Local college football previews: Towson clashes with Villanova, Morgan State tangles with Albany

TOWSON (1-1 overall, 0-0 in the Colonial Athletic Association) @ VILLANOVA (2-0, 0-0)

When: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

Site: Villanova Stadium, Philadelphia, Pa.

TV: Fox College Sports

Radio: CBS Sports Radio 1300 AM

Series: Villanova leads, 9-5

What’s at stake: Towson is scheduled to wrap up its season-opening three-game road stretch by taking on Villanova in the CAA opener for both teams. The Tigers absorbed their first loss of the season last Saturday — 51-20 at Wake Forest. They have dropped two consecutive games and four of the past five meetings with the Wildcats. Towson is 3-6 against Villanova under coach Rob Ambrose. The Wildcats disposed of Lehigh, 31-9, on Saturday, but lost two of its past three games at home. Villanova, which won last year’s game, 24-9 on Sept. 30, is ranked No. 10 in the STATS Football Championship Subdivision poll.

Key matchup: This meeting pits two of the conference’s top three offenses against each other in the No. 2 Tigers (405.5 yards per game) and the No. 3 Wildcats (405.0). Towson leads the CAA in passing at 295.0 yards per game and is tied for third in passing touchdowns with five. Meanwhile, Villanova ranks third in the league in rushing at 170.5 yards per game.

Player to watch: Redshirt junior wide receiver Shane Leatherbury has emerged as redshirt junior quarterback Tom Flacco’s favorite target and the Tigers offense’s most productive option. Leatherbury is tied for second in the CAA in receptions per game (6.5) and tied for fourth in yards per game (90.5).

MORGAN STATE (0-2) @ ALBANY (0-2)

When: Saturday, 7 p.m.

Site: Tom & Mary Casey Stadium, Albany, N.Y.

TV: None

Radio: WEAA 88.9 FM

Series: Albany leads, 1-0

What’s at stake: Saturday’s 41-7 loss at Akron saddled Morgan State with an 0-2 record for the sixth year in a row and seventh time in the past eight seasons. But in four of those years, the Bears picked up their first win of the season in their third game. Seeking their first victory over a nonconference opponent since a 28-3 rout of Bowie State on Sept. 13, 2014, the Bears will take on an Albany squad that won the first meeting of the teams’ series, 26-0, on Sept. 9, 2017. The Great Danes have dropped eight of their past nine games dating to Sept. 30.

Key matchup: Neither defense has fared well thus far. Morgan State has surrendered 38.5 points and 419.0 yards per game. On the flip side, Albany has given up 39.0 points and 403.5 yards per game. If there is one area to watch, the Great Danes have allowed nine sacks, which could be an advantage for a Bears defense that has five sacks so far.

Player to watch: Ravens fans might be familiar with Albany’s fifth-year senior quarterback, Vince Testaverde, the son of former Ravens quarterback Vinny Testaverde. He has completed 63.9 percent of his passes for 491 yards and three touchdowns and has been intercepted twice.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

twitter.com/EdwardLeeSun

Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
39°