Upset-Minded Tigers Visit 6th-Ranked Villanova
Courtesy: TBD  
Release: 11/10/2008
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Marcus Lee has caught a pass in 43 consecutive games.


TOWSON, Md. – Playing their final road game of the season, the upset-minded Tigers will travel to Villanova University to face the sixth-ranked Wildcats in an important Colonial Athletic Association game at Villanova Stadium on Saturday, November 15 at 1:00 p.m.

This will be the fifth-ever meeting between Towson and Villanova in a series that is tied at two victories each. The teams have split their two previous meetings at Villanova. In 2004, the Wildcats handed Towson a 41-6 loss. In 2006, the Tigers pulled out a 21-13 victory at Villanova. Last season, Villanova edged the Tigers by 14-12 in a game played at Johnny Unitas® Stadium.

Under the direction of Coach Andy Talley, the Wildcats are having an outstanding season with a 7-2 record. Ranked sixth in NCAA FCS, the Wildcats are closing in on a berth in the NCAA FCS playoffs. Coming off an impressive 24-13 victory over 8th-ranked New Hampshire, Villanova can clinch a NCAA berth with wins over Towson and Delaware in the final two weeks of the regular season.

The Wildcats, who are averaging 202.3 rushing yards per game, have won seven of eight games since a 48-21 loss to West Virginia University in the season opener. In fact, Villanova is one play shy of having an eight-game winning streak. On October 25, the Wildcats dropped a 23-19 heart-breaker to number one-ranked James Madison on the game’s final play.

When they face Villanova, the Tigers will be playing a nationally-ranked CAA team for the fourth time this year. Earlier, Towson lost to 4th-ranked Richmond, 10th-ranked New Hampshire and 16th-ranked William & Mary.

Now 3-7 on the season and 1-5 in the CAA, the Tigers are coming off a 31-21 loss at Delaware on Saturday.

“Villanova has an excellent football team,” says Coach Gordy Combs. “We know that we’re going to have to throw the ball effectively to beat them. That’s no secret. At Delaware, we struggled offensively in the first half but started moving the ball in the second half. We just ran out of time.”

Hoping to surprise the Wildcats, the Tigers will be counting on another outstanding performance from senior quarterback Sean Schaefer (Northern H.S./Dunkirk, Md.). Although the Tigers lost to Delaware, Schaefer had another remarkable game. Despite being sacked six times, Schaefer completed 22 of 33 passes for 297 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.

Entering the final two games of the season, Schaefer leads the CAA in passing yards per game (264.5) and total yards per game (263.7). He has completed 241 of 364 passes this season (.662) for 2,645 yards with 19 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions.

At Delaware, Schaefer became the 11th quarterback in NCAA FCS history to pass for more than 11,000 yards in his career. He has now completed 982 of 1515 career passes for 11,003 yards and 70 touchdowns.

If he completes 18 passes at Villanova, he will become the third NCAA FCS quarterback to complete 1,000 passes in his career. Ricky Santos of New Hampshire (1,122) and Marcus Brady of Cal State Northridge (1,039) are the only other quarterbacks with 1,000 career completions. An All-American at UNH, Santos completed 1,122 of 1,636 passes for 13,212 yards and 123 touchdowns from 2004 to 2007. Brady completed 1,039 of 1,680 passes for 12,479 yards and 109 TD’s from 1998 to 2001.

Schaefer equaled the longest pass completion of his career at Delaware when he threw an 84-yard touchdown pass to senior Tommy Breaux (Randallstown H.S./Randallstown, Md.) in the third quarter. It also matched the fourth-longest pass play in school history. Schaefer also threw an 84-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Lee (St. John’s College H.S./Silver Spring, Md.) in a win over Villanova in 2005.

Currently the sixth-leading receiver in the CAA, Lee has caught 44 passes for 351 yards and four touchdowns this season. Lee has caught at least one pass in all 43 games of his college career. With 211 receptions for 2,279 yards and 11 touchdowns in his career, he is the second-leading receiver in school history. Lee needs eight catches to match the school record set by former All-American Jamal White, ’02. In his career, White had a school record 219 receptions for 3,156 yards.

While averaging 264.5 passing yards per game, Schaefer has utilized most of his receivers. While Lee is the team leader with 44 catches, he is one of six Tigers with at least 20 receptions. Sophomore Steve Holmes (Old Mill H.S./Severn, Md.) is second on the team with 39 receptions for 429 yards and one touchdown. Junior David Newsom (Elizabeth H.S./Elizabeth, N.J.) is third on the team with 38 catches for 469 yards and two touchdowns. He caught a 24-yard TD pass at Delaware. Sophomore wide receiver Hakeem Moore (Courtland H.S./Fredericksburg, Va.) has 35 receptions for 375 yards and one TD. Despite missing four games with an ankle injury, junior Casey Cegles (Eastern H.S./Voorhees, N.J.) is fifth on the team with 24 catches for 329 yards. He is tied for the team lead with four touchdown receptions.

Breaux, who has caught a 60-yard TD pass, a 44-yard TD pass and an 84-yarder, has caught 23 passes for 375 yards this year. He leads the team by averaging 16.3 yards per catch.

Schaefer has thrown touchdown passes to eight different receivers this season.

After making eight tackles at Delaware, senior linebacker Jordan Manning (St. Joseph H.S./Mays Landing, N.J.) ranks fourth in the CAA in tackles. With 85 tackles in ten games, he is averaging 8.5 tackles per game. He trails linebacker Phil Higgins of Northeastern (9.1), linebacker Matt Hansen of Rhode Island (9.0) and linebacker Josh Jennings of Massachusetts (8.8) in the CAA rankings.

The fourth-leading tackler in school history, Manning now has 318 tackles in his college career. He trails Jeff Boller, ’83 (382), Mike Arbutina, ’95 (361) and former teammate Brian Bradford ’08 (328) on the all-time list. Bradford was a consensus first team All-American selection last season.

Despite missing three games with a knee injury, senior strong safety Drew Mack (Buena Regional H.S./Landisville, N.J.) is also having a tremendous season. After making 11 tackles at Delaware, he is second on the team with 63 tackles. He is also tied for the team lead with eight pass breakups. A pre-season All-CAA selection, Mack would rank second in the CAA in tackles per game if not for injury. In order to qualify for the CAA leaders, a player must appear in 75% of his team’s games.

At Delaware, freshman defensive back Danny Collins (Council Rock H.S./Newtown, Pa.) made a career high ten tackles. Collins is now sixth on the team with 39 tackles in nine games.

Freshman nose tackle Rob Osborne (Clarksburg H.S./Germantown, Md.) continues to have an impressive season. In seven games, he has now made 31 tackles with 2.5 sacks. He is tied for the team lead in sacks.

TIGER TALES:  After their game at Villanova on Saturday, the Tigers conclude their season on November 22 when they host number one-ranked James Madison.

Sixth-ranked Villanova is one of seven CAA teams ranked in the NCAA FCS Top 25 this week ... James Madison (8-1) is ranked number one while Richmond (7-3) is seventh ... William & Mary (7-2) has moved up to 12th in the poll while New Hampshire (7-2) is 13th ... With a 7-3 record, Maine is ranked 21st, just ahead of 22nd-ranked Massachusetts (6-4).

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