DiSanzo Brings Post-Season Experience To Tigers
Courtesy: Peter Schlehr, SID Emeritus  
Release: 12/31/2013
TOWSON, Md. – Senior linebacker Alexander DiSanzo has been involved in post-season college football games before but not like Towson’s upcoming appearance in the FCS title game against the top seeded, unbeaten North Dakota State Bison this week.

A transfer from Boston College, DiSanzo and the Eagles faced Southern Cal in the 2009 Emerald Bowl and the Colin Kaepernick-led Nevada Wolf Pack in the Fight Hunger Bowl the following year.

“This is different,” says the 6-3, 240 pound Fair Lawn, N.J. native. “This is a bigger deal because if you win, you can call yourselves national champions as opposed to the winner of the Fight Hunger Bowl.”

To earn the national title DiSanzo and the Tigers have to overcome their most formidable opponent of 2013. The 14-0 Bison enter the January 4th showdown in Frisco, Tex. leading the FCS in scoring defense (11.6 points per game), rushing defense (90.2 yards per game) and third-down conversion percentage defense (.253), and are second in total defense (247.5).

What concerns DiSanzo more is what North Dakota State accomplishes on the other side of the ball. Averaging 39 points and 465 yards of total offense, the Bison lead the nation in third-down conversion percentage (.561) and time of possession, at more than 34 minutes per game.

“They’re a very good football team,” DiSanzo says. “They’re sound in every aspect of the game – passing, running. Their quarterback (Brock Jensen) makes very good decisions. Their offensive line is extremely athletic, big, fast and tough.”

DiSanzo has been facing the big, fast and tough his entire career. Coming out of the high profile program at Don Bosco Prep, he was heavily recruited, finally settling on Boston College. As a redshirt freshman he started four games for the Eagles. But his playing time dwindled with the emergence of true freshman Luke Kuechly, who would later become a three-time All-American linebacker for BC and the 9th overall pick of the 2012 NFL draft by the Carolina Panthers (NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year too).

BC also made a coaching change that proved to be the final factor in his decision to transfer.

“I believed in what Coach (Rob) Ambrose was saying,” DiSanzo recalls when he looked at Towson. He started 11 games for the Tigers in 2011, making 68 tackles and tying for the team lead with three interceptions.

DiSanzo then sat the 2012 season while dealing with a personal matter. His return to the 2013 lineup was held up while the NCAA considered his appeal to clear him for a sixth year. It wasn’t until the eve of the regular season finale, 12 games into the season, on November 23 at James Madison that the NCAA finally ruled him eligible.

“It was very difficult for me to sit so long,” he says. “I still practiced, even playing some offense on the scout team but I wanted to help the team the best way I could.”

DiSanzo’s presence has given the defense a late boost. Through his four games he has 31 tackles (19 solo) and a fumble recovery that helped preserve the lead in the win over Fordham. He has started all three post-season games.

With a national title on the line, DiSanzo says the ring of the cliché “offense wins games, defense wins championships” is loud and clear.

“North Dakota State can score but so can we,” DiSanzo says. “It’s going to come down to defense. It’s really on our shoulders.”

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