAA ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Freshman Fullback Scored First Two Collegiate Touchdowns In Win At Delaware
RICHMOND, Va. – Freshman fullback Emmanuel Holder (Calvert Hall H.S./Baltimore, Md.) of Towson University has been named as the Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Week for the week ending Nov. 3, it has been announced by CAA officials.

Holder was honored for his role in Towson’s 34-27 overtime victory at Delaware on Saturday afternoon.

In the win at Delaware, Holder caught three passes for 36 yards and scored the first two touchdowns of his college career.

Holder, who had caught only two passes for 21 yards in the Tigers’ first eight games, gave the Tigers a 14-7 lead in the second quarter at Delaware when he caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Grant Enders (Old Mill H.S./Millersville, Md.) on a fourth-and-one play. He caught a swing pass on the left side and followed a block by junior tight end James Oboh (Sherwood H.S./Olney, Md.) to score the first touchdown of his career.

With 44 seconds remaining in regulation, Holder caught a two-yard touchdown pass on third-and-goal, giving the Tigers a 27-24 lead. After the Blue Hens sent the game into overtime, Towson pulled out a 34-27 victory.

“I am so happy for Emmanuel,” said Towson Coach Rob Ambrose. “Playing in this league as a first-year freshman is a challenge in itself. But one can’t help but smile for him to have such an impact in such an important game. I feel very good about our future at the fullback position.”

Holder is the first Tiger football player to be named as the CAA Rookie of the Week this season. Last year, Terrance West (Northwestern H.S./Baltimore, Md.) was honored four times while cornerback Tye Smith (Wakefield H.S./Raleigh, N.C.) picked up the award once.

Ranked 17th in NCAA FCS this week, the Tigers put their two-game winning streak on the line on Saturday, Nov. 10 when they host the University of Rhode Island at Minnegan Field at Johnny Unitas® Stadium at 3:30 p.m. Towson has a 5-4 overall record and is tied for fourth in the CAA with a 4-2 record.
 
– TowsonTigers.com –

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Towson visits Delaware in key CAA tilt Saturday

Posted on 02 November 2012 by WNST Staff

NEWARK, Del. – Facing a nationally-ranked Colonial Athletic Association opponent on the road for the second consecutive week, the No. 19 Tigers (4-4, 3-2) will face No. 23 University of Delaware (5-3, 2-3) on Saturday, November 3 at Tubby Raymond Field at Delaware Stadium at 12 noon.

The game will be nationally-televised on the NBC Sports Network with Ari Wolff and Anthony Herron calling the action while Carolyn Manno is the sideline reporter. The game will also be aired on the Tigers’ web site,www.TowsonTigers.com with Spiro Morekas and Ron Meehan handling the broadcast. The Tigers’ internet broadcast also features a one-hour pre-game show.

When the No. 19 Tigers face No. 23 Delaware, it will mark Towson’s fourth game of the season against a nationally-ranked NCAA FCS program. According to the NCAA, Towson is playing the fourth-toughest schedule of any FCS program. The Tigers have played two NCAA FBS programs, Kent State (6-1) and Louisiana State (8-1), in addition to their tough FCS slate.

Towson is coming off its best game of the season, a 49-35 victory over CAA co-leader Villanova last week on the road. In the victory, the Tigers rolled up a seasonal high 590 yards of total offense. Sophomore Terrance West,the Pre-Season CAA Offensive Player of the Year, had his best game of the season at Villanova. He ran for 144 yards on 23 carries and scored two rushing touchdowns. West also gave Towson a 21-7 first quarter lead when he caught a 78-yard touchdown pass.

In seven games this season, West has scored 11 touchdowns, including 10 rushing TD’s. Only a sophomore, West has scored 40 touchdowns in 18 career games.

Senior quarterback Grant Enders, the CAA Offensive Player of the Week, has been the catalyst for the Tigers’ offense. Enders has become the best two-way threat that the Tigers have ever had at quarterback. He ranks third in the CAA in total offense, averaging 275.8 yards per game. As a passer, he has completed 148 of 235 passes for 1,689 yards and 11 touchdowns. He is fourth in the CAA, averaging 208.6 passing yards per game. He is also the ninth-leading rusher in the CAA with 537 yards on 74 carries and four touchdowns.

Enders has already set the Towson single season record for rushing yards by a quarterback and he also holds the career record for rushing yards by a quarterback (924). He needs 76 more yards to become the first Tiger quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards in his career.

In the win over Villanova, Enders had a career high 391 yards of total offense. In addition to passing for 269 yards and a career high four touchdowns, he also ran for a career best 122 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown.

Saturday’s game matches two of the top defenses in the CAA. Towson leads the CAA in total defense (308.0 yards per game) and pass defense (164.2 yards per game). Meanwhile, the Blue Hens are first in the CAA in rushing defense (115.2 ypg) and rank third in scoring defense (21.8 ppg).

Towson and Delaware are meeting for the 14th time in a series that started in 1982 when the Tigers were a nationally-ranked NCAA Division II program. The Blue Hens own a 9-4 lead in the series and have won five games in a row against Towson. Last season, Delaware handed Towson a 35-30 loss at Johnny Unitas® Stadium. It was Towson’s only conference loss en route to the CAA championship.

 “Delaware has been doing things the right way for a long time,” says Towson Coach Rob Ambrose. “Over the last few years, we have been striving to cut down the difference between our two programs. It’s an emotional game, partly because of the geography of the two schools. Our players know their players and their players know our players. Both schools recruit the same areas, for student-athletes as well as regular students.

“To win this game, I feel we are going to have to establish our running game,” Ambrose admits. “Delaware has a big, strong, veteran defensive line and it is going to be a challenge for us.”

Junior linebacker Monte Gaddis leads the Tiger defense. In eight games this season, he has made 62 tackles and ranks seventh in the CAA. With 10.5 tackles for lost yardage, he is second in the CAA behind freshman linebacker Jeff Williams of Delaware. Williams has made 12 tackles for lost yardage.

Senior safety Jordan Dangerfield and sophomore cornerback Tye Smith have also played well for the Tigers’ defense. A pre-season All-American, Dangerfield has 52 tackles and ranks eighth among CAA defensive backs. Smith has 51 tackles, ninth among CAA defensive backs.

Led by senior defensive end Romale Tucker, the Tigers top the CAA in quarterback sacks with 25 sacks. Those 25 sacks have been divided up among 11 different players. While Tucker has four sacks in seven games, senior defensive end Frank Beltre and Gaddis have four sacks in eight games.

This will be 10th time that Towson and Delaware have played at Delaware Stadium. The Blue Hens have won six of the nine previous games in Newark. The Tigers posted wins in 1983 (13-4), 1993 (32-30) and 2006 (49-35) while Delaware beat Towson in 1982 (51-7), 1984 (56-23), 1992 (55-27), 2004 (21-17), 2008 (31-21) and 2010 (48-0).

The Tigers, who were 4-0 in CAA road games last season, are 1-1 in CAA road games this year. Towson lost to James Madison on Oct. 6 (13-10) before beating Villanova last week.

Dating back to last season, Towson has won 10 of its last 13 CAA games.

After the Tigers’ trip to Delaware, they return to Unitas Stadium for their home finale against Rhode Island at 3:30 p.m.

TIGER TALES:  This week’s game will be Towson’s sixth appearance in a televised game this season … Previously, the Tigers made two appearances on NBC SportsNet, beating William & Mary and losing at James Madison … Towson’s season-opening loss at Kent State was televised on Comcast SportsNet-Plus … When Towson played at Louisiana State, the game was aired nationally on ESPNU … The Towson-Villanova game was aired on Comcast Mid-Atlantic.

The Tigers have done an excellent job controlling the time of possession this season … In their first eight games of the season, the Tigers have controlled the time of possession seven times … While averaging 33:29 in time of possession, Towson ranks sixth in NCAA FCS in time of possession … National champion North Dakota State leads FCS football in time of possession at 35:44 per game … Montana State (34:23) is second while Liberty (34:20) is third … Eastern Kentucky is fourth at 34:04, just ahead of San Diego (33:54)  … For the season, Towson has 178 first downs while its opponents have 142 … The Tigers have 3,354 total yards while allowing 2,464 total yards … Towson has run 554 plays while its opponents have run 496 offensive plays.

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Towson QB Enders picks up CAA weekly honor

Posted on 29 October 2012 by WNST Staff

GRANT ENDERS NAMED AS CAA OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Senior Quarterback Led Tigers to 49-35 Win At Villanova With 391 Yards Of Total Offense

RICHMOND, Va. – Senior quarterback Grant Enders (Old Mill H.S./Millersville, Md.) of Towson University has been named as the Colonial Athletic Association Offensive Player of the Week for the week ending Oct. 27, it has been announced by CAA officials.

A second-year starter for the nationally-ranked Tigers, Enders earned the award for the third time in his career by leading the Tigers to a 49-35 victory over CAA co-leader Villanova on Saturday.

In 2011, he was named as the CAA Offensive Player of the Week after leading Towson to wins over Morgan State and Old Dominion.

Against Villanova, Enders directed an offense that scored 49 points and rolled up 590 total yards. It was the most points allowed by the Wildcats in a game in eight years while Towson’s 590 yards were the most for the Tigers since 2006.

Enders helped the Tigers build a 35-28 halftime lead as he threw a career high four touchdown passes before intermission. In the first half, he threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to senior Tom Ryan (Father Judge H.S./Philadelphia, Pa.), a career long 78-yard TD pass to sophomore Terrance West (Northwestern H.S./Baltimore, Md.), a 14-yard touchdown pass to sophomore tight end Daniel Vaughan (Oscar F. Smith H.S./Chesapeake, Va.) and an 11-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Spencer Wilkins (Mount Hebron H.S./Ellicott City, Md.) with two seconds left in the half.

With the score tied at 28-28 and 2:57 remaining in the half, Enders directed a 73-yard, 12-play drive that enabled the Tigers to take a lead at halftime.

Enders accumulated a career high 391 yards of total offense against the Wildcats. He completed 16 of 28 passes for 269 yards and four touchdowns. He also beat the Wildcats with his legs by running for a career high 122 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown. With 2:32 left in the third quarter, Enders ran for a 40-yard touchdown that gave Towson a 49-35 lead.

In the fourth quarter, he directed a ball-control offense which used up 10:59 of the fourth quarter.

Enders is third in the CAA with an average of 275.8 yards of total offense per game. In eight games, he has completed 148 of 235 passes for 1,669 yards and 11 touchdowns with eight interceptions. He ranks fourth in the CAA in passing average.

With 537 yards on 74 carries and four touchdowns, he is the ninth-leading rusher in the CAA. His 537 yards is a Towson single season record for quarterbacks. With 924 rushing yards on 165 carries in his career, Enders needs only 76 rushing
yards to become the first quarterback in Towson history to rush for 1,000 yards.

“He is an incredibly efficient quarterback,” says Coach Rob Ambrose. “As well as he understands the offense, he understands his teammates better. Grant is an excellent team leader and he is very strong. He has a quick release and he is very accurate. One of the most surprising things about him is that he is much faster than he looks.”

The Tigers, who are 4-4 overall and 3-2 in the CAA, return to action on Saturday, Nov. 3 at Delaware at 12 noon.

– TowsonTigers.com –

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Powerful ODU visits Towson Saturday night

Posted on 19 October 2012 by WNST Staff

TOWSON, Md. – Coming off a 24-19 victory over the University of Maine, Coach Rob Ambrose and the Tiger football team will host explosive Old Dominion University (5-1, 2-1) at Minnegan Field at Johnny Unitas® Stadium in a Colonial Athletic Association game on Saturday night, October 20 at 7:00 p.m.

Another large crowd is expected at Unitas Stadium as Towson University celebrates T-Club Night. Saturday night’s game will also be the Tigers’ “Black Out” game with fans encouraged to wear black to support the Tigers.

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.

Towson and ODU will be meeting for the second time on Saturday night. A relatively-new program, ODU is starting its fifth season as a varsity program. Under the direction of Coach Bobby Wilder, ODU has compiled an impressive 32-9 record.

Saturday night’s game is a matchup of the top passing team in NCAA FCS against one of the top defensive teams in FCS. Led by sophomore quarterback Taylor Heinicke, ODU averages an amazing 49.2 points per game. Heinicke leads the nation by averaging 420 passing yards per game. He has completed 185 of 277 passes for 2,520 yards with 23 touchdown passes and only seven interceptions. Senior Nick Mayers is ODU’s top receiver with 30 receptions for 585 yards and eight touchdowns while sophomore Antonio Vaughan has 29 catches for 436 yards and four TD’s.

ODU opened its season with five consecutive wins. After wins over Duquesne (57-23), Hampton (45-7) and Campbell (70-14), the Monarchs came from behind to edge New Hampshire, 64-61. In the win over UNH, Heinicke passed for an NCAA record 730 yards.  After a 45-37 win over Richmond, ODU was upset by Villanova last week, 38-14.

While facing one of the toughest schedules in FCS football, the Tigers have a 3-3 record. Among their losses are setbacks to a pair of FBS teams, Kent State and Louisiana State. Those two teams have a combined record of 11-2.

“I like the way we are playing right now,” says Coach Ambrose, the Tigers’ fourth-year coach. “Against Maine, we had a much better team effort in all three aspects of the game. We re-focused last week and came out with a good result. We did throw the ball more than usual but that was due to Maine. They came in here wanting to stop the run so we took advantage of the chances to throw.”

Towson counters with one of the top defensive units in NCAA FCS.. After six games, the Tigers are ranked second in the nation in pass defense, allowing 139 yards per game. Allowing 285.3 total yards per game, the Tigers are ranked fifth in the nation in total defense. Towson also leads the CAA in total defense.

“The best thing about our defense is that we have a team approach,” says Ambrose. “Everyone is playing together and working hard. They are doing a very good job.”

Five different Tigers have made at least 30 tackles this season. Sophomore cornerback Tye Smith leads the Tigers with 39 tackles and four pass breakups while junior linebacker Monte Gaddis is second on the team with 38 tackles, including 6.5 tackles for lost yardage. Freshman linebacker Bryton Barr has made 37 tackles and leads the Tigers with two fumble recoveries.

Senior safety Jordan Dangerfield, a Pre-Season All-American, has made 35 tackles with three pass breakups. Junior linebacker Telvion Clark, a transfer from Virginia Tech, has made quite an impact on the defense. He has 34 tackles, fifth on the team.

Senior quarterback Grant Enders leads the Tigers’ offense. In the Tigers’ win over Maine, he accounted for 358 yards of total offense. Enders is fifth in the CAA as he averages 239.3 yards per game.  He has completed 106 passes in 166 attempts for 1,115 yards and six touchdowns. He is also the Tigers’ second-leading rusher with 321 yards on 55 carries, a 5.8 average. He has scored two touchdowns.

Sophomore Terrance West leads the Tigers with 533 rushing yards. He has also scored a team high eight touchdowns.

Last season, the Tigers and the Monarchs met in a classic college football game. In a game with four lead changes, Towson came from behind in the fourth quarter to win, 39-35. Enders threw a 63-yard touchdown pass to senior Tom Ryan with 1:07 remaining on a fourth down-and-29 play, putting Towson ahead. Against ODU, Enders threw for a career high 314 yards and two touchdowns.

Towson won the 2011 CAA championship with 7-1 CAA record. ODU tied for second in the CAA with a 6-2 mark. Both teams advanced to the NCAA FCS playoffs.

After hosting Old Dominion on Saturday night, the Tigers are back on the road for two more CAA games. On Saturday, October 27, Towson visits Villanova for a 3:30 contest. On November 3, the Tigers visit Delaware.

TIGER TALES:  Ryan became the 20th player in the history of the Tiger football program with 100 career catches when he had four receptions for 85 yards against Maine … He enters Saturday’s game with 100 receptions for 1,193 yards and six touchdowns.

Towson is ranked fourth in NCAA FCS in average time of possession … Towson averages 34:10 in time of possession this year … Defending national champion North Dakota State is ranked first (34:44) … To date, the Tigers have run 411 offensive plays while their opponents have 354 plays … Towson is also outgaining its opponents in total yards, 2,309 yards to 1,712 yards … The Tigers have also rushed for 1,194 yards while allowing 878 yards.

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Towson hosts CAA rival Maine Saturday at Unitas Stadium

Posted on 12 October 2012 by WNST Staff

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.

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