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Previewing Towson football's game at North Carolina Central


When: Today, 2 p.m.

Site: O'Kelly-Riddick Stadium, Durham, N.C.


Series: First meeting

What's at stake: The Tigers could do something they've never done under coach Rob Ambrose: open the season with four consecutive wins. The team, whose seven-game winning streak is the second longest in the Football Championship Subdivision, remained No. 4 in the The Sports Network's latest FCS poll after last Saturday's 49-7 demolition of Delaware State. The offense continues to ride junior running back Terrance West (Northwestern), who has nine touchdowns in three contests. The defense likely will have to play the remainder of the season without sophomore outside linebacker Bryton Barr because of an undisclosed injury, but the unit has been dominant against the run. Towson is fifth among FCS teams nationally in rush defense, allowing just 71.0 yards per game and zero touchdowns. North Carolina Central has won two straight after opening its season with a 45-0 loss to Duke.

Key matchup: Both offenses might have trouble scoring inside the red zone. The Eagles are fifth in the country in red-zone defense, having allowed opponents to score nine times (eight touchdowns and one field goal) in 16 opportunities. The Tigers have been even stingier, surrendering just two scores (one touchdown, one field goal) in six trips to lead the nation in red-zone defense. North Carolina Central's offense has scored seven times (five touchdowns, two field goals) in 11 red-zone trips, while Towson has gone 14-for-18 (14 touchdowns).

Player to watch: Freshmen usually need some time to make an impression, but Eagles cornerback Michael Jones is tied for the national lead in interceptions with three. The Milford Mill graduate also has made 11 tackles and should draw the attention of Tigers fifth-year senior quarterback Peter Athens (Huntingtown), who has completed 68.7 percent of his passes for 633 yards and four touchdowns.

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