The 2017 version of the Towson Tigers football team isn’t getting much love before the season kicks off.
Towson is predicted to finish tenth in the Colonial Athletic Association this season. The Tigers also placed only one player, sophomore kick returner Shane Simpson, on the preseason all-conference team announced Tuesday at the CAA’s annual media day.
“Let’s say our guys are aware and it’s preseason. It’s preseason,” said Tigers head coach Rob Ambrose. “Where we sit in the league and where we sit with our all-conference players currently, it’s earned.”
Towson is coming off a 4-7 season but there is reason for optimism this fall. A healthy Morgan Mahalak returns under center. The University of Oregon transfer hurt his collarbone in the second game of last year. Without their starting quarterback the Tigers lost six consecutive games. When Mahalak came back he led Towson to three straight wins to close 2016.
“Morgan’s won every game he’s finished. So, we just need to make sure that he keeps finishing games and then we’ll all be happy,” said Ambrose.
On defense Towson has a new voice at coordinator. Former Maryland assistant Lyndon Johnson replaces Matt Hachmann. As for how that changes things on the field:
“We’re doing more of a man concept base,” said Tigers safety Monty Fenner. “I feel like we send guys on the blitz a lot. More of a get-after-it defense.”
Their first chance to get after it will be September 2. The opening game of the season brings The Battle for Greater Baltimore when Towson hosts cross-town rival Morgan State.
“Us as players (we’re) very excited because some of us know the players on the team. Trash talking, stuff like that, it’s all love at the end of the day,” said Fenner. “Very excited for that game and it will definitely bring the community out.”
The Tigers can officially start preparing for Morgan when they open training camp this Sunday.