Know the Foe: Towson
A look at FCS foe Towson, which faces USF on Saturday at Raymond James Stadium
2015 record: 7-4 (5-3 Colonial Athletic Association)
Coach: Rob Ambrose (eighth season at Towson, 43-41; ninth season overall, 46-48)
The breakdown: While the Bulls have film of Towson, they've seen nary a clip of the Tigers' power-based offense with Oregon transfer Morgan Mahalak taking the snaps. A four-star recruit from California's Marin Catholic, Mahalak totaled more than 3,300 yards as a senior and was chosen for the Under Armour All-American Game. His arrival could alter the whole dynamic of the Tigers' scheme, which in the past has featured resident wrecking ball Darius Victor (5-foot-8, 217 pounds), seeking his third consecutive 1,000-yard season. Victor and Mahalak will operate behind a line featuring no fewer than four returning starters. On the other side, the Tigers -- expected to operate a 3-4 alignment -- return four of their top six tacklers from last season's team, which ranked 20th in the FCS in both total defense (318.5 ypg) and run defense (125.9 ypg). Among them is fifth-year senior OLB Jordan Mynatt, who led Towson with 11.5 tackles for loss in 2015.
Odds and ends: Towson also opened the '15 season against an American Athletic Conference team, falling 28-20 at East Carolina. In that game, Victor ran for 137 yards and the Tigers controlled the clock for 33:36. ... Only three seasons ago, Towson reached the FCS title game, losing to -- who else -- North Dakota State. ... DL Max Tejada, a Jacksonville Bolles alumnus, is the only one Tigers player from Florida. ... During a recent camp competition, 283-pound DE Zain Harps Upshur flipped a tire 14 times in 30 seconds.
Willie Taggart's take: "They're a blue-collar football team. They run the power. ... They line up with two backs and get downhill, have a real good running back. They find a lot of different ways to run the power play. Earlier in my career, we found a lot of different ways to run it as well, and they do a good job with it."