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Courtesy: Mat Schlissel, TowsonTigers.com  
Release: 11/15/2012
It all comes down to this. If Towson loses at New Hampshire on Saturday, the Tigers' season is likely over. If they win, they have an opportunity to win a Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championship, depending on several different scenarios - all of which can be found at CAAsports.com.
The #16 Tigers (6-4, 5-2 CAA) meet the #7 New Hampshire Wildcats (8-2, 6-1 CAA) in Durham, N.H. at 12 p.m. at Cowell Stadium.
UNH will most likely be in the post-season as an at-large bid even if the Wildcats lose on Saturday. It will be their ninth straight trip to the post-season. Until last season, they had dominated the Tigers in the series by winning the first seven games. But Towson won its first game in the series in 2011 and cemented a trip to post-season that year with a 56-42 win at Unitas Stadium. Terrance West ran for a career-high 261 yards on just 23 carries and scored four touchdowns. Cornerback Tye Smith also picked off a pass and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown. Prior to that contest, UNH had outscored the Tigers by an average of 52-17 in five meetings since the teams became conference rivals in 2004.
The Wildcats have won six straight coming into this game. They lost to Minnesota, 44-7, on Sept. 8. Their only CAA loss was a historic one. On Sept. 22, they fell to Old Dominion from Norfolk, 64-61. UNH led 47-24 at one point but couldn't stop Taylor Heinicke, who threw for an NCAA Division I record 730 passing yards. The Wildcats allowed 824 yards of total offense but recorded 725 yards including 389 on the ground.
Since the ODU loss, UNH has beaten Delaware (34-14), Georgia State (44-21), Richmond (44-40), Maine (28-21), Rhode Island (40-20) and William & Mary (28-25). The Wildcats are coming into this weekend off a bye.
New Hampshire has a very balanced attack, averaging 237.4 yards rushing per game and 246.3 yards passing per game. They have forced 25 turnovers and committed just 15.
Defensively UNH has been pretty good against the run this year, allowing just 3.6 yards per carry and 139.6 yards rushing per carry. The pass defense hasn't been quite as strong, allowing 271.4 yards per game in the air. However they have made up for it by intercepting 16 passes.
As great as the offense is, UNH has a bizarre quarterback situation. That's actually a good thing for the Wildcats because teams then have to prepare for two quarterbacks, Redshirt freshman Sean Goldrich (6-3, 205) will likely get the start. In seven games Goldrich, who missed three games due to injury, has 981 yards passing, seven TDs and just two picks, while completing 61 percent of his passes. He also has 155 yards rushing with two scores.
Head coach Sean McDonnell is known as an offensive genius, so anything is possible with Goldrich and sophomore Andy Vailas (6-2, 193). Vailas leads with 1,473 yards passing, 17 TDs and just three picks (60 percent). He's fourth on the team in rushing with 339 yards and four scores. Vailas might play in the second possession or he might platoon with Goldrich.
At running back, the Wildcats have two very powerful backs in sophomore Nico Steriti (5-11, 220) and junior Chris Setian (5-10, 238). Steriti leads the team with 807 yards (6.9 ypc) and nine touchdowns. Setian adds 469 yards rushing and five scores (6.1 ypc).
At receiver, sophomore R.J. Harris (6-0, 194) is one of the top threats in the CAA. Harris played his high school ball at Arundel High School and was named to the All-CAA Second Team as a freshman last year. This season, Harris leads with 71 catches for 961 yards and eight TDs. Senior Joey Orlando (5-11, 197) is another reliable target with 42 catches for 486 yards and five scores.
Sophomore TE Harold Spears (6-4, 254) is a big red-zone target who adds 20 catches for 305 yards and four TDs.
The offensive line is anchored by senior captain LG Chris Zarkoskie (6-1, 292) and junior OT Seamus O'Neill (6-3, 281) who was a third-team All-CAA selection last year as a starter.
Defensively, UNH is led by senior LB Matt Evans (6-0, 228) who leads the team in tackles with 103. He became the school's all-time tackle leader on Nov. 3. He is tied for the team lead this season in sacks with three and leads in tackles for loss with 8.5. Senior LB Alan Buzbee (6-3, 235) is also a very productive player with 58 tackles, three picks and five pass breakups.
While the defense does give up a lot of yards, it has also recorded 21 sacks, which helps the turnover figure. Up front, junior DEs Cody Muller (6-2, 250) and Jay Colbert (6-1, 262) combine for five sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss. Sophomore Matt Kaplan (6-1, 293) is the run stopper up the middle with 41 tackles, three sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries.
The secondary is led by senior CB Dontra Peters (5-11, 190) who has tallied four picks and two fumble recoveries. Junior S Manny Asam (6-0, 196) is third in tackles with 55, while picking off one pass and recovering a fumble.
On special teams, junior Mike MacArthur averages 35.2 yards per punt and has made 11 of 13 field goals with a long of 43. Orlando returns punts (6.2 ypr), while Steriti (16.6 ypr) and Jared Allison (24.8 ypr) return kicks.

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