Towson (6-1, 2-1 Colonial Athletic Association) @ Albany (1-6, 0-3)
When: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
Site: Bob Ford Field, Albany, N.Y.
Series: Teams are tied 2-2
What's at stake: Saturday's 45-35 loss to Villanova snapped Towson's 10-game winning streak and knocked it from the top of the Colonial Athletic Association. With a 2-1 record in the league, the Tigers — who fell from No. 3 to No. 7 in the most recent Football Championship Subdivision poll by The Sports Network — trail the No. 12 Wildcats (4-2, 3-0) and No. 14 Maine (5-1, 2-0) and are tied with No. 20 James Madison (5-2, 2-1) and Delaware (5-2, 2-1). Towson can avoid back-to-back losses to conference rivals for the first time since 2010 by taking care of Albany, which is in the midst of its debut season in the CAA. The Great Danes have lost their past five games and have not won since Sept. 7, when they edged Colgate, 37-34. These teams have not met since 2003, so unfamiliarity could be an early hurdle. The Tigers have won seven consecutive road games and eight of their past nine away games in conference play.
Key matchup: The Tigers' biggest adversary lately has been themselves. They have committed 10 turnovers in three league games, including six in the first quarter, in which opponents have outscored Towson 55-9. The Tigers overcame early deficits against Stony Brook and New Hampshire, but a big hole against Villanova turned out to be too much. It will be interesting to see whether Towson can better protect the ball and take an early lead.
Player to watch: The Tigers have the top running back in the conference in junior Terrance West (169 carries for 947 yards and 17 touchdowns), but the Great Danes have a productive tailback of their own: Omar Osbourne. The junior has 171 rushes for 800 yards and nine scores. He had 252 yards and two touchdowns in the victory over Colgate and registered 142 yards and three touchdowns in a 33-30 loss to Delaware last Saturday.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun