Towson Tigers (0-1) at East Carolina Pirates (8-5)
|Date & Time||Saturday September 5, 2015, 6:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: East Carolina Pirates -- Over/Under:
The Towson Tigers and East Carolina Pirates will kick off their seasons at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in college football action this Saturday evening.
The post Terrance West (current RB for the Cleveland Browns) period of the Towson Tigers didn’t go well for Head Coach Rob Ambrose as the Tigers finished the season with a 4-8 (2-6 Colonial) record. Towson had trouble on the offensive end last season as they were only able to generate 295.2 yds/game and 16.1 ppg. The good news for Rob Ambrose is that the Tigers will have RB Darius Victor back for the 2015 season as he led the Tigers with 1,305 yds, 5.2 yds/carry and 12 TD’s. The Tigers will be returning 8 starters on the offensive end and hopefully with another year of experience under their belts will help translate to more points scored for the upcoming season. On the defensive side of the ball, Towson played well last year only allowing 28.6 ppg however, lost star CB Tye Smith to the NFL draft. Similar to the offensive, the defensive will have some good experience returning which included their leading tackler from last year in LB James Simms.
The Eastern Carolina Pirates finished the 2015 season with an 8-5 record (5-3 AAC) will look to continue to stay at the top of the AAC conference under head coach Ruffin McNeill who is 37-27 in this five seasons with the Pirates. Eastern Carolina averaged 25.8 ppg in conference play last season but lost two of the best players the Pirates have ever had in QB Shane Carden (63.5 comp %, 4736 yds, 30 TD) and WR Justin Hardy (121 rec, 1494 yds, 10 TD). Replacing Carden will sophomore Kurt Benkert who saw limited action last year as Carden’s backup. The Pirates have arguably the strongest offensive line in the AAC led by LT Ike Harris. On the defensive side of the ball allowed 25.8 ppg in conference play last season and will be returning just 6 defensive starters from the 2014 team. The defensive line will be young as they only have one returning starter however, they do have their leading tackler (140 tackles) in LB Zeek Bigger back to help lead the Pirates defense.
The Tigers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games on grass. The Pirates are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games in September however, just 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games overall.
East Carolina has made it to a bowl game in 8 of their last 9 seasons however, this might be the toughest year under Head Coach Ruffin McNeill after losing their best offensive playmakers and having a questionable defense. Although the Towson Tigers had a tough season in 2015 this is also a program that was in the FCS Championship game just two years ago and I think they’ll be able to do enough on the offensive end to keep this one within the number as long as they are getting enough points. Check back when/if the line is posted.