Play Video
Tye Smith made 10 tackles and forced a sack.
Courtesy: Brad Messina
View larger
Tye Smith made 10 tackles and forced a sack.
LSU Escapes Towson Scare, 38-22
Courtesy: Athletics Media Relations  
Release: 09/29/2012
    Towson-LSU post-game quotes

BATON ROUGE, La. –  In a game in which they were decisive underdogs, the Towson University Tigers (2-2) gave national powerhouse Louisiana State (5-0) all it could handle before No. 3 LSU pulled out a 38-22 victory in front of an anxious crowd at Tiger Stadium on Saturday evening in Death Valley.

Towson was expecting to play before a crowd of more than 90,000 fans in Tiger Stadium, one of the most historic venues in college football. However, an all-day rain kept many of the die-hards at home. The Tiger Stadium crowd was an announced 92,154 but the stadium was barely half-full.

Those fans that did show up were almost witness to a historic upset.

Towson controlled the ball for 34:42 and had more first downs (19-18) than LSU. Towson also forced three turnovers and outgained LSU on the ground, 188 to 158 yards. The Towson defense also recorded a season high four quarterback sacks.

“I am extremely conflicted,” said Towson Coach Rob Ambrose. “I hate losing. I know everybody who watches this or sees the score will think I’m insane, considering who we played. I don’t care. You don’t line up to lose.

“With that being said, as a head coach, as an alum, as a father, I don’t think it’s humanly possible for me to be more proud of these players.”

After Towson won the opening coin toss and elected to defer, LSU drove to the Towson 39-yard line where the drive stalled. After Brad Wing’s punt went for a touchback, Towson took over at its own 20-yard line and was forced to punt. Sophomore punter R.J. Peppers came up with a 54-yard punt, pinning LSU back at its 22-yard line.

But, senior wide receiver Russell Shepard lined up in the backfield, took the ball on a draw play, and ran to his right and down the near sideline. He outran Tiger defensive back Jordan Love to the end zone for a 78-yard touchdown run. LSU took a 7-0 lead with 10:24 remaining in the first quarter.

After that 78-yard run, the Towson defense stiffened and forced a punt on the next series. With 2:09 left in the first quarter, Towson got the first break of the game. Kenny Hillard fumbled at the LSU 38-yard line and senior safety Jordan Dangerfield recovered for Towson.

Behind the running of sophomore Terrance West, Towson moved the ball deep into LSU territory. Facing fourth down-and-one at the LSU four-yard line, Ambrose elected to try for the first down. However, a false start penalty pushed the ball back to the LSU nine-yard line. Junior place kicker D.J. Soven calmly booted a 26-yard field and Towson was on the scoreboard, trailing by 7-3 in the second quarter.

With 12:09 left in the half, the Towson defense was tested once again when LSU recovered a fumble at the Towson 36-yard line. But LSU had to settle for a 51-yard field goal attempt by Drew Alleman. It was wide right and the lead remained at 7-3.

Midway through the second quarter, sophomore cornerback Tye Smith sacked LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger at the LSU 48-yard line. Mettenberger fumbled and linebacker Bryton Barr recovered at the LSU 45-yard line.

Facing third-and-nine at the LSU 44, Tiger quarterback Grant Enders kept the ball on a quarterback draw and ran all the way down to the LSU one-yard line. On the next play, West scored his sixth touchdown of the season to give Towson an improbable 9-7 lead with 5:15 left in the half. However, Soven’s extra point was no good and the lead remained at 9-7.

LSU responded with its best drive of the night. A 27-yard pass completion from Mettenberger to Chase Clement moved the ball to the Towson 41-yard line. Two plays later, Mettenberger hooked up with sophomore Odell Beckham for a 27-yard touchdown pass to put LSU ahead, 14-9.

With slightly more than two minutes left in the half, a shanked punt gave LSU outstanding field position at the Towson 22-yard line. Once again, the Towson defense kept LSU out of the end zone and Alleman had to settle for a 23-yard field goal, giving the home team a 17-9 lead at halftime.

On the first play of the third quarter, Enders completed a 22-yard pass to senior Tom Ryan. That started a Towson drive which stalled in LSU territory as Towson was penalized for a false start. Soven came on to try a 53-yard field goal but it was short and LSU took over.

LSU moved the ball to the Towson 12-yard line where the Bayou Tigers turned the ball over again. Dangerfield forced a fumble and  Frank Beltre recovered. But, Towson couldn’t move the ball and LSU took over at the Towson 44-yard line.

Once again, the Towson defense came up with some big plays. Ben Chroniger and Smith each recorded sacks and LSU was forced to punt. But, LSU received a huge break when Love fumbled and LSU recovered at the Towson eight-yard line. Three plays later, J.C. Copeland scored on a one-yard run and LSU’s lead was 24-7.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Mettenberger threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Beckham, upping the lead to 31-9.

Once again, Towson responded. A 17-yard run by Enders gave Towson a first down inside LSU territory. With 8:58 remaining, West scored his second touchdown of the game to cut the deficit to 31-16.

But LSU marched 71 yards in nine plays as Michael Ford’s four-yard TD run put LSU ahead, 38-16.

Trailing by 38-16, Towson’s offense went back to work. Enders led Towson on an 80-yard drive which resulted in a nine-yard touchdown pass to senior Gerrard Sheppard with 1:30 remaining. The conversion kick failed and Towson trailed by 38-22.

When LSU recovered the short kick, the home team was content to run out the clock.

Enders led Towson with 189 yards of total offense. He ran for a career high 86 yards on 12 carries as he scrambled past LSU defenders most of the night. Enders also completed 13 of 33 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. West ran for 79 yards on 22 attempts and scored a pair of touchdowns. West has scored seven touchdowns in four games.

Junior linebacker Telvion Clark led the Towson defense with 11 tackles and a forced fumble. Smith made 10 tackles, including two sacks. He also broke up a pass and forced a fumble.

Towson returns to Colonial Athletic Association action next week when the Tigers visit James Madison.

Support Towson University Athletics by making a tax deductible donation to the Tiger Athletic Fund. For more information follow this link or to give now, click here.

Follow this link to purchase tickets to upcoming events.

Back to Football

Official Online Store
Towson Photos

Union Memorial Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Under Armour