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In first year as starter, Towson's Darius Victor has lived up to expectations

Towson running back Darius Victor.
Towson running back Darius Victor. (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun)

In 10 games of his first year as Towson's full-time starting tailback, Darius Victor has become the ninth player -- and third sophomore -- in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.

Victor has gained 1,115 yards, leads the Colonial Athletic Association with 10 rushing touchdowns, and passed David Meggett into 10th place on the Tigers' career rushing list.

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The accomplishments by Victor, who succeeded Terrance West this season, don't surprise Towson coach Rob Ambrose.

"That was our expectation from the very, very beginning," Rob Ambrose said Monday during his weekly conference call organized by the CAA. "Standard expectations around here are very, very high -- individually, as units, and as a team.

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"Darius has held his end of the bargain extremely well. Truth be told, he's getting better, and that's what you expect of all your players, that they're going to grow throughout the season. As they get older and wiser, they're going to be better football players. I could not be more proud of him."

At 5 feet 8, 210 pounds, Victor belies the power that he runs with, and he has proven that he is not afraid to lower his shoulder and barrel into a would-be tackler. Ambrose said there's another aspect of Victor's game that goes unnoticed.

"Darius is a little bit different from pretty much everybody I've seen since I've come back," Ambrose said. "There's lots of strong backs that have played. Terrance [West] was strong, the young man from William and Mary [junior Mikal Abdul-Saboor] is strong.

"There's a lot of strong backs, and he's a very downhill runner who's very physical, but what surprises you is his balance. It doesn't matter how you try to tackle him, he has great balance all the time. He is fearless, truly fearless."

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Saturday's regular-season home finale at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson at 3 p.m. between the Tigers (4-6 overall and 2-4 in the league) and the No. 24 Tribe (6-4, 3-3) pits two of the CAA's top tailbacks in Victor and Abdul-Saboor (1,020 yards and nine touchdowns). William and Mary coach Jimmye Laycock was asked during his conference call how to limit Victor.

"I don't know if you can keep him in check," Laycock said. "He's a heck of a back. I'm really impressed with him. He's fast, he's downhill, he's strong, he comes to play.

"You don't see him taking any plays off. He comes and plays very, very well. I'm extremely impressed with him, and that's going to be a big challenge defensively."

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