Local college football previews: Towson clashes with Stony Brook; Morgan State tangles with South Carolina State

NO. 13 STONY BROOK (4-1, 2-0 Colonial Athletic Association) @ NO. 23 TOWSON (3-1, 1-0)

When: Saturday, 4 p.m.

Site: Johnny Unitas Stadium

Video: CollegeSportsLive/CBS Digital

Radio: CBS Sports Radio 1300 AM

Series: Stony Brook leads, 3-2

What’s at stake: Vaulting two spots in the latest STATS Football Championship Subdivision poll after Saturday’s 44-27 victory over The Citadel, Towson seeks its first 2-0 start in the CAA since 2013 and a chance to extend its winning streak to three games. Standing in the way is Stony Brook, which is riding a four-game winning streak. But the Seawolves had to rally from a 21-point deficit to edge then-No. 13 Villanova, 29-27, on Saturday. Home has not been kind to the Tigers, who have lost to Stony Brook in two meetings at Johnny Unitas Stadium. The Seawolves won last year’s game, 25-17, on Sept. 23.

Key matchup: Towson boasts the second-most prolific scoring offense in the CAA, averaging 36.2 points under the direction of redshirt junior Tom Flacco, who was named STATS National Player of the Week after running for a school quarterback-record 185 yards and two touchdowns and passing for another two scores. Stony Brook ranks fourth in the league in scoring defense, allowing only 20.4 points per game. Which unit will exert its will?

Player to watch: The Seawolves lead the CAA in rushing thanks to the senior duo of Jordan Gowins and Donald Liotine. Gowins leads the conference at 114.4 yards per game, while Liotine ranks third at 91 yards per game. Both players have three 100-yard rushing games this season.

SOUTH CAROLINA STATE (0-4, 0-1 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) @ MORGAN STATE (1-3, 0-0)

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Site: Hughes Stadium

Video: ESPN3

Radio: WEAA 88.9 FM

Series: South Carolina State leads, 31-6-1

What’s at stake: Morgan State returns from its bye week looking for its first MEAC-opening win since 2016. That feat will depend largely on whether the Bears can turn back a little bit of history against South Carolina State, which has won 10 of the past 11 meetings, including a 35-14 rout on Oct. 6, 2017. The Bulldogs enjoyed a mini-bye of their own as they have not played since Sept. 27, when they fell, 31-16, to No. 11 North Carolina A&T — which Morgan State upended, 16-13, on Sept. 22. South Carolina State’s associate head coach and wide receivers coach is Fred Farrier, who was the Bears head coach last season.

Key matchup: Morgan State has averaged 15 points so far, which ranks seventh in the MEAC. That’s alarming, but not nearly as bad as South Carolina State’s output of 7.2 points, which includes three games in which the offense failed to score more than seven. Scoring might be a premium for both sides, but the Bears and Bulldogs have surrendered 30 and 30.8 points, respectively, on defense.

Player to watch: This game will feature two of the top tackling linebackers in the MEAC. Morgan State senior Damare’ Whitaker leads the league in tackles per game with 10 and has a sack. South Carolina State sophomore Chad Gilchrist ranks fifth with 7.3.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

twitter.com/EdwardLeeSun

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