Towson at a glance

September 03, 1997

Coach: Gordy Combs (sixth season)

Last year: 6-4

Conference: Patriot League

Radio: WTMD (89.7 FM)

Stadium: Minnegan (5,000)

Offense: Pro I

Defense: 4-3

Top returning players: LB Jim Colongo, DB Khalid McLeod, QB Kevin Smith, PK George Perdikakis, TB Jason Corle, DB Dwane Exeter, OT Tony Campitelli, OT Jason Maier, NG Tim Moran.

Top newcomers: RB Ricky Trott, OT Brian Wronski, WR Adam Overbey.

Strengths: Nine starters with a total of 16 years experience return on a defensive unit that has good size, team speed and Colongo, who was the team's leading tackler the last two seasons. There is experience at quarterback in junior left-hander Kevin Smith, who has started 17 games. The kicking game is also strong with fifth-year senior George Perdikakis returning as a kicker and senior Ben Gossard as a punter. Perdikakis has hit 94 of 103 extra points in his career and 14 of 25 field goals. Gossard has a career punting average of 35.6.

Weaknesses: Inexperience at two wide receiver positions where Combs is trying to replace the departed Shawn Ward and Amadi Eze, who combined for 187 receptions for 3,179 yards and 25 touchdowns in their careers. Also, the Tigers have lost senior starting right guard Phil Brown (6-1, 260) for at least several weeks with knee ligament damage. Brown is undergoing arthroscopic surgery today.

Strongest opponent: Columbia on the road Sept. 27 will provide a severe test for the Tigers after they play their first three games at home. The Lions return 15 starters from last year's 8-2 team.

Key game: The Sept. 13 home game against Holy Cross will mark Towson's debut in the Patriot League. A win over the Crusaders is considered crucial to the Tigers' success in their new league this season since Holy Cross finished last in the seven-team Patriot League last season and is picked by the league coaches to be near the bottom of the league again this year.

Schedule

Date .. .. .. Team .. .. .. .. Time

Sept. 6 .. .. Monmouth . .. .. 1 p.m.

Sept. 13 . .. Holy Cross .. .. 1 p.m.

Sept. 20 . .. Lehigh ... .. .. 1 p.m.

Sept. 27 . .. at Columbia . .. 1 p.m.

Oct. 4 ... .. at Penn .. .. .. 6 p.m.

Oct. 18 .. .. Robert Morris .. 1 p.m.

Oct. 25 .. .. at Lafayette ... 1 p.m.

Nov. 1 ... .. at Fordham .. .. 12: 35 p.m.

Nov. 8 ... .. at Colgate .. .. 12: 30 p.m.

Nov. 15 .. .. Bucknell . .. .. 1 p.m.

Pub Date: 9/03/97

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