NO. 5 JAMES MADISON (5-0) @ TOWSON (2-2)
When: Saturday, 3 p.m.
Site: Johnny Unitas Stadium, Towson
Television: Comcast SportsNet
Audio: CBS Sports Radio 1300 AM, TowsonTigers.com
Series: James Madison leads, 19-6-1
What's at stake: Coming off a bye from last weekend, the Tigers are hoping to be a healthier, more rejuvenated bunch for the second half of the season. History suggests that Towson under coach Rob Ambrose has taken full advantage of byes, amassing a 5-1 record during his tenure in games following byes. But the Tigers won't get much help from a Dukes program that has won nine of the last 10 meetings between these Colonial Athletic Association rivals. James Madison, which is 2-0 in the conference, is off to its best start in school history and has won its last 12 regular-season contests. Courtesy of a 17-13 loss at Elon on Sept. 26, Towson (0-1 in the league) sits in 11th place in the 12-team league and a setback to the Dukes would widen the gap between the two teams in the race for the CAA championship.
Key matchup: James Madison boasts one of the top players at the Football Championship Subdivision level in senior quarterback Vad Lee. The Georgia Tech transfer ranks in the top five in the country in passing yards (1,420), rushing yards (594) and yards per carry (7.9), and he recorded 255 passing yards and three touchdowns in a 62-7 dissection of the Tigers last season. If a sprained ankle sidelines Towson junior running back Darius Victor, the onus is on redshirt senior quarterback Connor Frazier to match Lee. Frazier ranks sixth in the CAA in passing yards (775).
Player to watch: Redshirt sophomore Antonio Harris' broken leg has put junior Samuel Edmondson in position to make his first start at left tackle for the Tigers. The Mount San Antonio College transfer fared well replacing Harris at Elon, but Edmondson will be tested by Dukes outside linebacker Andrew Ankrah. The redshirt sophomore leads the CAA in sacks with seven and posted two sacks and a forced fumble in a 38-20 rout of Stony Brook a week ago.