FOOTBALL: Tigers Home Game With 16th-Ranked William & Mary Televised
Courtesy: TBD  
Release: 10/27/2008
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Sophomore Donte Blakey had 8 tackles at New Hampshire

    Towson-William & Mary Game Notes

TOWSON, Md. For the second week in a row, Towson University will be facing a nationally-ranked Colonial Athletic Association rival when the Tigers return to Johnny Unitas Stadium on Saturday, November 1 to host 16th-ranked William & Mary at 12:00 noon.

The Tigers, who dropped a 42-14 decision at 10th-ranked New Hampshire last week, will be seeking their fourth home victory of the season when they host the Tribe. Now 3-5 overall and 1-3 in the CAA, the Tigers will also be seeking their first-ever win against William & Mary. Riding a three-game winning streak, the Tribe has a 5-2 overall record and a 3-1 mark in the CAA. William & Mary has an all-time record of 5-0 against Towson.

The Towson-William & Mary game will be televised on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic with Bob Picozzi and Scott Brunner calling the action.

When the Tigers play the Tribe, they will be facing one of the top offensive teams in the CAA. William & Mary is averaging 35.0 points per game, third in the CAA. Averaging 416 yards per game, the Tribe has the second-best offense in the CAA while W&M is averaging 246.6 passing yards per contest, fifth in the CAA.

Led by record-setting senior quarterback Sean Schaefer (Northern H.S./Dunkirk, Md.), the Tigers can counter with the top passing game in the CAA, averaging 273.6 yards per contest. Schaefer leads the CAA with 270.2 passing yards per game and 273.8 yards of total offense per outing.

The Tigers are coming off an unusual 42-14 loss at New Hampshire. The result was strange because Towson dominated the game statistically. The Tigers controlled the ball for 40:06 and ran up 446 yards of total offense, compared to UNH’s 434 yards. Towson had 28 first downs while UNH had 18 and the Tigers ran 35 more offensive plays than the Wildcats (86-51).

“Anyone who saw the game knows it was closer than the final score,” said Towson Coach Gordy Combs. “They beat us with big plays. That’s what good teams will do and New Hampshire is a very good team. UNH forced us to make some mistakes and they took advantage of them.”

The Tigers turned the ball over three times and the Wildcats scored 21 points off the turnovers.

“Although we were disappointed by the loss, there were some encouraging things about the game,” said Combs. “We moved the ball very well and we distributed the ball well. I was also pleased with the way we competed in the second half. But, we made too many mistakes to win against a team like New Hampshire.”

Schaefer continued his fine play as he threw for more than 300 yards for the third game in a row. He completed 34 of 48 passes for 309 yards and one touchdown. He threw two interceptions. Schaefer also ran for 36 yards on nine carries.

      In his career, Schaefer has now completed 939 of 1450 passes for a .648 percentage, all school records. He has passed for 10,520 yards and 65 touchdowns. With his 309 yards at UNH, Schaefer moved into 17th place on the NCAA FCS list of career passing leaders. He is now 136 yards behind Sean Payton of Eastern Illinois, currently the coach of the New Orleans Saints.

      If Schaefer can throw for 305 yards against William & Mary, he will move into 11th place on the NCAA FCS career passing yardage list.

      “My limited vocabulary doesn’t have enough superlatives to describe Sean Schaefer,” says Combs. “He is such a competitor and he wants to win so badly. He is having another tremendous season and I only wish he could experience more victories here.”

      The Tiger coach realizes his team will be facing another difficult challenge when the Tigers host William & Mary. He says, “This is life in the CAA. Every week, it seems like we are playing another nationally-ranked team that is competing for an NCAA post-season berth. William & Mary is a very good team with some impressive wins. Our young defense continues to improve and we’re hoping they will come up with a big effort this week.”

      Junior tailback Matt Castor (Linganore H.S./Frederick, Md.) has been a bright spot for the Tiger offense. He ran for 78 yards on 21 carries at UNH and scored his fifth touchdown of the year. Averaging 76.0 yards per game, he is seventh in the CAA in rushing. More impressively, he has rushed for 360 yards in his last four games, an average of 90.0 yards per game. He has also scored at least one TD in the last four games.

      Sophomore wide receiver Hakeem Moore (Courtland H.S./Fredericksburg, Va.) has emerged as a big-play threat for the Tigers. At New Hampshire, he caught a career high nine passes for 110 yards. He also had a pair of kickoff returns for 52 yards, giving him 162 all-purpose yards. Moore, who missed most of the 2007 season with a dislocated ankle, is the Tigers’ fourth-leading receiver with 27 catches for 335 yards and one TD. He also leads the team with a 22.4 kickoff return average. Moore is averaging 79.2 all-purpose yards per game.

      Junior David Newsom (Elizabeth H.S./Elizabeth, N.J.) is the Tigers’ top receiver with 37 catches for 445 yards and one TD. He is the seventh-leading receiver in the CAA. Sophomore Steve Holmes (Old Mill H.S./Severn, Md.) is ninth in the CAA with 36 receptions for 391 yards and a touchdown.

With six catches for 43 yards at UNH, senior wide receiver Marcus Lee (St. John’s College H.S./Silver Spring, Md.) became the second player in Towson history with more than 200 career receptions. A pre-season All-CAA pick, he has 34 catches for 277 yards and 4 touchdowns this year. Lee, who has caught at least one pass in all 41 games of his college career, is the second-leading receiver in school history with 201 catches for 2,205 yards and 11 touchdowns. With four games remaining, he needs to catch 19 more passes to pass former All-American Jamal White, ’02 and become the Tigers’ all-time pass receiving leader.

Senior linebacker Jordan Manning (St. Joseph H.S./Mays Landing, N.J.) led the Tiger defense with eight tackles at UNH. The 7th-leading tackler in the CAA, Manning has made 66 tackles in eight games. With 299 career tackles, he needs one more tackle to become the sixth player in school history with 300 career tackles.

The Tigers’ game against William & Mary will mark their third game of the season against a nationally-ranked opponent. In September, the Tigers faced #4 Richmond and lost to the Spiders, 45-14. Last week, the Tigers fell to 10th-ranked New Hampshire, 42-14.

TIGER TALES:  William & Mary and Towson enter Saturday’s game as the lowest-ranked teams in the CAA in turnover ratio ... William & Mary has a minus-6 turnover ratio while Towson is last with a minus-10 ratio.

Saturday’s game promises to be a strange experience for Terry O’Brien, the Tigers’ long-time Head Athletic Trainer ... His son, Kyle O’Brien (McDonogh School/Cockeysville, Md.), is a sophomore defensive lineman for William & Mary who has made 13 tackles this season ... The elder O’Brien is a 1975 Towson graduate who played football for the Tigers ... A member of the Towson Athletic Hall of Fame, he has been the program’s Head Athletic Trainer for the last 28 years.

After hosting William & Mary on Saturday, the Tigers have three games remaining on the schedule ... On November 8, Towson visits Delaware ... On November 15, the Tigers travel to Villanova to face the seventh-ranked Wildcats ... Towson closes out the season on November 22 when it hosts number one-ranked James Madison University.

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