UNBEATEN TIGERS HOST No. 19 NEW HAMPSHIRE ON SATURDAY
No. 3 Tigers Seeking 10th Consecutive Win
TOWSON, Md. – Riding a nine-game winning streak, the undefeated Towson University football team (5-0, 1-0) returns to Minnegan Field at Johnny Unitas® Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 5 when the Tigers host No. 19 New Hampshire (1-2, 0-0) in a Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) game at 12:00 noon.
The game will be televised on Comcast SportsNet-Plus. Scott Graham and Andy Gresh will call the action.
A home game will be a welcome respite for the Tigers from the grind that found Towson playing four of its first five games on the road. After opening the season with a 33-18 win at Connecticut, the Tigers beat Holy Cross on the road, 49-7. On Sept. 14, the Tigers played their home opener and beat Delaware State, 49-7. However, it was back on the road the following week where Towson beat North Carolina Central, 35-17. Last week, the Tigers pulled out a 35-21 victory at Stony Brook.
In the opening weeks of the season, Towson traveled 2,548 miles to pick up four road victories. Dating back to last season, the Tigers have played seven of their last nine games on the road – and they have won all of them. Towson’s seven-game road winning streak is the longest in school history.
“We are road-weary,” admits Towson Coach Rob Ambrose. “I feel like we are that Cleveland Indians team in the movie, ‘Major League.’ That team was always on a bus and that’s how we feel.
“However, it will be great to take the field on Saturday afternoon with a large crowd of our fans cheering us on,” he adds. “I know that will energize us.”
New Hampshire comes to Unitas Stadium with a deceptive 1-2 record. The Wildcats, who have qualified for the NCAA FCS playoffs eight years in a row, opened their season with a 24-21 loss at Central Michigan. After beating Colgate in their home opener, the Wildcats dropped a 34-27 decision at undefeated Lehigh last week.
Saturday’s game will be the 10th meeting between the two teams. UNH owns a 7-2 series lead, but the Tigers have won the last two matchups. Two years ago, Towson edged UNH, 56-42. Last season, the Tigers traveled to New Hampshire for the regular season finale and shocked the No. 7 Wildcats, 64-35. That win earned the Tigers a share of the CAA championship.
When Towson hosts New Hampshire, it will be the first time the teams have played where the Tigers had a higher national ranking. It will also match the top offensive team in the CAA against the top defensive team. New Hampshire comes into the game averaging 459.0 total yards per game as well as 236.7 rushing yards per contest. The Tigers allow 271.6 total yards per contest and only 70.8 rushing yards per game.
Towson ranks fourth in the NCAA FCS in rushing defense and sixth in total defense.
Offensively, the Tigers will be counting on junior Terrance West (Northwestern H.S./Baltimore, Md.). The leading rusher in the CAA with 648 yards on 126 carries, he has scored 12 touchdowns this season, a mark that leads NCAA FCS. West has topped the 100-yard rushing mark in four of five games. The only time he didn’t reach the 100-yard plateau was a 49-7 win over Delaware State when he left the game early in the third quarter. He did score five touchdowns against the Hornets.
The third-leading rusher in school history, West needs only 12 rushing yards to become the third player in program history to rush for 3,000 yards. He has scored 56 career touchdowns in 26 games.
In two games against New Hampshire, West has run for 497 yards on 42 carries and six touchdowns.
Junior defensive end Ryan Delaire (Windsor H.S./Windsor, Conn.) leads the Tiger defense with 6.5 sacks. He ranks fourth in the nation in sacks. Led by Delaire, the Tiger defense ranks second in the nation with 21 sacks in five games.
Senior linebacker Telvion Clark (Granby H.S./Norfolk, Va.) leads the Tigers with 44 tackles in five games. He made a career high 14 tackles and had one sack at Stony Brook. Junior cornerback Tye Smith (Wakefield H.S./Raleigh, N.C.) is second on the team with 28 tackles.
The Tigers’ game against New Hampshire will be the first of back-to-back home games against the top teams in the CAA. After hosting No. 19 UNH, the Tigers host No. 20 Villanova on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 7:00 p.m.