Sunday Morning Quarterback: JMU Edition
Courtesy: Athletics Media Relations  
Release: 10/07/2012
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Last year, Towson's defense allowed 26 points per game and 370 yards per game. Fortunately, the offense put up nearly 35 points per game and the Tigers were able to average 230 yards per game on the ground.
 
This season, as the Tigers face their toughest schedule in their history, the defense has stepped up to the challenge. Offensively, considering they've faced a dominant FBS defense in LSU, two underrated defenses in Kent State and William & Mary and one of the best defenses in FCS in James Madison, the numbers are down after the first five games. That may help explain the 2-3 record, especially with most teams forcing the Tigers to throw the ball more often and trying to stop the run.
 
That's not to say opposing defenses are completely taking away sophomore Terrance West. The Jerry Rice Award winner for best freshman in the nation last year, has rushed for 442 yards with seven touchdowns in five games, but is only averaging 4.5 yards per carry and has a long of 37. Last year, West averaged 6.7 yards per carry, had a long of 72 but also had runs of 54, 46, 48 and 72.
 
That doesn't mean the Tigers won't be facing quality defenses coming up. But it's hard to imagine a tougher challenge for an FCS offense than facing LSU and James Madison in back-to-back games.
 
Towson was held without a touchdown in the first half against James Madison on Saturday, yet managed to score a touchdown in the opening period against LSU (down 17-9 at the half).
 
"They took away a lot of our run game," said Towson head coach Rob Ambrose on Saturday from Harrisonburg. "There's a reason they are number five in the country and they won't be after this one. I don't want to slight the previous teams we just played, but given the choice between the two, I don't want to play the Dukes again, at least until later."
 
A positive that came out of Towson's 13-10 loss at James Madison on Saturday was the play of the defense. Towson has averaged allowing 37 points per game in its last three road games against James Madison in conference play. On Saturday, they held JMU to 14 first downs, 140 rushing yards and forced the Dukes to go just 2 of 12 on third-down conversions. They were led by true freshman linebacker Bryton Barr, who recorded 10 tackles, while sophomore cornerback Tye Smith added nine tackles and a pass breakup.
 
Sophomore Monte Gaddis continued his strong play with nine tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss. For the year, the transfer from Dean Junior College ranks fifth on the team with 28 tackles, while leading the team with 5.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.
 
Considering the fact that Towson has started three brand new linebackers in Gaddis, Barr and Virginia Tech transfer Telvion Clark, Towson's defense has held up well against stiff competition and should only get better as the season goes on.
 
 
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The loss to James Madison drops the Tigers to 1-1 in the CAA, which makes the matchup against 1-1 Maine, who shocked Delaware yesterday, a big one. Juniro Marcus Wasilewski threw three touchdown passes, while Maine's defense held the Blue Hens to 47 rushing yards and 224 total yards.
 
In other conference games, Richmond improved to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the CAA with a 28-17 win over Villanova (4-2, 2-1), who turned it over four times at home.
 
New Hampshire (4-2, 2-1) took advantage of slumping Georgia State (0-6, 0-3), in a 44-21 win in Atlanta.
 
William & Mary went back to Brett Caprio at quarterback and defeated Penn, 34-28 on the road to go 2-4 overall. Rhode Island (0-5) fell at home to Brown, 17-7 in non-conference play.


-TowsonTigers.com-


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