Following last week's 42-7 beatdown against Temple, the Villanova Wildcats will try to rebound against Towson as both teams open up 2011 CAA conference action. Towson opened up their 2011 campaign last weekend by crushing Morgan State 42-3.
Don't fret though - Morgan State is a terrible program. So there is no reason to take last week's games in account an automatically assume a win or loss for either team. Towson has been going through rough times in recent years, and hasn't beaten 'Nova since 2006.
After The Jump, we'll explore Towson a bit more and try to discover what we should expect when this game kicks off tomorrow night at 7 p.m. ET.
Towson On Offense
QB Grant Enders made the first start of his career last weekend and directed an offense that surpassed 500 total yards for the first time in 5 years. Enders' 3 touchdown passes spearheaded the Tigers' attack. They exploded for 21 points in the 3rd quarter to turn a 14-2 halftime lead into a rout.
More impressive than Enders big night however was Towson's ability to control the clock (racking up nearly 39 minutes of possession) using their running game. A running back by committee situation tallied 264 yards on the ground behind junior tailbacks Tremayne Dameron and Dominique Booker, who led the Tiger running game with 71 and 60 yards, respectively. Sophomore Sterlin Phifera, a transfer from Boston College, contributed a touchdown, along with 59 yards on 13 carries.
Towson On Defense
Another BC transfer, Alexander DiSanzo, led the Tigers in tackles last week with 7 as a stiff Towson defense held Morgan State to just 160 yards of total offense. Frank Beltre, a preseason All-CAA selection, had 2 tackles for loss out of his 6 tackles on the day as well. Take all this with a grain of salt - the Villanova offense is going to be a whole new beast for these guys.
Why Towson Will Win
'Nova is probably still reeling a bit from being beaten so badly last weekend, while Towson is brimming with confidence, even if it was against a lowly foe. That type of momentum may be enough to keep Towson in this one and if Villanova turns the ball over every other possession like they did last week, Towson just may spring the upset. Towson returns 16 starters from a year ago - CONTINUITY! Seriously though, avoiding a huge turnover is a big boost for a program. They aren't the doormat they usually are and 'Nova isn't the powerhouse they are accustomed to.
Why 'Nova Will Win
Towson was picked to finish last in the conference for a reason. On paper, Villanova is just better. But they'll need Dustin Thomas to rebound from a rough first outing and lead what should still be a pretty potent offense for 'Nova. On defense, the DL will need to play a big role in winning the point of attack against a good running game for Towson. However, it'll be the linebackers that need to step up their game the most. Temple abused them last week. If they bring it this week, 'Nova should head home from Baltimore 1-1 on the season.