Time to Defend the Crown
Courtesy: Spiro Morekas, TowsonTigers.com  
Release: 10/01/2012

Well, LSU week has come and gone. What a week it was. It started on Monday last week with LSU head coach Les Miles' weekly press conference. Over and over, he called us Towson State. This has been an ongoing problem for the last 15 years. I did two radio interviews in Louisiana this past week and in each one they started off calling us Towson State. Of course, I had to give a little history lesson. I have often wondered over the past decade if the folks at University of Memphis have this problem. In 1994, just a couple of years before Towson, they changed their name from Memphis State.

Anyway, the trip to Baton Rouge was something. Back in 2001, the Towson basketball team played LSU. I was there broadcasting for Towson, and never in my wildest dreams did I expect to go back to broadcast a Towson FOOTBALL game. Seeing Tiger Stadium from the outside is impressive enough. It is eighth-biggest college football stadium in the country with a capacity of 92,548. Inside is even more impressive. Check out Towsontigers.com for pictures of this great venue. I have played many great golf courses in my life, but the Bermuda grass on the Tiger Stadium is as good as any I have ever seen.

Not to dwell on the details of the Towson 38-22 loss, but a couple of key plays here and there, and this could have been one of the greatest upsets in college football history.
Coach Rob Ambrose said last week that after this game, no one would be calling us "Towson State" again. His coaches, players and all of the football staff are owed a huge thank you from each and every one of us. I will end the LSU portion of this blog with this:  when we boarded the plane in Baton Rouge, La., to head back to Baltimore, I gave Coach Ambrose a big handshake and a thank you for making us proud. He just looked at me and said, " Thanks, but it's not good enough." That's how things have changed around Towson, taking the number three FBS school into the fourth quarter with the game in doubt is no longer good enough.

The season now gets to the crucial part of the schedule. Seven games left - all in conference. It starts this Saturday against James Madison. The Dukes have been ranked in the top ten all season long and were number five last week. Towson will go into this game with a conference record of 1-0. Madison is also 1-0 in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). While Towson was off playing LSU, the Dukes were enjoying a bye week.

This will be a tough match-up for Towson. JMU has a quarterback in Justin Thorpe who not only throws but is their leading rusher.  The Dukes are 12th in the nation is rushing offense, and 17th in the nation in scoring offense. That's impressive, but their strength is their defense. They are eighth in the country in scoring defense, ninth in rushing defense and seventh in total defense.

Throw in the fact that Towson has not beaten JMU since 1992, have not won in Harrisonburg, Va., since 1983, are 5-17-1 lifetime against JMU and are 0-7 against Madison in the CAA, and you see this is a tough task.

But, as we saw this past Saturday night, this is not your father's Towson football team.

This is a group of players and coaches that believes they are good enough to beat any team they take the field against. This is a team of players and coaches that EXPECTED to play LSU down to the wire. This is a group that feels that they have unfinished business from last season. This is a group that demands the best of themselves and will settle for nothing less. Finally, this is a group that fully expects to repeat as CAA champions.  
They know the next step towards that goal begins this week with James Madison, and will continue for six weeks after that. There are no breathers in the CAA, and the Tigers got no help from the schedule makers. They have the toughest schedule in the conference. I think the players and coaches love it.

Damon Lewis and I will be at Bill Bateman's Bistro in Towson again this Thursday night for another edition of Tiger Talk. We will be there from 6-7 p.m., as will head football coach Rob Ambrose and other members of the Towson athletic staff. We hope you can come on out. If not, you can hear Tiger Talk right here on TowsonTigers.com or get the Towson Tiger app on your iPhone or Android device.

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