BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - After a two-hour flight and a one-hour bus ride, Coach Rob Ambrose continued to prepare the Tigers for their season opener by holding a light 45-minute practice seasion at Indiana University's Memorial Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
While putting the Tigers through their short workout, Coach Ambrose wanted his team to become acquainted with the surroundings of Memorial Stadium, a large structure steeped in tradition. Since Memorial Stadium has a capacity of 52,692, the Tigers may be playing their season opener in front of the largest crowd ever to see them play.
According to Indiana University officials, the crowd for the Towson-Indiana game should be more than 30,000. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
The game, which will be televised on the Big Ten Network, will be broadcast back to the Baltimore area on FOX-Sports (1370-AM), the new radio home of Tiger football. Starting his 20th season as the voice of Tiger football, Spiro Morekas, '83 will call the play-by-play action while Tom Judd, '96 handles the color commentary.
Coach Ambrose, who made his debut as the Tigers' head coach in the season opener at Northwestern last year, is more confident entering this year's first game. He says, "Last season, I think we let the atmosphere at Northwestern shake us up. Our players were surprised at how good they were. Before we knew it, we were down by 30-0. Once we got over the shock factor, we played a good second half. I'm sure our players will not be surprised by the atmosphere at Indiana. The field is still 100 yards long - just like the one we have here in Towson. Our players have a much better idea of what to expect this time."
He adds, "We are bigger, faster, smarter and more talented. However, we have a lot of very young players and we don't have a lot of experienced depth."
For the Tigers, who will open the season against an NCAA BCS opponent for the third consecutive season, this week's game is a rare Thursday night contest. The Tigers have not opened their season on a Thursday night since 2007 when they beat Central Connecticut, 20-10.
All four of the Tigers' previous Thursday night games have been played at Minnegan Field at Johnny Unitas® Stadium. The Tigers are 4-0 when they open the season on a Thursday night.
"It has been a challenge preparing for a season opener on the road on a Thursday night," admits Coach Ambrose. "This is the first week of classes and we aren't going to have players missing class for football practice. On Monday morning, we practiced at 5:30 a.m."
TIGER TALES: The largest crowd ever to watch a Towson football game saw the Tigers play at Navy on August 30, 2008 ... At Navy-Marine Corps Stadium, a crowd of 31,613 saw the Mids hand the Tigers a 41-13 season-opening loss.
The Tigers have a 28-13 record in their 41 season openers ... However, Towson has lost its last two season openers at Navy and Northwestern ... The Tigers are 23-3 when playing the season opener at home ... Towson is 5-10 when the season opener is on the road.
This is the second time that Towson has opened its season in the Hoosier State ... In 1996, the Tigers rushed for 315 yards en route to a 14-3 victory at Butler University.
The Tigers will play their home opener on Saturday, September 11 when they host Coastal Carolina at Unitas Stadium at 7:00 p.m. ... Last season, the Tigers edged Coastal Carolina, 21-17 ... The victory was Coach Ambrose's first win as the Tigers' head coach.