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Towson football not overlooking underachieving Richmond

The Towson football team’s bid for at least a share of what would be the program’s third Colonial Athletic Association title would appear to be on the right path with Saturday’s game against an underperforming Richmond squad.

But that is not the approach that the Tigers (7-1 overall and 3-1 in the conference) are taking. Yes, the Spiders – who have won three league championships, including a share of last year’s crown – are 2-5 overall and 0-3 in the CAA, but all five of those losses have occurred by a combined 20 points.

But it’s not the numbers that concern Towson coach Rob Ambrose.

“If you think that those losses are a statistical factor in how the outcome of this game will come, you’re not doing your homework in this league,” he said Monday. “They’ve got great football players. Not good, they’ve got great football players. They’ve got great coaching, and they’re playing at home. So you can throw the records out the door. They’re an extremely good football team that plays awesome at home, and it’s another week in the CAA where we will have an extreme challenge to reach our goal.”

Richmond has lost three two-point decisions this fall, including a 12-10 setback to Rhode Island last Saturday despite not giving up a touchdown.

Asked if he feels snakebitten by the narrow margin of losses, coach Danny Rocco said, “I think that’s a word I’ve used. It is what it is. Every cliché you can throw out there, it’s probably appropriate, and you’ve got to find a way to win. You’ve got to generate your own fortune and et cetera, et cetera. You do feel a little snakebitten. Every one of those games, including the one up at James Madison where they certainly extended the lead on us and certainly deserved to win, were games that truly came down to the end of the football game, and three two-point losses on the road certainly don’t sit well with anybody.”

The Tigers will enter Robins Stadium in Richmond ranked eighth in the most recent Football Championship Subdivision poll announced by The Sports Network. But since 2007, the Spiders are 21-18 against nationally-ranked opponents.

That’s why Rocco isn’t viewing Saturday’s contest as a David vs. Goliath showdown.

“That’s not necessarily the approach I think I’ll use here this week,” he said. “We’ve certainly played highly ranked teams in the past, and we’ve certainly had our fair share of success. I think in the moment, we certainly are in need of a victory, and an opportunity to go and compete and win a game like this would really get our season turned back around. So from that perspective, I think it would be really significant.”

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