Local college football previews: No. 13 Towson hits road against Albany; Morgan State welcomes Howard

Local college football previews: No. 13 Towson hits road against Albany; Morgan State welcomes Howard
Albany quarterback Vincent Testaverde drops back to pass in the first quarter against Pittsburgh at Heinz Field. (Justin Berl / Getty Images)

NO. 13 TOWSON (5-1, 3-0 Colonial Athletic Association) @ ALBANY (2-4, 0-3)

When: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.


Site: Casey Stadium


Radio: CBS Sports Radio 1300 AM

Series: Towson leads, 3-2

What’s at stake: Towson continues to rise in the STATS Football Championship Subdivision poll, moving up four spots from No. 17 after defeating William & Mary, 29-13, on Saturday. The Tigers are tied with No. 16 Maine for first place in the CAA with 3-0 records, but they are only a half-game ahead of No. 4 James Madison and No. 18 Stony Brook, both of which own 3-1 marks. Albany has dropped its past two games and is seeking to avoid an 0-4 start in the conference for the first time since 2013. The Great Danes lost in their last meeting with Towson, 44-17, at home Oct. 19, 2013.

Key matchup: This game will pit two quarterbacks with popular surnames associated with Ravens quarterbacks. Towson will be led by redshirt junior Tom Flacco, the younger brother of Joe, who has compiled 278.3 yards per game, a 68.5 percent completion rate and 15 touchdown passes and was added to the watch list for the STATS FCS Walter Payton Award, given to the national offensive player of the year. Albany will be headed by senior Vincent Testaverde, son of Vinny, who has totaled 244.7 yards per game, a 54.7 percent completion rate and nine touchdown passes.

Player to watch: Albany freshman Dev Holmes is the only receiver in the CAA averaging at least 100 yards per game. Named to the watch list for the STATS Jerry Rice Award, given to the nation’s top freshman, Holmes has caught 32 passes for 605 yards and five touchdowns and has three 100-yard games so far.

HOWARD (2-3, 2-1 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) @ MORGAN STATE (2-4, 1-1)

When: Saturday, 7 p.m.

Site: Hughes Stadium

Video: ESPN3

Radio: WEAA 88.9 FM

Series: Morgan State leads, 43-27-1

What’s at stake: Morgan State collected its first win in the MEAC this season, outlasting Savannah State, 18-11, on Saturday. That victory was the Bears’ second in their past three games, which includes a 16-13 upset of then-No. 4 North Carolina A&T on Sept. 22. Morgan State is tied with Norfolk State and North Carolina Central for fifth place in the league, trailing conference leader Florida A&M (5-2, 4-0). Like the Bears, Howard has won two of its past three games, including a 55-13 demolition of Delaware State on Saturday. The Bison have dropped three of the past four games in this series and their past five meetings in Baltimore.


Key matchup: Under the direction of sophomore quarterback Caylin Newton, the younger brother of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, Howard leads the MEAC in rushing offense (177.0 yards per game), passing offense (336.6) and total offense (513.6). The Bison rank seventh in the FCS in total offense. Morgan State has been respectable in run defense (132.0 yards per game), pass defense (214.2) and total defense (346.2), but Saturday’s game will present the Bears with their toughest challenge so far.

Player to watch: Newton’s favorite target is junior wide receiver Jequez Ezzard, who has averaged 147.4 yards and has eight touchdown catches. Ezzard, the first player in Bisons history to score three touchdowns in back-to-back games, was named Thursday to the watch list for the STATS FCS Walter Payton Award.