DURHAM, N.C. – After posting a 49-7 victory over Delaware State University in their home opener on Saturday evening, Coach Rob Ambrose and the fourth-ranked Towson University football team will try to keep their perfect record intact when the Tigers face North Carolina Central in Durham, N.C. on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 2 p.m.
The game will be broadcast back to the Towson area on www.TowsonTigers.com with Spiro Morekas, Ron Meehan, Damon Lewis and Zach Maskavich calling the action.
Ranked fourth in the nation for the second week in a row, the undefeated Tigers bring a 3-0 record to North Carolina Central. After opening the season with a 33-18 victory over Connecticut, Towson posted back-to-back victories by the identical 49-7 margin. After beating Holy Cross by 49-7 on Sept. 7, the Tigers handed Delaware State a 49-7 loss last Saturday night.
The Tigers, who have won seven games in a row, have the second-longest winning streak in NCAA FCS football, a mark that is topped by defending national champion North Dakota State. The Bison own an 11-game winning streak.
For the third time in four games, the Tigers will be on the road again this week. Ironically, five of the Tigers’ seven consecutive victories have come on the road. Last year, Towson posted wins at No. 22 Villanova, No. 23 Delaware and No. 7 New Hampshire to close out the season.
Thanks to a very impressive defense, the Tigers have been dominant the last two weeks, outscoring their opponents by a 98-14 margin.
The Tigers, who have allowed only four touchdowns in their first three games, are ranked third in NCAA FCS in scoring defense, allowing 10.7 points per game. Towson also leads NCAA FCS in Red Zone defense with a .333 mark. The Tigers have been very stingy against the run, allowing 71.0 rushing yards per game, a mark that ranks fifth in the nation. Towson has yet to allow a rushing touchdown this season.
Towson is also sixth in total defense, allowing 267.3 yards per game. With 11 sacks in three games, the Tigers are tied for eighth in the nation. Towson is also ranked among the national leaders in turnover margin with a plus-six ratio. The Tigers have forced eight turnovers while only turning the ball over twice.
Coach Ambrose has been very pleased with the way the Tigers are playing defense. He says, “The defensive staff has done a great job putting together schemes. We have the talent to make those schemes work and it’s not just 11 guys. We have a lot of guys who also contribute and they’ve been pretty darn good.”
Senior linebackers Telvion Clark and Monte Gaddis have been the Tigers’ top defensive performers this season. Clark leads the Tigers with 25 tackles while Gaddis has made 13 tackles. Led by Gaddis, the Tigers have intercepted five passes this season. Gaddis has two of them.
Senior quarterback Peter Athens has done an outstanding job running the Tiger offense. The Tigers are averaging 43.7 points per game this season while Athens has completed 46 of 67 passes for 633 yards and four touchdowns. He has only thrown one interception and has not been sacked.
The Tigers have also been led by junior running back Terrance West. The third-leading rusher in the Colonial Athletic Association, West has rushed for 359 yards on 69 carries, an average of 119.7 yards per game. After tying the school record with five rushing touchdowns in the win over Delaware State, West has nine touchdowns in three games this season. He is tied for the national lead.
West has scored 53 touchdowns in his career, a school record.
Towson will be playing North Carolina Central for the first time. The Eagles are members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and are off to a 2-1 start.
After their trip to North Carolina Central, the Tigers will open CAA action next weekend when they visit Stony Brook on Sept. 28 for a 6:00 p.m. contest.
TIGER TALES: West was named as the CAA Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season after scoring five touchdowns against Delaware State … It was the fifth time in his career that he earned the honor … West has now received nine CAA weekly awards during his career, tying the record he shares with Andrew Pierce of Delaware.
Towson’s seven-game winning streak is the Tigers’ longest winning streak since 1984 when they opened the season with seven consecutive victories … The Tigers are 8-for-10 on fourth down this season and they have scored touchdowns on five of their fourth down plays.