No. 12 Towson (1-1, 1-0 CAA) vs. St. Francis (Pa.) (2-1, 1-0 NEC)

Time: 7 p.m.

Site: Johnny Unitas Stadium

Radio: 1370 AM


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Series: Towson leads, 2-0

What's at stake: With a huge game against LSU on national television next week, the Tigers cannot afford to be caught looking ahead, especially against a feisty St. Francis (Pa.) team that was won two straight. But the atmosphere of a homecoming night should keep the Tigers focused on the present. The home team will also be out to redeem itself in the eyes of fans: two of the Tigers' past three homecoming games have ended in a loss.

Key Matchup: The key to victory for the Red Flash lies in the legs of QB John Kelly (Fredrick, Md.) and running back Keion Wade. So far this season the graduate student and sophomore have each put up video-game like numbers: in the home opener, Kelly rushed for 138 yards on 18 carries, while Wade exploded for 243 yards and three touchdowns last week. The pressure will be on the Towson defensive line, which is giving up 129 yards on the ground per game, to shut down the two-headed running attack. If they can't, look for the Red Flash to control the clock and wear down the Tiger defense.

Player to Watch: With St. Francis (Pa.) looking to establish a running game, it will give senior defensive end Romale Tucker a chance for a big game. Tucker, a potential All-CAA player, leads the team in tackles (13), TFL (1.5) and sacks (1.5), posting seven tackles against William & Mary. Check for him to set the tone on the defensive front and capitalize on big-play opportunities.

ctrevino@baltsun.com