CENTRAL CONNECTICUT STATE @ TOWSON
When: Saturday, 6 p.m.
Site: Johnny Unitas Stadium
- Towson football has rare opener at home against Central Connecticut State
- Towson football team will rely on overhauled offensive line
- Towson looks to Darius Victor to replace record-setting Terrance West
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Johnny Unitas Stadium, Towson University, Auburn Drive, Towson, MD 21252, USA
Audio: 1300 AM, TowsonTigers.com
Series: Towson leads, 6-2
What's at stake: After stunning Connecticut, 33-18, in last year's season opener, the Tigers hope to repeat that success against another school from the Constitution State. The Blue Devils went 4-8 last season and have a new coach in Pete Rossomando, who turned New Haven into a Division II powerhouse. Towson, meanwhile, is coming off its best year in school history, during which the Tigers went 13-3 and advanced to the Football Championship Subdivision national title game. The Tigers are ranked at No. 13 in The Sports Network's preseason FCS poll and have won six straight against the Blue Devils, but these teams haven't met since 2007.
Key matchup: Towson graduated five starters from a defense that ranked 23rd nationally against the run last season, allowing opponents an average of 126.8 yards per game. Central Connecticut State rushed for 188.7 yards per game last season, and the Blue Devils return senior running back Rob Hollomon, who had 1,452 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground. A new linebacking corps of senior Fred Overstreet, junior Walter Dunston and redshirt freshman James Simms will play a key role in how the Tigers fare against the run.
Players to watch: Junior quarterback Connor Frazier and sophomore running back Darius Victor are full-time starters for the first time, and they'll rely on a new offensive line. The front five of sophomore left tackle Shayne Sullivan, redshirt freshman left guard Antonio Harris, sophomore center Amos Campbell, sophomore right guard Sam Evans and junior right tackle Jake Schunke will be critical to the offense generating yards and points.