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Column: FAQ heading into the National Championship game

4 January 2014 By Matthew Hamilton, Associate Sports Editor One Comment

Towson fans, alumni and students have been anxiously awaiting Saturday’s National Championship game against North Dakota State.

I am in Frisco, Texas as the Tigers prepare, and here are my answers to the questions that are running through the minds of Tiger fans.

Is Peter Athens 100 percent?

As many know, Athens injured his shoulder (AC Sprain) in last Saturday’s win over Eastern Washington. After two weeks of treatment, Athens took part in a full week of practice.

Head Coach Rob Ambrose puts it more definitively.

“Percentage‑wise of where he would be for game time, he’s as close to perfect as he can get,” Ambrose said Friday. “I don’t have any question about his ability to play tomorrow… More importantly, he doesn’t have any question about his ability to play.”

Will North Dakota State stack the line to stop junior running back Terrance West?

I can’t say for certain what the Bison will do, since they boast the top rushing defense in the FCS. However, if they do attempt to stop West in the box, Ambrose said that his team will be ready.

“Everybody stacks the box. It isn’t a secret, we like to run the football,” Ambrose said. “The good part about that is that if you really, really want to do it and you think you have a chance of holding us down in the run game, Peter and the wide‑outs are going to make you pay and that’s just the way good football is.  Try to take one thing away, another one will step up.”

Is Towson ready for the big game?

Ambrose has told me too many times to count this season that the goal for this team is to win a National Championship. I think he’ll have his team ready for this one, but what do I know?

Senior offensive lineman Eric Pike spoke about his team’s mentality.

“Right after the Eastern Washington game, the preparation started for this game so we made sure we take advantage of every opportunity that we have gotten that we’ve practiced, every opportunity to we get into film room and watch and study the opponent,” Pike said.  “We are just looking to put our best foot forward so we can have success.”

Who will win the fan battle?

I won’t need any Towson players to help me with this one: North Dakota State’s contingent will outnumber Towson’s. Everywhere I look, I see a family wearing green and yellow.

This is not to slight Tiger fans, but they simply will be outnumbered tomorrow. I mean, Bison fans bought out a minor league baseball stadium to have a pep rally. That must be a lot of fans.

One Comment »

  • Wendy Rubin said:

    I was @ the 2004 Gator Bowl. The WVU fans outnumbered Terp fans 4-1. BUT UMD jumped out to a 24-0 halftime lead and never looked back, winning 41-7! So fanbase size means SQUAT! Towson fans are there in SPIRIT if not in NUMBERS. Tigers – DO IT! #leavenodoubt #notdoneyet

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