When Delaware State upset nationally ranked Youngstown State Saturday, 33-29, it sent reverberations through the football offices at Towson State and Morgan State.
The out-of-town teams are the next foes in a pair of Saturday night games. Towson State (0-1) will be home against Delaware rTC State (1-1), and Morgan State (0-3) will be at Youngstown State (1-1).
Towson State holds a 7-4 edge over the Hornets, including 4-1 at Minnegan Stadium, and this season both rely on solid ground games. At Morgan State, coach Ricky Diggs has seen improvement each week, but not for 60 minutes. Now, the Bears draw a Youngstown State team that is smarting from its loss and out to show it is as good as last week's No. 8 ranking in Division I-AA.
People in Dover, Del., are calling last week's victory one of the biggest in Delaware State history, and now coach Bill Collick must bring his players back to earth. They remember beating the Tigers last year, 24-13, and could be excused for taking them lightly in the wake of Towson's season-opening loss to Boston University, 10-8.
Against Youngstown, the Hornets had three backs pile up 262 yards, led by Doug Reed. The 5-foot-9, 175-pound senior ran for 101 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner. Much of the yardage came off the left side, where senior linemen Greg Johnson (6-2, 285) and Rod Milstead (6-3, 265, from Bryans Road in Charles County) are in charge.
A year ago, Delaware State rolled up a school-record 518 yards rushing against the Tigers, with Reed going 152 yards on eight carries, including touchdown runs of 1, 28 and 58 yards.
Against Boston University, senior Gary Worthington, making his first start at quarterback, set a Towson State record for rushing attempts by a quarterback in carrying 29 times for a net 69 yards. The team finished with 186 yards rushing, and limited BU to 109.
Neither team poses a passing threat. Against Youngstown, Delaware State quarterback Erik Jones completed two of five tosses for 30 yards and is six of 17 in two games. Towson State shattered school records for lows with one completion in three attempts for eight yards.
At Youngstown, Ohio, the home team will be trying to start a new winning streak after seeing its last regular-season mark end at 16. The Penguins are another run-oriented team, averaging 195 yards on the ground and 125 yards through the air.
Morgan has had problems sustaining an attack, averaging 73 yards running and 95 passing. And, while its defense was respectable in the first two games, it collapsed last week, as Bethune-Cookman had 584 yards of total offense, 339 in the first half.
Tamron Smith and Leo Hawkins, a pair of 200-pound running backs key Youngstown's offense, having rushed for a combined total of 383 yards. Andre Ballinger is the go-to wide receiver with 10 catches, including eight for 108 yards last week.
Diggs has made some changes on offense, getting Scott Nelson off the injury list and restoring him to his starting guard position, moving Craig Still back to a familiar center post and putting James Ledbetter back at a starting tackle spot after spending two weeks as a reserve.