For the fourth straight year, Towson followed a bye week with a victory as the team outlasted Colonial Athletic Association newcomer Elon, 21-19, on Saturday night at Johnny Unitas Stadium.
Turns out the time off was just as fruitful for running back Darius Victor.
The sophomore had 153 running yards and one touchdown for the Tigers (4-5, 2-3). And Victor said the bye week was integral to his performance.
"Sometimes I wish we could have multiple bye weeks with the way I get hit a lot," he said after the game. "But it helped me tremendously. I felt better coming into the game. Just grateful for the bye week. The bye week came at the right time."
Victor, who scored on a 2-yard run in the first quarter, had just 39 yards on eight carries in the first half. But he was at his physical best in the last two quarters as he rushed 20 times for 114 yards.
Victor frequently lowered his shoulder and drove into Phoenix tacklers, tacking on an extra yard or two. Coach Rob Ambrose joked that the team should have handed the ball off to Victor earlier and more frequently.
"We're just making it harder than it needs to be," Ambrose said. "It's kind of like somebody handing you a bag of money, and you refuse to take it. Just pick the money up and leave. He decided that if there was any hole whatsoever, he was going to make sure that he carried the ball. He held onto the ball, he punished them and he was going to try to win the fourth quarter by himself. I feel bad for the guys that tried to tackle him."
Said Victor: "It was very physical. I tried to impose my will so that the next time they tried to tackle me, they won't come in as hard. At the end of the day, it helps me going against them because they're waiting to hit me. So it's all a scheme."
With his sixth 100-yard rushing game of the season, Victor tied Albany senior Omar Osbourne for the most 100-yard games by a CAA rusher this fall. Victor also moved into 12th place on the school's career rushing list. Victor, who now has 1,579 yards, passed Mike Maloney (1,458 yards) and trails Paul Cillo (1,618).
Victor, who said he was unaware of the accomplishment, was quick to focus on the big picture.
"I'm glad we got a win," he said. "That's first. It all goes to the offensive line. I can't do anything without them."