To say this was an interesting week for the Towson
University football team would be an understatement. It all started on Saturday, Oct. 20
when the Tigers lost to Old Dominion at home, 31-20. It was the Tigers' first loss at Unitas Stadium this
Besides the loss, the biggest story to come out of this game was that Terrance West, last year's Jerry Rice Award winner for best freshman in the nation, did not play. T West's grandmother had passed away, and head coach Rob Ambrose just didn't feel it was right for his star running back to play. All sorts of crazy stuff started getting spread over the Internet and social media.
But when the team reconvened for practice this week, there was Terrance practicing hard and getting ready for this past weekend's game at Villanova. It was a tough week on this team. Every Wednesday I head over to practice. This week, I had no idea what to expect. What I did get was pleasantly shocking.
When I went to practice, everything seemed as normal as ever. Until I caught Coach Ambrose's eye. He came over, and we had a nice chat. He was as relaxed as I have ever seen him.
I have known Coach Rob Ambrose for over 20 years. He is as intense of a coach as I have ever seen. He is also a man of principle and honor. No one is above the team. He has done nothing but preach family and loyalty. We have seen the results. The Tigers have been nationally ranked since early last season. We haven't seen that around Towson for quite a while.
The fact that we had a chat during practice was rare in itself. When I left that day, I had the feeling that this team was ready to do some damage. Boy, did they.
The Tigers came out against Villanova and put up 49 points and 590 yards of offense. That's the eighth-most in Tiger history. That was also against the number four ranked defense in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). The Tigers now have two of the CAA's eight top rushers in Terrance West and Grant Enders. That's right, the Tigers' quarterback is in the top ten in rushing. I don't believe that has ever happened.
But this was a total
team effort. The special teams did a
great job on coverage and created a turnover on a kickoff that led to a
Tiger touchdown. And how about the
Villanova had the Tigers' number in the first half, putting up 28 points and 296 yards of offense. But in the second half, the Tigers' D shut down the Wildcat offense. Villanova was only able to score seven points and gain 52 yards of offense. Towson also sacked quarterback John Robertson seven times. This win was huge. The Tigers are one game out of first in the conference. The two teams in front of Towson are James Madison and New Hampshire. (Old Dominion also are ahead of the Tigers, but the Monarchs are not eligible for the conference championship.)
So now it's Delaware week. These two teams do not like each other one bit. Towson has had some luck at Tubby Raymond Stadium over the years. But Delaware came into the U last year and gave the Tigers their only conference loss of the season.
For both teams it is
basically an elimination game. For either team to keep any hope of getting into the playoffs alive, they
both have to win out. What that means is for the Tigers, every game from here on out is a playoff game. I think this group is up to the task.
Join Damon Lewis and me for another edition of Tiger Talk this Thursday night. We will be joined by Coach Ambrose and other members of the athletic department. Damon and I will be with you from 6-7 p.m. You can hear Tiger Talk right here on TowsonTigers.com or on your iPhone or Android device.