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Rhode Island Rams Football vs Towson Tigers - Preview

Lost in the shuffle of tonight’s basketball opener is Rhody football’s game at Towson tomorrow afternoon. The game looks to be a tall task for the Rams yet again as they try to pick up their first win of the season and avoid what would be a disastrous 0-11 finish. Before we get into the challenges of this one, let’s take a look at the opponent:

Towson University
Mascot: Tigers
Location: Towson, Maryland
Conference: Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)
2012 Record: 5-4 (4-2) [#17]

The Tigers come into this game as the 17th ranked team in the country and winners of their last two. They have excelled at home this season, going 3-1, with their only loss coming to Old Dominion back on October 20th. If Rhody is going to win this game, they’re going to have to shut down Towson running back Terrance West. He’s coming off a 113 yard, two TD game versus Delaware last week, and on the season, he’s averaging just a shade under 100 yard per game (99.4). West has 12 rushing TDs on the season and has found the end zone 13 times overall, so limiting his production is an absolute must for Rhody. The front seven for the Rams is going to be tested big time tomorrow, because in addition to West, Towson also has a pass first, run second quarterback in Grant Enders. In fact, it’s more like 1 and 1A in terms of his preferences; he’s averaging 207 yards through the air and another 64 on the ground this season, using the option play to his advantage. He completed 21 of 26 passed last week for 187 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for an additional 41. On the season, Enders has passed for 13 TDs and rushed for four more, so between him and West, they’ve combined to score 29 TDs in just 9 games. Can Rhody not only stuff the run up front to limit these two guys, but also get pressure to Enders when he drops back to throw?

History, at least recent history says no, they cannot. The Rams have not won a road contest in more than two full years, dropping their 12th consecutive game away from Meade last week to Richmond. Their defense has been porous and their offense has struggled to score points. They’ve been weaker in the second half of games, and they’re facing a team that has outscored their opponents 69-54 in the fourth quarter and overtime this year.

Other than that, things are going great this season.

Towson is going to get their points on Saturday like they always do. The question is, can Rhody not only limit their output but tack on some points of their own? Towson’s defense is clearly their weak point, but the Rhody offense isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire this season (in fact, they’ve scored more than 10 points only twice in nine games this year). Rhody made a change at quarterback last week, starting Danny Fenyak in place of regular QB Bob Bentsen, and Fenyak came out and threw 5 interceptions as the Rams failed to put any points on the board. Will Bentsen be back out there this week? Will they turn to yet ANOTHER QB and start Dan Farley? Does it even matter? This is shaping up to be one of those games where you just keep an eye on the young players (and BJF, of course) and hope they develop. Because that’s all Rhody can hope for right now.

Tags: Football Rhode Island Rams Towson Tigers

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