Every team in the Football Championship Subdivision dreams of a perfect season -- and five weeks into the season, that dream is alive for only six programs.
Towson, which remained at No. 3 in the most recent FCS poll announced by The Sports Network, is one of those teams, but coach Rob Ambrose said no one could have anticipated the school’s 5-0 start, which includes a 1-0 record in the Colonial Athletic Association.
“No one in their right mind truly does it like that and not be insane,” Ambrose quipped Monday morning during a conference call. “You do what you do with the goal of where we are right now. But do you imagine it happening? Maybe in the positive mental framework of imagining the possible, sure. But you just go play as hard as you can play one play at a time, and you do it together and you do it having fun.
"If you do that long enough and you can stay healthy and you can make some good adjustments and you can learn and grow week to week, then yeah, you have a chance to be in the position that we’re in. That’s the goal of every team in America.”
The Tigers struggled at times in a 35-21 victory over Stony Brook last Saturday night for their first conference win of the season. They overcame a 14-0 deficit in the first quarter and a 21-10 hole at halftime to outlast the Seawolves (1-3 overall and 1-2 in the conference).
Ambrose recalled his halftime speech to the players.
“That how we decided to stay together and play together and believe in ourselves and each other would determine how well we felt about ourselves after the game,” he said when asked what he told the team. “And that no football game was won in 30 minutes, nor was it won in one play. As far as coming from behind, winning games when adversity sets in, that’s something that we do all the time. We’ve made a history of doing it, and we actually have fun doing it.
"That was pretty much it. We made some schematic adjustments here and there, but it was really about us playing together as 11 and then playing together as 55 guys and having fun while we did it. It was an enjoyable 30 minutes of football. It was high entertainment for your dollar.”
The halftime deficit against Stony Brook was the first time Towson trailed at intermission since Oct. 20, 2012, when Old Dominion had a 17-6 lead. Ambrose did not seem alarmed about the team’s sluggish start against the Seawolves.
“I look at that deficit as playing football,” he said. “The ball is not round. It doesn’t bounce the same way every time. With 11 moving parts of a team that you’ve never played before, if you are not expecting the unexpected, you’re not doing your job. It is what it is.
"I have yet to see the perfect football game played. I have yet to see one team dominate another team on every single play in a football game ever. So that’s the great thing about football. It’s not about exactly what you planned. It’s about how well you deal with the changes.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun