Towson visits Delaware in key CAA tilt Saturday

November 02, 2012 | 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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