Towson 2013 FCS Football Playoff Capsule

George Hammond

Towson Tigers


An overly ambitious schedule cost Towson a shot at a playoff berth last year when it suffered defeats to Kent State and LSU en route to a 7-4 season and a share of the CAA crown with three other teams. The Tigers felt they should have been invited to the dance, but this year, there is no question. Towson lost just two games, and in one it allowed Delaware to score two TDs and two two-point conversions in the final 48 seconds to steal a 32-31 victory. The Tigers, which didn’t face CAA champion Maine this season, are a well-balanced outfit that some believe might be able to go deep in this tournament.

2013 Record: 10-2, 6-2
Coach: Rob Ambrose

Big Wins: 8/29 at Connecticut (33-18), 11/16 at William & Mary (15-9)
Bad Losses: 10/12 Villanova (35-45), 11/2 Delaware (31-32)

Let’s see, running back Terrance West is leading the national rankings in three categories: rushing yardage per game, seasonal rushing yardage and scoring per game. Yea, that qualifies as a strength. But West isn’t the only weapon in the Tigers’ arsenal. Towson is 11th nationally in total offense (477.0 ypg) and 13th in scoring offense (38.0). But the key to the offense might be the play of the wide receivers. With key receiver Spencer Wilkins out for the season because of injury, the Tigers needed Leon Kinnard to step up and he has with 43 receptions. Towson has a veteran offensive line with four seniors and it’s showed this year. Coach Rob Ambrose has made effective use of several transfers who have made key impacts this year. Linebacker Telvion Clark (from Virginia Tech) is in the top five in the CAA in tackles as he has led Towson to a top 15 national ranking in rushing defense. The Tigers are in the top 25 in total defense.

The Tigers are one of the most penalized teams in FCS. Entering the season finale, they were ranked 94th in the nation, receiving 64 yards a game in penalties. They probably haven’t been as good against the pass as they would like either. Entering the season finale, they were 64th in passing yardage allowed. Towson entered the season knowing the play of quarterback Peter Athens, a fifth-year senior but a full-time starter for the first time since 2009, would be crucial. He has performed well for the most part, but now it’s pressure time and if the Tigers are to make a tournament run, they need Athens to play well. Entering the James Madison game Athens has thrown just 11 interceptions, but seven occurred in three games. Because of its strong running game, the Tigers like to use Athens in play-action pass situations. If they get behind and have to abandon the running game, that’s when there is more pressure on Athens.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Terrance West, RB, 1,865 yards
Passing: Peter Athens, QB, 2,634 yards
Receiving: Spencer Wilkins, WR, 691 yards
Tackles: Telvion Clark, LB, 107
Sacks: Ryan Delaire, DE, 8.5
Interceptions: Donnell Lewis, CB, 4

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 247.4 (9th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 229.6 (46, 6)
Total Offense: 477.0 (11, 1)
Scoring Offense: 38.0 (13, 1)
Rushing Defense: 113.5 (14, 2)
Pass Defense: 220.9 (64, 5)
Total Defense: 334.5 (23, 4)
Scoring Defense: 21.2 (18, 4)
Turnover Margin: -0.1 (61, 5)
Sacks: 3.00 (11, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 0.73 (8, 1)

Recent Playoff Appearances:
2011    Second Round    Lost to Lehigh

*all team stats through 11/16


Playoff Central