With a single-game high of six sacks in last Saturday's 35-17 victory over North Carolina Central, Towson has 17 in four games. The Tigers are tied with Portland State for fourth in the Football Championship Subdivision with an average of 4.3 sacks per game this season.
Towson junior defensive end Ryan Delaire leads the team with 3 1/2 sacks, but eight other Tigers players have at least one sack.
"It's a two-pronged beast," Towson coach Rob Ambrose said during a conference call Monday. "It's up front and in the back. Some of those sacks have been scheme sacks. These guys have done a good job of finding weaknesses in protection. Some of those sacks have been personnel sacks, just great matchups on our part, individual efforts by certain guys on the defensive front or the backers. And the third one is coverage sacks.
"We were in the right position, holding guys off, making them covered, giving the defensive front or the backers a chance to get on the quarterback. It's really been a team, group thing, and that's what you want to see. You want to see it grow. You don't just want to see one superstar getting home because, eventually, they'll double-team him and then what have you got? We're spreading it around and guys are making plays all over the place. It's just really good team defense."
The Tigers (4-0) will open Colonial Athletic Association play this Saturday with a visit to Stony Brook (1-2 overall and 1-1 in the CAA). The defense could aid Towson by generating consistent pressure on Seawolves senior quarterback Lyle Negron, who has been sacked just three times.
"I think it's going to be critical to do that week in and week out considering the schedule we have to play," Ambrose said. "Every guy that's been on the line this week is talking about their out-of-conference games that they've had to play, but it's a whole different ton the minute you get into league play, and we're facing an extremely impressive team out of New York. To say that we need to generate a good pass rush play after play, that might be the understatement of the week."