Scouting report: No. 12 Towson at No. 5 James Madison

No. 12 Towson (2-2, 1-0 CAA) at No. 5 James Madison (3-1, 1-0 CAA)

Time: 1 p.m.

Site: Bridgeforth Stadium, Harrisonburg, Va.

TV: NBC Sports Network


Series: James Madison leads, 17-5-1

What's at stake: With the top four teams in the Colonial Athletic Association facing off against each other over the next two weeks — Towson and JMU on Saturday and Old Dominion vs. Villanova next Saturday — this game becomes pivotal to achieve leverage in the standings. The winners will put themselves in an even better position for the CAA crown (save for ODU, which is ineligible, but is still playing for the FCS playoffs) while the losers play catch-up. The Tigers have their work cut out for them as they enter a rival's stadium with the defending-champions target on their backs. But after a solid performance against LSU in one of the most hostile environments in college football, Towson appears well prepared to upset the Dukes on the road.

Key Matchup: Look for whichever team's defense can help win the turnover battle or, conversely, whichever offense can lose it for their team. The Tigers and Dukes' defenses are ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the CAA, but both teams are in the cellar when it comes to holding onto the ball. Whichever team — Towson (No. 10 with -6 TO margin) or JMU (No. 9 with -3 TO margin) — can protect the ball better should be in good position to pick up the conference win.

Player to Watch: Grant Enders, the runner. Against LSU, which came in boasting one of the stingiest run defenses in the nation, Enders ran for 86 yards with a 7.2 average per run. Watch to see if his success against a powerhouse SEC squad gives him confidence to tuck the ball and run to make plays with his legs. If he finds success early, it will open up the passing game for the Tigers as well.

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