Terrance West fumbled twice in the first quarter of Towson’s home game against New Hampshire, but the junior running back bounced back nicely to finish with 238 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries in the No. 3 Tigers’ eventual 44-28 victory over the then-No. 19 Wildcats last Saturday.
For his effort, the Baltimore native and Northwestern graduate shared with Fordham junior quarterback Michael Nebrich the National Football Championship Subdivision Offensive Player of the Week by The Sports Network. And West was grateful that coaching staff trusted him to rebound after the fumbles.
“I appreciate the coaching staff believing in me and my team believing in me because they could have easily pulled me,” he said Tuesday. “I had two fumbles in back-to-back possessions. But that’s the whole thing of us having each other’s backs over here. We lose together or we win together.”
Asked if he considered pulling West after the second fumble, Towson coach Rob Ambrose, “No. I had a number in my head. There’s a number in my head for both the quarterback and him, and it’s not situational. If it’s three, whether your attitude is right or not, it almost becomes insurmountable. It would never be a permanent thing, but some guys just have bad days. Take the greatest pitcher in the world and if he gives up three dingers, it’s just not your day, buddy.”
But Ambrose stayed with West, who rewarded his coach’s faith when he took a handoff and raced 50 yards to the end zone on the offense’s first play after a New Hampshire punt in the second quarter. According to Ambrose, West’s continued presence in the contest was no accident.
“Panic is not part of the deal around here,” Ambrose said. “I had no real concerns. I just kept waiting, [thinking,] ‘Something’s coming, something’s coming.’ All of a sudden, we had a good punt, we pin them, we hold them, and from midfield, I knew we were going to score. I didn’t expect us to score in one play, but I did talk to him after he scored, and I said, ‘Everybody in the stands was sitting and watching to see how you would respond. That’s how you respond.’ Could not be more proud of him.”
West hadn’t lost a fumble since Sept. 22, 2012 – a span of 12 games. So coughing up the ball against the Wildcats – who turned both gaffes into touchdowns – was irritating.
“I got angry,” he said. “I was angry throughout the game. I was mad at myself because I gave up 14 points. I put the defense in a bad position, but I fought back.”Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun