TOWSON, Md. – Coming off a thrilling 2011 season in which they were the most-improved team in NCAA Division I football and won their first Colonial Athletic Association championship, Coach Rob Ambrose and the Tiger football team will play a challenging 11-game schedule next season.
Highlighting the Tigers’ non-conference schedule are visits to Kent State and Louisiana State, a pair of NCAA FBS programs. Towson has played one NCAA FBS opponent in the last four seasons, including Navy (2008), Northwestern (2009), Indiana (2010) and Maryland (2011). But, this will be the first time that Towson has played two in the same season.
The Tigers will be playing four of their five home games under the lights with 7 p.m. kickoffs. The home finale on Nov. 10 against Rhode Island will be played at 3:30 p.m.
Towson opens its 2012 season by facing Kent State University at Dix Stadium in Kent, Ohio on Saturday, Sept. 1. A member of the Mid-American Conference, Kent State came on strong at the end of the 2011 season, winning four of its last five games to finish the season with a 5-7 overall record. Kent State finished third in the MAC’s Eastern Division with a 4-4 record.
Three weeks after opening their season at Kent State, the Tigers will travel to Baton Rouge, La. to take on perennial national power Louisiana State in legendary Tiger Stadium. When the Towson Tigers face LSU on Sept. 29, LSU could be the defending BCS national champion. Currently ranked No. 1 in the nation, LSU is 13-0 and plays Alabama for the national title on Jan. 9 in New Orleans.
Towson, which averaged 8,949 fans per home game in 2011, opens its home schedule on Saturday, Sept. 15 by hosting William and Mary in its CAA opener at 7 p.m. at Johnny Unitas® Stadium. A week later, on Saturday, Sept. 22, the Tigers entertain St. Francis (Pa.) in a non-conference home game.
After the Tigers’ trip to LSU on Sept. 29, they return to CAA action when they visit James Madison University on Oct. 6. The Tigers and the Dukes were two of the five CAA teams that went to the NCAA FCS Playoffs in 2011. On Oct. 13, the Tigers host Maine in another CAA contest. Maine was the CAA runner-up to Towson in 2011.
On Oct. 20, the Tigers host Old Dominion in another 7 p.m. start at Unitas Stadium.
After the game against ODU, Towson will be on the road for the next two weeks, going to Villanova on Oct. 27 and then to regional rival Delaware on Nov. 3.
The Tigers, who will be seeking their second straight NCAA FCS Playoff berth, close out their home schedule on Nov. 10 when they host Rhode Island at 3:30 p.m. The regular season comes to an end on Nov. 17 when the Tigers visit New Hampshire.
The NCAA FCS playoffs start on Nov. 24.
Fans that renew or place a $25 deposit for new season tickets before Dec. 31, 2011 will be able to lock in 2011 season ticket prices for the 2012 season. Tickets can be ordered online at www.TowsonTigers.com or by calling the Athletics Ticket Office at 1-855-TU-TIGER.
The Tigers have 44 letter winners returning next season from a team that was ranked No. 8 in the nation in the final FCS poll. Led by a pair of all-CAA first-team selections, defensive end Frank Beltre (left) and safety Jordan Dangerfield, the Tigers have nine starters returning on defense.
Offensively, Towson has eight returning starters, including Terrance West, a first-team all-CAA running back who was named as the CAA’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. Left tackle Eric Pike, a third-team all-CAA selection, is one of four returning starters on the offensive line.
A finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award as the FCS Coach of the Year and the CAA Coach of the Year, Ambrose is returning for his fourth season as the Tigers’ coach. Honored as the AFCA Region 1 Coach of the Year, he is also a finalist for the AFCA Coach of the Year award.
2012 TOWSON UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
|Sat.||Sept. 1||at Kent State||Dix Stadium, Kent, Ohio||TBA|
|Sat.||Sept. 15||WILLIAM & MARY *||Unitas Stadium||7 p.m.|
|Sat.||Sept. 22||St. FRANCIS (Pa.)||Unitas Stadium||7 p.m.|
|Sat.||Sept. 29||at Louisiana State||Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, La.||TBA|
|Sat.||Oct. 6||at James Madison *||Bridgeforth Stadium, Harrisonburg, Va.||TBA|
|Sat.||Oct. 13||MAINE *||Unitas Stadium||7 p.m.|
|Sat.||Oct. 20||OLD DOMINION *||Unitas Stadium||7 p.m.|
|Sat.||Oct. 27||at Villanova *||Villanova Stadium, Villanova, Pa.||TBA|
|Sat.||Nov. 3||at Delaware *||Tubby Raymond Stadium, Newark, Del.||TBA|
|Sat.||Nov. 10||RHODE ISLAND *||Unitas Stadium||3:30 p.m.|
|Sat.||Nov. 17||at New Hampshire *||Cowell Stadium, Durham, N.H.||TBA|
|Sat.||Nov. 24||NCAA FCS Playoffs – 1st Round||TBA||TBA|
|Sat.||Dec. 1||NCAA FCS Playoffs – 2nd Round||TBA||TBA|
|Fri.-Sat.||Dec. 7-8||NCAA FCS Playoffs – Quarterfinals||TBA||TBA|
|Fri.-Sat.||Dec. 14-15||NCAA FCS Playoffs – Semifinals||TBA||TBA|
|Sat.||Jan. 5||NCAA FCS Championship Game||Pizza Hut Stadium, Frisco, Tex.||TBA|
* Colonial Athletic Association games