Terrance West To Lead Towson In Battle Of Tigers
By Simon Habtemariam
On Sept. 22, Towson running back Terrance West accomplished a feat no Tiger had ever achieved before. The sophomore back from Baltimore, after a hard run that included a nifty spin move, crossed the goal line for the 34th time during his career.
A week later, the defending Colonial Athletic Association champions hope to notch another school first. The Tigers, ranked No. 12 in the Football Championship Subdivision, go on the road to meet Louisiana State University Tigers, ranked No. 3 in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
"I spent a lot of time watching film, looking for holes on both sides of the ball and special teams," Towson coach Rob Ambrose said. "They are they most athletically talented, technically sound football team I have ever watched on film, personally. It's quite a challenge in all aspects of the game. We are going to have to play really, really well and mistake free in order to have a chance to compete."
Towson will try to pull off the shocker collectively, but there are sure to be many eyes on West. The Northwestern High School alum is already one of the most decorated backs in school history at the age of 21. Opposing coaches and spectators have heralded West as an FBS-level talent, and LSU's Superdome may be the biggest stage for West to prove such claims.
"Terrance is tremendous player," Ambrose said. "That is no secret and there's no hiding that."
Up until this point of the season, West had been splitting carries with a committee of backs. With a Week Two bye this year, Ambrose rotated in a lot of players in order to keep them fresh and injury-free with such a stacked schedule ahead.
"For us to be successful, we have to get to the point where [West has] got to get a couple more carries a game so he can actually run it for four quarters," Ambrose said. "But we still have to keep him fresh, which means those guys have to do a really good job behind him."
That said, West is still the feature back in the Towson backfield. Though he may split carries now, he had six 100-yard games his freshman season, and he's bound to get his touches. He has yet to record a 100-yard, multi-touchdown game this season.
"We're always going to set the bar high, but it's not about statistical numbers," Ambrose said. "It's great that he got a chance to break that [touchdown] record, and it just goes to show that the odds are that record is going to stand for a long time after he's done playing, since he's still early in his career.
"But, the only stat that any of the kids in the locker room care about is wins and losses."
Ambrose, honored as last year's top FCS coach, West and the Tigers have more than just a Southeastern Conference contender ahead. After LSU, they have seven straight games in the rough CAA.
"As physical as the competition is in the upcoming grind, everybody's got to be in tip-top shape," Ambrose said. "For us to be successful, everybody's going to have to play well. We're about to go through a meat grinder."
But for the time being, Towson has one game marked on its calendars. Despite being heavy underdogs, David is heading into Goliath's house with victory on the mind.
"If you think we're going down there to get on a plane and collect a paycheck, you're crazy," Ambrose said. "It's football. If you're not lining up to win, don't show up."
Posted Sept. 28, 2012