Tigers take on Tribe in home opener
For the first time since its loss to Lehigh in the second round of the NCAA playoffs last season, the No. 12-ranked Tigers will take the field at Johnny Unitas Stadium in front of a home crowd to face the Tribe of William & Mary.
“When you play at home, your entire team is here. All of the players will be here, all of the students will be here, the town will be here,” Head Coach Rob Ambrose said. “I’ve been waiting for a home game since Lehigh.”
This will be the ninth meeting between the Tigers and William & Mary (0-2), and Ambrose is anticipating a fervent Tribe squad to take the field.
“[I’m expecting] a very hungry and pissed-off team that got beat on their homecoming last year and for the first time in the history of [their school] lost a game to us,” Ambrose said. “I think they’re going to be here fired up and ready for revenge. They played Maryland really tough and I think they believe they’re going to handle us.”
In Towson’s game against Kent State, the Tigers (0-1) recorded more first downs and offensively outgained the Golden Flashes, but had four crucial turnovers that resulted in 27 Kent State points. The Tigers have had a week to let that loss fester and they’re eager to get back on the field.
“We are very hungry,” senior defensive lineman Frank Beltre said. “We know we should have beaten Kent State, but that’s in the past. Literally all of that anger that we have from two weeks ago we’re going to unleash on William & Mary, so I really hope they’re ready.”
One thing is certain: William & Mary knows what Terrance West can do when he carries a football.
Last year, the Tribe got a heavy dose of West as he carried for 141 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries. West led the way for the Tigers last season in Williamsburg, Va. and is looking to do the same this time around and bounce back from his performance two weeks ago.
“I’m expecting a big win, a blow-out,” West said. “Basically, it’s about that win. That’s what it’s about. As we’ve been practicing all week, you can tell that we’re hungry and we’re practicing like we’re the defending champs.”
William & Mary started its season with two tough losses to the University of Maryland and Lafayette. The Tribe’s quarterback situation is in limbo after junior signal caller Brent Caprio was injured in their season-opener against Maryland. Last week, junior Michael Grahm and sophomore Raphael Ortiz both took snaps, so it’s unclear who will make the start against Towson.
The Tigers will play the first of 10 straight games on Saturday.
“I’m very pleased right now with how we are preparing,” Ambrose said. “I think there is a focus and a discipline here that has been sorely lacking for a while. We had to fight through a number of distractions, but the ability to beat the distraction as a team really makes a difference in how you play on Saturday; I think we’re on that path right now.”