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Upsetting No. 7 Villanova could make 'a great statement' for Towson football

Towson coach Rob Ambrose.
Towson coach Rob Ambrose. (Tim Heitman, USA Today Sports)

Towson may not be mathematically eliminated from winning a share of the Colonial Athletic Association title, but the odds seem unlikely.

The Tigers (4-5 overall and 2-3 in the league) trail No. 2 and conference leader New Hampshire (7-1, 5-0), and of their three games remaining, they still have to face No. 7 Villanova (7-2, 4-1) on Saturday and No. 24 William and Mary (5-4, 2-3) on Nov. 15.

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But coach Rob Ambrose said there's a lot riding on Saturday's road game against the Wildcats.

"I go into this game thinking if you can beat a team as good as Villanova in the month of November, then it makes a great statement about your team," he said Monday during his weekly conference call arranged by the CAA. "They're a great football team. They've got All-Americans all over the place, and they've got one of the best offensive players in the country [in junior quarterback John Robertson]. So clearly it's going to be a challenge. We're just going to worry about ourselves. We're going to worry about doing our jobs the best way we can do them and let the chips fall where they may. All of the success we've had over the past couple of years, the focus has been more on us than it has been on our opponent."

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Villanova had won seven consecutive games between a season-opening double-overtime 27-26 loss to Syracuse and Saturday's 10-9 loss to No. 8 Richmond. Coach Andy Talley knows the Tigers have little to lose, and he said he anticipates that his team will prepare for Towson accordingly.

"I think we have a mature football team, and so I think they've been around in the league, and they understand that you are going to have some tough games along the way, especially when you play some of the better teams on the road," he said Monday. "So we as a coaching staff just need to settle them down. It was a game we could've won, and we didn't do the things necessary, especially at the end of the game, to win the game. We still have a very good football team, and we understand that Towson is a tremendous threat right now. They're getting better each week. … When you've got the [bull's-eye] on your back, you're going to get and you've got to be prepared for that kind of push."

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