Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Towson football team and its success has largely revolved around one player this season - running back Terrance West.
Football is absolutely a team effort, and the Tigers have other pieces that have helped them along the way to an 8-1 start to the season. But West is a different type of player. He's no ordinary running back. The offense flows through him, and even though opposing teams expect him to get the ball in his hands, it's still so difficult to slow him down.
His Week 9 effort against Richmond was, in a word, superhuman. If you take West out of the equation on Saturday in Towson's 48-32 victory, the game and the outcome may be a whole different story.
West ran for 272 yards on 29 carries, which included four rushing touchdowns and one receiving score. That's 30 points the junior delivered for his team.
Torching defenses has been his mantra all season long. And in his 30th collegiate football game, West is now the all-time Towson leader in rushing yards with 3,742 on 609 carries.
It's the second time this season West has scored five touchdowns in a game. His 67 career scores ranks him fourth in Colonial Athletic Association history. Of his 67 touchdowns, 65 have been rushing scores, which puts him into another tie - this one for first place in CAA history in rushing touchdowns with former Delaware All-American Omar Cuff.
West is first in the nation in both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns this season. His 1,412 yards is nearly 200 more than South Dakota State Zach Zenner's total, and 23 rushing touchdowns is five more than Coastal Carolina running back Lorenzo Taliaferro's 18 scores.
In the next few weeks, it would appear West will be standing alone in the CAA record books (kock on wood). With the blocking the junior is getting from his offensive line and the deep-threat receivers on Towson's roster, it seems the Tigers have put together a successful combination that allows West to run wild.
After this weekend's slate of games, let's take a look at some of the numbers that stood out in Week 9.
Delaware wide receiver Michael Johnson carried the ball three times in the Blue Hens' win over Rhode Island Saturday for 123 yards and a touchdown. Johnson averaged 41 yards per carry in the game.
Stephen F. Austin quarterback Brady Attaway has been a stat machine this year, ranking at or near the top of many FCS single game categories. On Saturday versus Central Arkansas, Attaway completed 41 passes of his 63 attempts. His 41 completions is the fifth-most in a single game this season. He also has the most completions in a single game this season - 44 back on Sept. 28 against Prairie View A&M. Attaway finished the day Saturday with 442 yards and two touchdowns.
In terms of passing efficiency in a single game, Montana quarterback Jordan Johnson rules that realm with an impressive high of 322.295 he achieved in the Grizzlies game back on Sept. 14 against North Dakota. But Lafayette quarterback Drew Reed made a run at Johnson's mark Saturday, when the freshman signal caller notched a 278.54 passing efficiency in his team's win over Holy Cross. Reed finished the day 21-of-22 passing for 283 yards and five touchdowns.
North Dakota State punt returner Christian Dudzik became the first player this season to return two punts for touchdowns in a game. He returned a punt 43 yards with just over a minute remaining in the third quarter for a score, and in the fourth returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown. Bison wide receiver Ryan Smith also returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score in the third quarter Saturday against Indiana State.
Defending Northeast Conference champion Wagner was defeated by Robert Morris on Saturday, 17-13. The Seahawks are now 2-6 on the season and 1-3 in NEC play. Robert Morris was able to hold off Wagner despite going 0-13 on third- down attempts in the game.
Colgate quarterback Gavin McCarney's 248 passing yards and 109 rushing yards Saturday against Georgetown lifted him to a feat only two other players in FCS history have achieved. McCarney became the third player ever to pass for 5,000 yards and rush for 2,500 yards in his collegiate career.
Princeton quarterback Quinn Epperly's sixth touchdown pass of the day Saturday was the one the Tigers most needed. Epperly connected with Roman Wilson on a 6-yard strike in triple overtime to defeat Harvard, 51-48.
Harvard's loss means there are only three unbeaten teams remaining in the FCS: North Dakota State, Coastal Carolina and Fordham.
The Davidson football program has had more than its fair share of struggles this season, and Saturday's 56-13 loss to fellow Pioneer Football League program Jacksonville was no exception. The Wildcats turned the ball over five times - four on fumbles lost. In eight winless games the Wildcats have played this season, they've turned the ball over 15 times.
Central Connecticut State defeated Division III Salve Regina Saturday, 47-13. In the game, junior running back Rob Hollomon racked up 212 rushing yards on nine carries for a 23.6-yard average.
Hollomon added three rushing touchdowns - 43 yards, 29 yards and 94 yards, respectively. As a team, Central Connecticut State totaled 359 yards on the ground.
Not many people thought Furman had much of a chance against LSU Saturday night. Although the Paladins lost to the No. 13 team in the FBS, 48-16, the Furman defense was able to force the Tigers into committing three turnovers, including two interceptions thrown by Zach Mettenberger.
Dartmouth defeated Columbia Saturday, 56-0. It was the first shutout Dartmouth has pitched since the 2011 season, which was ironically the last time Columbia made the trip to Hanover, N.H. The date of the Big Green's last shutout win was almost exactly two years ago, on Oct. 22, 2011, against the same team at the same location.
It was an ugly 20-13 win for North Carolina A&T Saturday over Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference foe Florida A&M. The two teams combined for just 27 first downs in the game. Aggies quarterback Lewis Kindle passed for 18 yards and threw an interception in his team's win.
The Grambling State program almost made the nation forget what happened over these past few weeks with a close loss to Texas Southern. Grambling led 17-10 at the half, but a fourth-quarter touchdown tied it up, and Texas Southern scored on a 3-yard touchdown run in overtime to give the Tigers the win.
Grambling State is the last remaining winless team in the Southwestern Athletic Conference after Arkansas-Pine Bluff defeated Mississippi Valley State Saturday. Pine Bluff quarterback Ben Anderson led the way with 392 total yards (269 passing, 123 rushing) and four total touchdowns.
Speaking of SWAC teams, Jackson State and Prairie View A&M combined for 1,140 yards of total offense in their meeting Saturday. Jackson State won, 51-38, to remaing a perfect 7-0 in conference play.
Finally, in a battle of two top Pioneer Football League quarterbacks, San Diego's Mason Mills outdueled Butler's Matt Lancaster in the Toreros' 42-14 win. Mills passed for 407 yards and five touchdowns, while Lancaster, last year's PFL offensive player of the year, had 251 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Both squads are now 4-1 in conference play this season.