Towson jumps back into CAA play Saturday at James Madison

October 05, 2012 | WNST Staff

HARRISONBURG, Va. – Returning to Colonial Athletic Association action, No. 12 Towson (2-2, 1-0) will face one of the top challengers for the CAA championship when the Tigers visit No. 5 James Madison University (3-1, 1-0) at Bridgeforth Stadium on Saturday, October 6 at 1:00 p.m.

The Towson-JMU game will be televised on NBC Sports Network with veteran sportscaster Randy Moss handling the play-by-play while former pro football standout Anthony Herron is the color analyst. Carolyn Manno will be the sideline reporter. This will be the second Towson game that will be televised by NBC Sports Network. The network also aired the Tigers’ win over William & Mary last month.

The game will also be aired on the Tigers’ web site, with Spiro Morekas and Ron Meehan calling the action. The Tigers’ internet broadcast also features a one-hour pre-game show.

The Tigers, who are coming off a 38-22 loss at No. 3 Louisiana State, will be facing the JMU for the 24th time. The Dukes lead the series by a 17-5-1 margin and have won seven consecutive games against Towson. Since the two schools became conference rivals in 2004, JMU has won all seven meetings.

When Towson won the 2011 CAA championship, the Tigers and the Dukes did not face each other. However, both teams advanced to the NCAA FCS playoffs.

In games played in Harrisonburg, the Dukes have a 10-1 record against the Tigers. Towson’s only win at JMU was a 10-3 victory in 1983 when the Tigers closed out a 10-1 regular season and earned their first berth in the NCAA Division II playoffs. JMU has won seven games in a row against Towson in Harrisonburg.

“After playing LSU, I feel like we are jumping from the frying pan into the fire,” says Towson Coach Rob Ambrose. “JMU is one of the best teams in FCS football and it is going to be quite a challenge to play them down there. Every week in the CAA is like this. It is ridiculous how good this league is. Everyone has talent. Everyone is well-coached. That is just how it is every week.”

Towson and James Madison come into this week’s game as two of the top defensive teams in the FCS football. Allowing 288.50 yards per game, the Tigers rank fifth while the Dukes are sixth at 291.75 total yards per contest.

Junior linebacker Telvion Clark, a transfer from Virginia Tech, leads the Tigers with 28 tackles, a mark that places him 11th in the CAA. Senior safety Jordan Dangerfield is second on the team with 27 tackles. In Towson’s upset bid at LSU, Dangerfield made seven tackles, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble.

Sophomore running back Terrance West, (below), the tenth-leading rusher in school history, leads the Tiger offense. In four games, he has rushed for 330 yards and scored a team high seven touchdowns. In 15 career

games, he has scored 36 rushing touchdowns, setting a school record.

Playing before an announced crowd of more than 92,000, the Tigers were very competitive against LSU. Their 22 points were the most any team had scored against LSU’s highly-touted defense since Oregon scored 27 points in the 2011 season opener against the Bayou Bengals. Towson ran 73 offensive plays while LSU had 61 plays. Led by senior quarterback Grant Enders, Towson rushed for 188 yards while LSU ran for 158 yards. Enders ran for a career high a game high 86 yards on 12 carries at LSU.

At LSU, Towson controlled the clock with 34:42 of possession. Towson owned a 9-7 lead in the second quarter at LSU.

Towson’s game at James Madison is the first of seven consecutive CAA games for the Tigers. Dating back to last season, the Tigers have won eight of their last nine CAA games. The 2011 CAA champions were undefeated in CAA road games last year, posting wins at Old Dominion, William & Mary, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

After their visit to James Madison, the Tigers return to Unitas Stadium for back-to-back home games against Maine and 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 eight 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 92 receptions for 1,083 yards and six touchdowns.

For the fourth time in five games, Towson’s game will be televised … The season opener at Kent State was carried on Comcast-Plus while the Tigers’ home opener against William & Mary on Sept. 15 was also televised by the NBC Sports Network … Three of the Tigers’ games have been scheduled to be aired on the NBC Sports Network … In addition to the James Madison, Towson’s contest at Delaware will be on the NBC Sports Network … Last week, ESPNU televised Towson’s game at Louisiana State.