For Enders, ignorance might truly have been bliss in that he was not a part of Towson's lack of success the past couple of years.

"I came in not really knowing what to expect," said Enders, who had played on winning teams since high school. "I was up here in the summer working out with the team and just the whole attitude, it felt like a bunch of guys who really wanted to win. It never really crossed my mind that this team was 1-10 the year before."

He also wasn't quite sure whether the success he had at the junior college level would continue at Towson.


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"Being my first year here, it was kind of tough for me to compare it to anything. Junior college football is not the same as Division I football," Enders said. "We looked good all through camp, so I was excited to see how the first game turned out."

From the opening game rout of Morgan State, in which Enders completed 15 of 19 passes for 197 yards and three touchdowns and rushed six times for 47 yards and another touchdown, Enders has made an immediate impact at Towson.

While most of his performances can be described as efficient — he is currently ranked second in pass efficiency on the FCS level with 99 completions in 137 attempts with nine touchdowns and four interceptons — he is capable of the spectacular.

Evidence of that came when he was 24-for-37 for 314 yards and two touchdowns at Old Dominion, as the Tigers stormed back from an 11-point deficit in the final 3:13 to win, 39-35. Towson followed it up with a 38-27 win at William & Mary last week.

"Going down to Old Dominion, that was a pretty hostile environment, being able to come back in the fourth says a lot about our team and our offense," Enders said.

About the only disappointment for Enders this season was not being able to play against Maryland on Oct. 1 because of a concussion suffered at the end of the Colgate win the previous week. A 28-3 defeat that was close for most of the first three quarters remains Towson's lone defeat.

"It was real tough," Enders said. "Playing a team like them, that's a game everyone gets excited for. We really wanted to prove ourselves against them."

Instead, the Tigers have proved themselves against a string of CAA teams, with reigning national runner-up Delaware up next.

Though the Blue Hens are having a tough year playing for the first time in a decade without a quarterback who transferred from a BCS school, Enders said of the game "it's huge. Every game is a championship game for the rest of the season."

Sounds a little like what a junior college transfer and a different bunch of Tigers went through last season.

don.markus@baltsun.com


Saturday's game



Delaware (4-4, 2-3 CAA) @ Towson (6-1, 4-0 CAA)



Time: 7

Site: Johnny Unitas Stadium

TV: The Comcast Network

Radio: 1570 AM

Series: Delaware leads 8-4

What's at stake: The Tigers are looking to stay unbeaten and in first place in the Colonial Athletic Association, as well as reverse last year's 48-0 defeat to the Blue Hens. Towson has already matched its total for most CAA wins in a season but now has its sights set on making its first playoff appearance since leaving Division II in 1987. There's also pressure on fans to finally sell out the 11,000-seat stadium for the first time.

Key matchup: The quarterbacks will play a big part in the outcome. Tim Donnelly will have a difficult time replicating former Delaware star Pat Devlin's performance from last year, and Towson's defensive line will likely try to take advantage of Donnelly's tendency to rush his throws (nine interceptions compared with 11 TDs). Conversely, Enders has managed to be incredibly accurate and should be able to keep the Blue Hens off balance by mixing things up offensively.

Players to watch: Though freshman Terrance West (Northwestern) is one of four different Tigers to lead the team in rushing this season, he has exploded the past three games — going for 128 yards and four touchdowns against Richmond, 148 yards and two touchdowns against Old Dominion and 141 yards and three touchdowns against William & Mary. Sophomore running back Andrew Pierce, the CAA's Preseason Player of the Year, has 829 yards on 171 carries and has scored 10 touchdowns for the Blue Hens.

Don Markus

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