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Towson roars with the bayou tigers

30 September 2012 By Alex Glaze, Staff Writer 4 Comments
TU keeps up with third-ranked LSU, but fall 38-22
Alex Glaze/ The Towerlight

Alex Glaze/ The Towerlight

Towson was 47.5-point underdogs heading into its battle with nationally ranked Louisiana State University. Few outside of the team’s locker room believed they could shock the world.

The Tigers (2-2, 1-0 Colonial Athletic Association) fell short of their goal of pulling off one of the greatest upsets in sports history, but played LSU tough in a 38-22 loss in Death Valley.

The Towson defense managed to force three turnovers and score more points on LSU — one of the best defensive teams in college football — than any other team has in over one calendar year.

“We wanted to make a statement to tell everybody nationwide that we are Towson University and we’re here to play football,” senior safety Jordan Dangerfield said. “We’re not coming to pick up a check, we’re coming here to try to win and shock the world.”

LSU (5-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) capitalized on Towson’s few mistakes and extended its non-conference win streak to 41 games.

“I am extremely conflicted,” Towson Head Coach Rob Ambrose said. “I hate losing. 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 is humanly possible for me to be more proud of these players.”

The Towson Tigers’ defense gave LSU’s offense all it could handle.

Alex Glaze/ The Towerlight

Alex Glaze/ The Towerlight

Towson forced five fumbles and held LSU to just 158 yards on the ground.

“The whole week we were practicing stripping the ball and forcing turnovers,” Dangerfield said. “We knew we were going to have to come out here and compete and win the turnover battle.”

Dangerfield finished the game with seven tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

In addition to the turnovers, Towson continually put pressure on LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger. The defensive line was penetrating and getting in the backfield, and the linebackers were filling their gaps and also getting through LSU’s offensive line.

“We’ve been building toward this,” Ambrose said. “To force turnovers, to play as 11, to be disciplined and we were working there. I give tremendous credit to the kids and the defensive staff for putting a plan together against one of the best teams in the nation.”

Towson received little outside motivation from the crowd.

“I feel like we were viewed as a little high school team,” defensive end Frank Beltre said. “We were looked at like nobody.  They called us Townson, Towson State, they called us everything but what we are, Towson University. That’s why when we came out we punched them in the mouth. We knew they weren’t ready for what we had.”

Alex Glaze/ The Towerlight

Alex Glaze/ The Towerlight

Towson’s offense also thrived in Death Valley.

Senior quarterback Grant Enders threw for 103 yards and a touchdown and also lead Towson’s rushing attack with 86 yards on the ground.

Sophomore running back Terrance West also carried the ball effectively for Towson. He rushed for 79 yards and scored two of Towson’s three touchdowns.

“I hope everybody realized the difference between FBS and FCS football isn’t that big,” Enders said. “At the end of the day, it’s 11 guys competing to win … Obviously we’re not happy because we didn’t score enough. We didn’t stop fighting and kept going until the very end. It’s good to put up those points against a great defense, but we needed to score more to win.”

Towson trailed LSU at halftime 17-9, but a muffed punt late in the third quarter proved to be the turning point of the game.

Following that Towson turnover, LSU went on to score two touchdowns to extend their lead and ease the worry of a possible upset.

Towson and LSU exchanged touchdowns, but then Towson continued to fight and drive on LSU’s defense.

In the closing minutes of the game, Enders connected with senior wide receiver Gerrard Sheppard in the corner of the end zone, giving Towson its third touchdown of the night.

“Our guys have a lifetime memory in one of the most historic stadiums that have ever existed,” Ambrose said. “They now know that it doesn’t matter who the other 11 are. We can play with anybody, anywhere, any time.”


4 Comments »

  • 1983 Alum said:

    What is this, no comments especially after the column by the arts professor?

    I was one of the critics of Towson going to Baton Rouge in the first place but after watching the replay of the game on ESPN-U, I owe the football team a huge apology.

    I was at the Orioles game Saturday night and the score was posted on the video board. I snapped a few pictures, took a look at them and did a triple take and asked the Orioles fan next to me “is this right?”

    Be honest, I was thinking Towson will get slaughtered like Savannah State was from Oklahoma State 0-84. The team will come home, headless, all four paws missing, black and blue all over.

    But the Towson University Tigers football team from Baltimore, Maryland proved everyone wrong.

    To score 22 points off the number 3 team in the nation, well that deserves a lot of accolades. CONGRATS team. Your tenacity fought the mighty Tigers from LSU on every play.

    You lost the game but that was expected. What was NOT expected was your 22 points off the #3 team in the nation.

    WAY TO GO TIGERS – the T-O-W-S-O-N Tigers, that is.

  • 1983 Alum said:

    For those who want to know what LSU fans thought of our Tigers, opne the enclosed like – http://www.tigerdroppings.com/rant/p/36264209/Official-Towson–LSU-Prediction-Thread-and169-a.aspx.

    INo wonder Towson fans were all doom and gloom. However, OUR Tigers proved LSU fans wrong how much we can fight and claw our way to score.

    We may have lost the game but the football team won the hearts and minds of Towson fans that we can play with the big boys. I just wish we had beaten Maryland at Byrd Stadium last season like Appalachian State beat Michigan at their Big House.

  • Current Student said:

    The fact that you all would publish a story about Towson “prostituting themselves” and then turn around and applaud them after doing so well is appalling. What happened to supporting your team. You along with ESPN, and every other college football fan doubted Towson’s ability and that is shameful. Support goes a long way. I was one of the 150+ fans in LSU and the energy the team felt from us in the stands surely made a difference…you doubt certainly did not. Try supporting our athletics no matter who they play.

  • 1995 Alum said:

    I was one of the VERY PROUD alumni (Class of ’95) who made the trip down to Baton Rouge for this game. Pride doesn’t even begin to cover what I was feeling when the Towson Tigers took the field on Saturday night. And whatever it was that I was feeling when they took the field, I was even more overcome with emotion when they left it. I actually got choked up as I stood there and watched our tremendous athletes walk off the field knowing they just gave the #3 team in the country (now #4 because of us) all they could handle. This was a tremendous performance, and I for one was proud to be a part of it. The fact that our own Towerlight writer could write an article prior to the game saying what an embarassment this was going to be is simply disgraceful. Your job is to print the truth, not the truth as you see it.

    And I think that your “Art Director” who wrote the disgraceful article prior to the game, should either print another article eating the crow that he deserves, or just stick to what he knows which clearly isn’t sports.

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